Summary: Five things we can thank Jesus for, from the story of the ten lepers who were cleansed.
Part One: Thank you, Jesus
Good morning! Please turn in your copy of God’s Word to Luke 17.
There are two types of people in the world, and in a minute I’m going to ask you to choose a side. First, there are those who fill up their gas tank any time the gauge gets below half a tank. If it gets below a quarter of a tank, they break out in hives, and if that yellow warning light ever comes on, they just go to pieces. On the other side, there are people who believe that the E on the gas gauge stands for “Enough”. Who, if they have one of those cars that tell them exactly how many miles until empty, look at it and say, “challenge accepted.”
So, show of hands: how many of you are in group A?
How many of you are in group B?
How many of you are in one group, but married to someone in he other group? That’s just God’s sense of humor right there.
The thing is, it doesn’t cost any more to keep your tank full. And even those of us who like to push the limits of our gas gauge have to admit that it makes sense to never let the gas get so low that you’re gonna run out if there is an emergency.
Well, gratitude is like that. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Give thanks in all circumstances.” And if you are someone who regularly tops off your gratitude tank during the good times, then you are less likely to run out of thankfulness during the hard times. So during these two weeks leading up to thanksgiving, I want us to talk about how to keep our “thankful tank full.” This week we are going to look at five things we can thank Jesus for, from Luke 17. And next week, we are going to turn it around and look at five things Jesus gave thanks for. So if you are physically able, please stand to honor the reading of God’s Word.
“On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."”
??Luke? ?17:11-19? ?ESV??????????
Five things to thank Jesus for…
1. Thank you, Jesus, that you are never too busy (v. 11).
11 On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.
What jumps out to me right away is that Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem. Luke makes a big deal of Jesus’ ultimate destination. Beginning all the way back in chapter 9, Luke tells his audience that “when the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set His face to go to Jerusalem” (v. 51). From that point on, pretty much everything Jesus does is put in the context of Jesus being “on the way to Jerusalem.” And we all know what happens in Jerusalem, right? This is where Jesus will be crucified for the sins of the world. We don’t know exactly how much time elapsed between this story and Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem, but since that happens just two chapters later, its possible that Jesus is less than a month away from his death,
So we would understand if Jesus was a little preoccupied. We certainly wouldn’t fault Him for just pressing on, and pretending he didn’t even hear these lepers yelling at him from across the street. Think about the last time you were getting ready for a big trip. Maybe it was the cruise you’d been planning for months. Or the big family vacation. Maybe it was your honeymoon. Think about the last big project you had. Or the crucial job interview that you absolutely could not be late for. Think about your state of mind. Who would you allow to interrupt you?
Jesus, on the way to Jerusalem to fulfill the mission for which he came to earth in the first place, allowed himself to be interrupted by ten unclean, impure, lepers. At least one of whom wasn’t even Jewish!