Summary: Miracle of Faith, Pt. 8 (Final)


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 actions naturally accompany, authenticate and even advances a changed person’s life?

Praise God Powerfully

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. 15 One 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 German composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who set before himself and accomplished the seemingly impossible task of preparing a different cantata for every Sunday for a three-year period, often put letters to his music composition. Many of his compositions were lost - no one knows how many. But on those that do survive there is the interesting insertion in Bach’s own hand of the letters J.J. at the beginning of each and S.D.G. at the end. They are abbreviations for the Latin, Jesu Juva (Jesus Help Me!) and Soli Deo Gloria (To the Glory of God 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, however, 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 simply to render, redirect or return honor and praise due to Him and His name. Consequently, the NIV substituted the paraphrase term “praising” (v 15) for the proper word “glorifying.” Glorifying God is an immediate, a proper and a mandatory act. Delay, dispute and denial are undesirable and unacceptable.

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 or sane effort, for the record. 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 of Jesus’ triumph (Luke 19:37) and the crowd’s deafening cries for Jesus’ head (Luke 23:23).

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