Summary: This text is usually taught with a focus on thanksgiving. We will certainly do that. But there are also some incredible principles that we can learn concerning Jesus Christ – His compassion and His sufficiency to save those who feel helpless and hopeless.
Jesus Christ: Mighty To Save
1. What would you do if you left church today and ten people with the same contagious, infectious disease cried out to you wanting you to help them?
2. This is exactly what happened to Jesus Christ as He was passing through Samaria and Galilee. Ten men with the same disease cried out to Jesus for healing. Luke 17:11-19
3. These men where sick with the disease of leprosy. We don’t see or hear much about leprosy today, but in Jesus’ day it was a dreaded disease that called for people to be isolated from others.
• The leper was removed from society, and he lost everything (his family, his job, his material possessions, his dignity). This is why they had to yell from a distance to get Jesus’ attention.
4. There was no medicinal cure for this. They were helpless and hopeless, but when they saw Jesus, they knew they had hope at last.
5. This text is usually taught with a focus on thanksgiving. We will certainly do that. But there are also some incredible principles that we can learn concerning Jesus Christ – His compassion and His sufficiency to save those who feel helpless and hopeless. Jesus is mighty to save!
6. From our text, I want you to see that Jesus saves those who are:
1. These men were sick with a physical disease (“ten men that were lepers”), but leprosy paints a vivid picture of sin and how it ravages its victims.
• Leprosy begins with little white spots appearing on the skin, and they become very scaly and spread all over the body. Often, it will afflict the face first, and soon thereafter, the appearance of the face will change. The spots will begin to fill with puss and run all over the body, causing a foul odor.
• After some time, it totally consumes one’s body. Eyebrows will fall out, and one’s hair will turn white. The person literally rots away – fingers and toes fall off. It will usually last an average of nine years until the victim collapses and wastes away.
2. What a picture of sin. It starts out small, but eventually, it consumes us. Sin ultimately destroys a person outside and inside. It brings destruction and damnation. James 1:15
1. Concerning the leper, the law stated that they had to be put outside the camp or town. They couldn’t be around other people. Numbers 5:2-3
2. Notice in our text it says they stood “afar off.” vs. 12
• Tradition says that the leper had to stay 100 paces away from everybody else. All they could do was cry out from a distance.
3. In the same way, our sin separates us from a holy God. Isaiah 59:2
5. Only Jesus can bridge this breach between sinful man and a holy God. His death on the cross was for sinners who deserve death.
Romans 5:6, 8
1. These ten men were searching. They couldn’t help themselves. This is why they were searching and seeking. vs. 13
2. Likewise, we are dead in trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). We can’t save ourselves (Ephesians 2:9-10). We are not going to find healing within ourselves because of our sinful condition. Self-help won’t work. We need divine help outside of ourselves!
3. All these men could do was cry out. No doctor could heal them. A doctor could give them a diagnosis and a prognosis (and maybe some hypnosis), but he couldn’t give them an antidote – a cure or a remedy.
• No medicine could help them; no surgery could make them whole. They were completely helpless.
4. We too are helpless to stop the destructive consequences of sin. Romans 5:6
• We like to think that we are self-sufficient. “I’m okay. I’ll be alright.” Titus 3:5 cf. vs. 13
5. Their only hope was in a man – Jesus. Praise God, He was enough! Likewise, if we cry out to Jesus, He will save! Romans 10:13
In Conclusion: What do we learn about Jesus and His salvation?
1. Jesus saves those who ask in faith.
• “They lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus…” vs. 13
• The Old Testament law couldn’t help these men. “If we keep the law, we will be healed.” No, all it could do was condemn and separate these men. The law shows us our sin, our guilt, and our need to be restored. It is our schoolmaster to bring us to the end of ourselves, causing us to look to Christ.