Summary: I’ll Thank GOD All By Myself!
I’ll Thank GOD All By Myself!
When we deal with Luke, we deal with a book authored by one who didn’t experience a walking - talking relationship with Jesus Christ. Luke never saw Jesus open a blinded eye or case a deaf ear to hear. But he believed in Jesus anyway. Even though he was educated, Luke learned and shared his faith in Jesus Christ with everybody that would let him.
Even in this time of terrorism and demolition toward the body of Christ, Luke still choose to share the love of Christ to with hurting people. But I wonder how many of you do the same. How often do you share your testimony with your struggling neighbor? How often do you reach out to the drug pusher? How often do you reach out to the drug dealer? How often do you reach out to the drunkard? How often do you reach out to those that ain’t in your clique? How often do you try to bring in the harvest. Notice what the real issue is here “Harvest is truly plentiful… But the laborers are few” In other words, there is much work to be done… But there aren’t enough workers to do it…! “What kind of work?” ( “The harvest….”
The word, harvest, comes from a word which means (in verb form) ‘to reap…’ To gather… Collect… Bring in…! (In the noun form) it refers to ‘the crop…’ the produce… The product… The yield…The people… The sheep… The lost, hurting, unloved… I don’t claim to be an agricultural major, but the last time I looked, harvesting was done OUTSIDE…! Harvesting is done in the fields…!
So that suggests to me that we’ve got to go outside of these four walls in order to get into the fields… So that we can reach others…! Let me put it like this, we’ve got to get off our ‘blessed assurance’ and go into the highways and hedges and compel men, women, boys, and girls to come to Christ…! The problem is we’re more concerned with ‘church work’ than with ‘Kingdom work…!’ We’re more concerned with filling the choir stand with singers than filling the pews with new disciples… We’re more concerned with church work instead of Kingdom work…!
We’d rather have raffles and sell cakes and pies instead of participate in street ministry and bring others to church with us… Church work… Instead of Kingdom work…! Some of us have the “Martha Mentality” (Luke 10:38-42)… Martha was so worried about her housework that she didn’t recognize that Jesus was there in the house… She was more concerned about the rack of lamb in the oven, than the fact the fact that The Lamb of God was in her living room…! (Rather sacrifice chicken [dinners] than give of our time, talent and ability)
Jesus was reaching out to bring in the here some lepers.
In this time lepers could not step within six feet of a person because society called them dirty.
In this time lepers could only wear black funeral attire because society called them dead.
In this time lepers could only outside the city limits because society called them outcast.
But, ten lepers stop Jesus on his way to Jerusalem. But there were 5 things that these lepers did that really caught Jesus’ attention and caused their miracle. All ten had:
recognized their need
cried for mercy
believed and obeyed.
This caused their need to be met. They needed, now that they are healed, to turn back and go to Jesus with the sacrifice of thanks.
But we as Christians need to follow the example of this one leper that decided that he was going to thank God all by himself. He said that I am going thank him. I’m going to witness for God. He shouted at the top of his lungs with the loudest voice possible. He had experienced the cleansing power of God and he wanted Uncle Ben Aunt Sarah Lee, and Cousin Skeeter to know that the Lord had done marvelous things in his life. He worshipped God. He fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet. This was both showing his humility and his recognition of this power of God that worked through Jesus Christ. In order for the church to be cleansed we are going to have to humble our selves and recognize the power of God through Jesus Christ.
But notice that the other 9 did not give thanks. They kept going on their merry way. They didn’t stop what they were doing to tell God thank you. But they went right back to the lives they used to live.
But the rejected was the thankful. The text calls him a stranger. This means that he was outside of the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world. He had felt his need more keenly and deeply. He knew he needed to be saved. Despite the fact that he had never known the real promise of God and that he had been without God in this world, he now knew God. His heart just broke forth to give glory to God. Jesus had saved him from so much. So he said He was going to thank God even if he had to thank him all by himself.