Summary: Jesus healed ten lepers and only one came back to thank him, how thankful are you?
Only One Came Back
Today we are going to take a look at a section of scripture in Luke 17:11-19. Please open your bible to those pages.(Luke 17:11-19). 11Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy£ met him. They stood at a distance 13and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Today we are going to take a look at being thankful people.
Let me read a part of the list that several housewives compiled. They wrote that they were especially thankful: "For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
"For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals. "For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents. "For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language. "For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s done.
APPL. Now our list might not be the same as theirs, but I’m convinced that if we began to make a list, we would find that we have much more for which to be thankful than just our material possessions.
Let’s get into God’s word here and see how we can benefit from what is said in this passage in the gospel of Luke.
In verse 11, it gives us the impression that Jesus is continuing on a journey and his final destination is Jerusalem. He’s traveling along the border between Samaria and Galilee. There are two main routes going from Galilee to Jerusalem. One route went through Samaria and the other route went on the other side of the Jordan River through Perea. Jesus wasn’t on either road, but kind of in between them both.
As he enters into a certain village there were ten lepers yelling together and asking for help from Jesus. Which happens to Jesus all the time. People were constantly coming up to Jesus and asking for his help and for his touch. They had to yell together to be heard by Jesus, one commentary tells me that “the leper’s bronchial tubes are dry, and their voice is harsh and squeaky. So if they didn’t yell in unison they had the chance of not being heard by the one who could ultimately help them. Let me describe what leprosy was like back in those times. If you had leprosy you were considered a social outcast, you would often have to stay away from the main population, even your own family, so you don’t infect them with this incurable disease. You were required to stay away from other people and make sure you were off the side of the road at least 16.5 feet. If someone came close to you, you were required to yell out the best that you could, unclean, unclean, so the other people around you knew that you were a health hazard. Leprosy was a feared disease because there was no known cure for it, its kind of like cancer or Aids today. Some forms of leprosy were highly contagious. Leprosy has some emotional impact and terror attached to it, as Aids does today for us. Just picture, in your mind the impact the Aids virus has on our minds and our culture and how it was deeply feared when it first broke out and that’s how others back then thought about Leprosy. There was a custom that goes all the ways back to Leviticus 13:1-3 and it says. 1The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 2“When anyone has a swelling or a rash or a bright spot on his skin that may become an infectious skin disease, he must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons who is a priest. 3The priest is to examine the sore on his skin, and if the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be more than skin deep, it is an infectious skin disease. When the priest examines him, he shall pronounce him ceremonially unclean. If he’s pronounced uncleanthan he is banned and has to live in isolation along with the other unclean people. The priest banned lepers who were in the contagious stage to help keep the disease from spreading to others. This is a way of protecting the general population, not out of rudeness like we may tend to believe. In verse thirteen, we notice that the lepers are calling out to Jesus and they are calling him Jesus, Master. This gives me the impression that they are quite familiar with Jesus or at the very least have heard about his reputation as someone who can heal them of the disease they have. Maybe they heard about the other healings he’s done and they desired a healing like their friends had. A good example of Jesus healing lepers is found in Luke 5:12-15. Maybe they even have known some of the other lepers that were completely healed in the past by Jesus, because lepers had to stay together and they probably knew each other very well.