Summary: Miracle of Faith, Pt. 8
THE FOUNT OF EVERY BLESSING (LUKE 17:11-19)
An English proverb says, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” It’s a sad fact of life and sad commentary on life that people are likely to take advantage of those they work with, associate with, and live with.
The following are nine suggested reasons why the nine lepers Jesus healed in Luke 17 did not return to thank Him:
One waited to see if the cure was real.
One waited to see if it would last.
One said he would see Jesus later.
One decided that he had never had leprosy.
One said he would have gotten well anyway.
One gave the glory to the priests.
One said, “O, well, Jesus didn’t really do anything.”
One said, “Any rabbi could have done it.”
One said, “I was already much improved.”
(Charles L. Brown, The Newsletter, June, 1990, p. 3.)
When Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, nine Jewish lepers and a lone Samaritan leper stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Lepers were society’s hidden outcasts. They were dreaded, avoided, and rejected by healthy people. The Samaritans were descendants of transplanted foreigners who married the local Israelites that remained in Samaria after the city fell to the Assyrians in 722-721 B.C. (2 Kings 17:23-24). Jesus healed all ten of them physically, but only one – a foreigner, a Samaritan, and a Jewish outcast - was visibly, emotionally, and instantaneously touched by what Jesus had done for Him and returned to thank Him.
What does God expect from those who have requested and received help from Him? How does a person show appreciation to God for what He has done? What are the three indispensable actions that characterized, communicated, and confirmed a changed life?
Praise God Powerfully
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. (Lk 17:11-15)
When Warren Wiersbe first toured England with his wife, they visited St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, one of the great Cathedrals in the world, also known as the site of the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. They were struck with the exquisite, rich, and meticulous design of the church. His wife asked the guide, “Why was this building built?” Without hesitation, the guide answered, “To the glory of God, of course.” (Real Worship 132, Warren Wiersbe)
The famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach often put three letters S D G to his music composition, meaning Soli (alone) Deo (God) Gloria (glory) or “God’s glory alone”
The word glory in Greek doxa is the first syllable for the word doxology. We praise God because from Him all blessings flow. He is the Source, the Fount, the Giver of life, blessings, and prosperity (Ps 133:3, 128:2). God has set His glory above the heavens (Ps 8:1, 113;4), over all the earth (Ps 57:5, 72;19 108:5), and among the nations (Ezek 39:21).
God’s glory cannot be shared, obscured, or denied. That’s why we sing, “All Glory to You,” or “You alone are worthy...” Rom 11:36 says it even more eloquently: “For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever!” As John Charles Ryle said, “All that we have is a loan from God.”
To glorify God is to give, bring or return honor and praise to Him and His name. Consequently, the NIV substituted the paraphrase “praising”“ for the word “glorifying.” Glorifying God is an immediate, a proper, and a mandatory act.
The Samaritan did not wait, hesitate or fail to glorify God the moment he noticed he was healed. No normal individual in the Bible verbalized, shouted, or brought praise to God in a louder voice than the Samaritan. The adjective “loud” in verse 15 is “mega” in Greek. Other than the Samaritan, Jesus had encountered only four other similar instances of loud voices raised in His presence. The other loud outbursts were always from a group effort, and never a solo and sane effort. Two featured abnormal demon-possessed men (Mark 5:7-9, Luke 8:28) and the other two were group efforts featuring the disciples’ loud hosannas in the streets (Luke 19:37) and the crowd’s cries for Jesus’ head (Luke 23:23).
This Samaritan did what no recorded sane individual or mere mortal had done with his voice before Jesus; he heaped praise to God liberally, continuously, and noisily. He was literally a one-man band, a solo artist doing his one-foot kick show. With lungs rivaling a chorus and with inspiration from extraordinary means, he raised the roof and pumped up the noise to draw attention to Jesus and thrust the spotlight on Him.