Summary: There is a difference between being "glad" and being "grateful". There is a difference between being "cleansed" and being "whole". Jesus illustrates this in this miracle.
“Jesus Teaches About Thanksgiving”
INTRODUCTION: We CONTINUE in our series about “What Jesus Taught”. We have already seen what Jesus taught about: The Holy Spirit, the Tongue, Prayer …
Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year (weather, meaning).
The true meaning of CHRISTMAS is often obscured by Santa Claus, gifts, shopping, etc. The world doesn’t even call it CHRISTmas any more. “Xmas” … “HOLIDAY Parades” … “Happy Holidays” … The birth of Jesus is often overlooked.
The true meaning of EASTER is often obscured by the Easter Bunny, Easter Egg hunts, candy eggs & jellybeans. It’s RESURRECTION DAY! The resurrection of Jesus is often overlooked.
BUT … THANKSGIVING has remained relatively PURE. ALTHOUGH, “Thanksgiving” is slowly being replaced by “Turkey Day”! THANKSGIVING is a day set aside, by an act of Congress (the 4th Thursday in November) for the specific purpose of giving THANKS to God. NOT JUST for what He has done … BUT … for who He is … our Savior and Lord.
In our Scripture today, we see a THANKFUL man … 1 of 10. We see a man who stopped to give THANKS to Jesus for what Jesus had done … for who He is. He’s a model for US this Thanksgiving.
WHAT SHOULD WE THANK JESUS FOR?
1.- That Jesus Recognizes Everyone – 17:11-13 (read)
17:11 – Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem … for the LAST TIME before His crucifixion. We don’t know the exact village – 17:12a. Jesus knew there was a need there … SO … He went to meet it. Jesus knows YOUR need here today. YOU are here … you brought your NEED … AND … JESUS is here to MEET your need.
17:12 – “afar off” – They couldn’t approach Jesus. Lepers had to stay 300’ from people … no direct contact. THUS: “lifted up their voices” – 17:13a. (the length of a football field).
17:13 – They knew who Jesus was. MAYBE they had heard of Jesus healing other lepers (Luke Ch. 5). Luke 5:15 – “But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities.”
NOTICE: All 10 lepers were in the same boat. They were from different backgrounds … 9 Jewish/1 Samaritan – 17:16b. BEFORE they got leprosy, some may have been rich/poor … educated/ignorant … friends/enemies … Democrats/Republicans … Hatfields/McCoys … Baptist/Catholics/Mormons. It didn’t matter NOW. They were all in the same boat … LEPERS.
People in the world today can be classified into many groups … by race … religion … culture … languages, etc. BUT … God has 2 CLASSIFICATIONS … lost & saved.
When Jesus looks at the LOST, He only sees 1 thing they all have in common … they’re LOST. Without hope, without peace, without Heaven, without Christ … bound for an eternity in the Lake of Fire. He doesn’t take notice if they are good/bad … rich/poor … pro-life/pro-choice … moral/immoral. He takes notice that they are LOST. You have either received God’s forgiveness through Jesus … OR … you haven’t.
The LOST may see THEMSELVES as good … moral … not bad enough to go to Hell … good works, etc. BUT … Jesus sees their sins as being unforgiven … all in the same boat. In need of His “mercy” – 17:13b.
Jesus also sees the SAVED the same way. He sees us as ONE BODY … His family. We all have our differences. BUT … we shouldn’t dwell on our differences. Jesus recognizes us as being ONE … “in Christ”.
WHAT SHOULD WE BE THANKFUL FOR?
1.- That Jesus Recognizes Everybody For What They Really Are.
2.- That Jesus Rewards Obedience – 17:14
“Go show” … “as they went, they were cleansed.”
According to the Law of Moses, they had to receive a blessing from the Priest & declared clean … BEFORE they could mingle with people again. The Priests were the Public Health Officials (Emily Mathis!).
Jesus told them to go and show the Priests that they were clean … BUT THEY WEREN’T … YET!
That would be like Jesus telling you to:
o Withdraw $100 from ATM … and you had no money in the bank.
o Start your car … and you knew your battery was dead.
o Feed 5000 people with 2 biscuits & 2 sardines.
You would have a choice:
o Put your ATM card back in your wallet/purse … and walk away broke …
o Put your keys in your pocket & walk home …
o Eat the 5 biscuits/2 sardines, with 5000 hungry people watching you.
OR … do what Jesus told you to do (even though it seems foolish) … AND … withdraw $100 … start your car … see a miracle before your very eyes.