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Summary: A sermon encouraging people to come to Christ for salvation.

LUKE 17:11-19

“HAS YOUR FAITH SAVED YOU?”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

Leprosy was the most terrible disease in Jesus’ day.

The leper was considered utterly unclean--physically and spiritually.

A leper couldn’t approach within six feet of any person including family members, and

as Leviticus chapter 13 reads, “The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn

clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and and cry out, ‘Unclean!

Unclean!’As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live

outside the camp.”

Lepers were the outcastes! They were totally ostrasized from society.

Just imagine the anguish and heartbreak of the leper--being completely cut off from

family and friends and society.

Imagine the emotional and mental pain.

And who are the lepers in today’s society?

Who are the outcastes?

Who are the ostracized?

I’m sure we can think of many.

There are those who are outcastes in schools and on playgrounds because they just can’t

quite fit-in with the other children.

There are those who are outcaste and ostracized because they have mental disabilities.

And there are people living with certain diseases like HIV and AIDS who are often

cut-off not only from society , but also by family members, friends, and in some cases....the

Church.

But as we see in our Scripture lesson for today, Jesus does not ostrasize anybody!

We see in verse 11, that Jesus was in the middle of a journey.

He could have been heading for an important meeting, or He could have been tired and

exhausted, with no time for interruptions.....but out of desparation the lepers interupted Him

anyway.

“They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

And that’s exactly what Jesus did....Jesus did have pity on them.

They called out to Christ, and He heard their cry, as the Bible declares in Romans chapter

10, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

And all ten of them were healed of their physical illness......

But as verse 15 declares, “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising

God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him.”

All of them had been healed, but why had only one of them come back and shown his

appreciation?

And this man was a Samaritan.....

Not only had he lived with the disease of leprosy, but he was also the most despised and

rejected of people....

He lived with a double curse....Jews did not associate with Samaritans.....they did not

believe that Samaritans were part of the Kingdom of God....Samaritans were “sinners” and

“outcastes” ....they were foreigners....they weren’t part of the “in” crowd.

But here was this Samaritan who had been healed of the disease of leprosy by the Son of

the living God....and he was worshipping Jesus.

But what happened to the other nine people whom Jesus healed?

They didn’t return to the Lord in order to give Him thanks....apparently they were just in

too big of a hurry in order to get back to their former lives....to get back to the things of this

world.....to start enjoying the pleasures of the flesh once again....

But this Samaritan....this Samaritan was different....he was giving praise to God....he

chose God over the world.....and the things of the world.....

Sure he could have gone back to his former life...before he had come down with

leprosy...he could have gotten caught-up in the things of the world....but instead...he got caught

up in the things of heaven!

He decided to return to the one who gave him his life back....and now he was ready to

dedicate this life to God....

He realized that Jesus had given him everything that he had, that Jesus was the one who

had healed him....and now he was ready to give Jesus everything back....because after-all it was

Christ’s in the first place.

It was through grace that Christ healed the leper..... he had been the most rejected, and

he was also the most thankful.

As the Bible says in Ephesians chapter 2, “remember that” “you were separated from

Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise

without hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who were far away have been brought near through the

blood of Christ.”

This Samaritan leper had been exluded from citizenship in Israel...he was a

foreigner....but through Christ...all this had changed!

Despite the fact that he had never known the real promises of God and that he had been

without God in this world, he now knew God, and his heart just broke forth to give glory to

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