Summary: We all come to the Lord unclean and in need of His cleasing.
Thankful People Express their Gratitude to God
Text: Luke 17:11-19 Date: November 20, 2011
Pastor Ron Baker, West Union Christian Church of Christ
“Leading People to Life’s True Purpose and Joy in Christ”
”It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” First President of the U.S. George Washington
The story of the ten lepers helps us to understand that everyone is loved by God and everyone needs God’s salvation. We also see in the story how receiving God’s healing should always result in thanksgiving. In fact, following Christ is a thankful response for God’s good gifts.
1. God shows His mercy to many people
In the story we read that there were ten lepers who cried out for the mercy of the Lord. It says that “as they went they were cleansed”. All ten men suffering with leprosy that day were cleansed and healed.
What led to their needs being met by the Lord? There was first of all desperation on their part. Leprosy was the most feared disease of that day. And regardless of the interruption that they may have caused Jesus, they cried out for mercy from the Lord.
One thing that is basic with a need being met is a sense of desperation. When we are desperate for a touch from the Lord, he will faithfully provide and meet our need.
Something else that we see in this story is the humility expressed by the lepers. The law required that they stand at least six feet away from a person, and they were obedient to the law and “stood at a distance” on the outskirts of the crowd following Jesus.
Every person must recognize their uncleanness when they approach the Lord. It is only in humility that we approach the holy throne of grace.
The lepers cried out for mercy, acknowledging Jesus as Master. They believed he was capable of meeting their need.
We also see the perseverance of these lepers. They were determined to get the Lord’s attention which proved their sincerity. We know that God does not answer our prayers immediately which cause us to trust him more. Prayer and sweet communion is what the Lord desires from us.
We also see that the lepers believed and were obedient to the instruction given to them by the Lord. They were not immediately healed but they believed they would be and exercised their faith by going to the priest obeying the Jewish law of cleansing.
Just think of the mercy of the Lord upon this country. God has been really good to us all. We are blessed with the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and we have a democracy.
We have the majority of the world’s wealth in this country. Go to the supermarket and you will find fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats from around the world. Go to the mall and you will find everything imaginable to buy. Go to the doctor or the hospital and you will receive the best health care in the world.
We are all given the opportunity to prosper, but how many take advantage of the incredible opportunity that is given to them? The United States is the envy of the world, yet far too many people waste the opportunity that is afforded them.
2. Few people express their gratitude to God
The story says that only one of the ten men who had been healed of his leprosy came back to express his gratitude to the Lord. All ten were blessed and should have been thankful. Their need had been met; they had all been healed.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”
The one most despised and rejected was the most thankful.
This story reminds me of another encounter that Jesus had with one most rejected. In Luke 7:44 we read: 44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” 48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”