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Summary: Using the circumstances surrounding Christ’s encounter with 10 lepers, this message draws comparisons between the conditions of the lepers and those of the lost sinner.

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The Lord And The Lepers

Text: Luke 17: 17-19

Intro: Luke 17: 11-19 is a brief, but beautiful account of the compassion, concern, and power of Christ, demonstrated on behalf of the helpless and hurting of this world. In the account under consideration today, Jesus is approached by 10 lepers, who make an earnest plea for healing. The ultimate point of this narrative, which is the importance of praise and thanksgiving toward God, is found in verses 16-18. In those verses, Jesus laments the fact that though He had healed 10 lepers, only one, a Samaritan, returned to praise and thank Him for the wonderful gift of healing he had received. It is inferred by this account that the other nine lepers, who were also healed, were Jews. These demonstrated no gratitude to Christ, even though they had received the same wonderful gift as that bestowed on the Samaritan leper.

I believe these nine ungrateful Jews are illustrative of the basic lack of gratitude on the part of the nation of Israel, and that nation’s overall rejection of Christ as Messiah. John A. Martin explains with this thought:

The nation accepted the things that Jesus could do (such as heal them and feed them), but it did not want to accept Him as Messiah. However, those outside the nation (such as this Samaritan leper—a person doubly repulsive to the Jews) were responding.

Though the basic thrust of this portion of scripture is that of gratitude and praise toward God, it also provides the reader with a snapshot of the desperate condition of the lost sinner. It reveals the sinner’s inability to prevent the ultimate outcome of their spiritual disease, which is death, apart from Christ’s intervention.

For those of us who have given our hearts to Christ, the truths found here should fill us with a renewed appreciation and gratitude for what Christ has done for us in salvation. For those who have not yet trusted Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives, it’s my prayer that the Holy Spirit will point the way to forgiveness and eternal life in Christ, which can be yours by faith.

Theme: This narrative reveals to us:

I. THE CALAMITY OF TEN MEN

A. They Were Diseased.

Luke 17: 11 “And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

12a And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers…”

NOTE: [1] In Scripture, leprosy is a type of the consuming and destructive nature of sin. One who suffered from the malady of leprosy was declared to be unclean (Lev.13: 3c & 45), and was forced to live apart from the rest of the population (Lev.13: 46—“…he shall dwell alone…”); or in other words, leprosy (sin) brought separation.

[2] Every human being has been affected by the spiritual leprosy of sin. Sin levels the playing field, so to speak. There are no big I’s and little U’s when it comes to sin, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3: 23). This is illustrated by the fact that nine Jewish lepers displayed no particular problem in keeping company with a Samaritan leper, who, under normal circumstances, they would have openly reviled and distanced themselves. It is said that “misery loves company,” and in their misery, their differences in heritage didn’t seem to matter so much. They were all dying of the same disease. This is still a practice today, as one commentator notes:


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