Summary: In this text, Jesus reveals how prevelant ungratefulness is among religious people.
Today many people will be celebrating what is called; "Thanksgiving Day." Parade goers will fill the streets. People will fill their yards with lavish eating and drinking. The smell of barbecue sauce will permeates the air. It is a tragedy that this day like most others have become nothing but a mere festival. It has been reduced to football, family and feasting. Yet many believers find themselves caught in the middle, not knowing what to do. On "Thanksgiving Day" our churches are occupied with only a few who have the right perspective on gratitude. Many stay on home and prepare for the day with no sense of guilt. They seem to presume that God’s blessing are rightfully theirs by merit. Those who are truly blessed realize that God’s bountiful bestowals are a derivation of His mercy and sovereignty. The truly grateful are the truly saved. All blessings accepted should be expressed in gratitude returned. Anything less is illmannered. God is at the very heart of all thankfulness. Apart from God, gratitude is simply attitude. All wholesome gratitude must find its origin in creation. It must be kindled by an understanding of the incarnation of Christ who for our sins shed His blood at calvary. It is finally culminated in the joyful indwelling of God through the person of His Holy Spirit in us. Gratitude must began and end in God.
In the words of our text, Jesus Encounters Ten Lepers. Immediately we see several things:
A. REPREHENSIBLENESS (TEN men who were lepers)
1. Leprosy was a terrible disease.
2. The person was quarantine.
3. Every where he went he had to yell (unclean)
4. He wore his clothes in a torn fashion.
5. He covered his lips/mustache.
6. The only person he could go near was another leper.
7. If the leprosy went into remission, the priest was only one who could validate such an apparent remission.
B. REMOVAL (which stood afar off)
A. REQUEST (they lifted up their voices, seeking mercy)They knew their illness was incurable, so they sought only mercy. They had no idea that their request was directed to Dr. Cure-ALL.
B. RECOGNITION (saying Jesus, Master)
A. RESULTS (as they went, they were cleansed)
A. REASON (ONE of them,when he saw that he was healed)
B. RETURN (turned back)
A. RECEPTION (he fell at Jesus’s feet, thanking Him)
A. RECOLLECTION (TEN were cleansed, where are the NINE)
A. RELIGIOUS ungratefulness (NINE Religious Jews healed, ONE stranger returned)
A. REWARD (thy faith hath made thee WHOLE) (the others were only healed)
Secondly, What Causes The Spirit of Ingratitude?
A. People place more emphasis on the supply rather than the source.
B. Too many so called good people in the church. Imagine the church filled with real converted sinners. Those who know the difference between darkness and the marvelous light. Those who knew that they were en route to hell but for Divine interruption.....
C. Too many habitual complainers.
D. People who do not see God’s blessings.
E. Those who think they have a right to God’s goodness.
G. Those who take God for granted.
H. Recipients of God’s public blessings, who praise him in the corner at the house.
I. Those who forget answered prayer until next time.
J. Those who don’t want to act up in front of their friends.
K. Difficulties of life.
L. Those who are relying on a false sense of security.
M. The spirit of unthankfulness would be prevelant in the last days according to the Apostle Paul.
Thirdly, How Can We Develope A Grateful Attitude?
A. We must make salvation the basis for all gratitude.
B. Make a personal choice to be grateful at all cost.
C. Recount the blessings of God.
D. Rehearse your undeservingness of God’s blessings.
E. Remember that gratitude pleases God.
F. Heaven is a place for the grateful heart.
G. In all things, give God thanks. He is working in all things for our good.
Fourthly, Ten Reasons to Give God Thanks
1. His word
5. Holy Spirit
6. Saints of God
7. His Being Who He is
8. Repentant souls
9. Anticipation of heaven
10.Privilege to thank Him
The leprosy that once bind them together was now replaced by the cleansing that severed their tie. It’s amazing what change will do to people. They cried together. They wore torn clothes together. They yelled (uncleaned) together. They prayed for mercy together. Now that Jesus has healed them. NINE went one way and ONE went another way. The NINE Jews that were healed went to the priest without Jesus. The ONE that was left went to Jesus without the priest. The NINE went to the priest because they were more concern about the ceremony than the source of their healing. The Samaritan knew that the ceremony was not for Him, so he instead turned back to the high priest. The NINE went to the Jewish priest who could pronounce a healing. The ONE came back to the High priest who had cause a healing. The Jewish priest could pronounce a cure after it had occurred. But Jesus, the High priest could pronounce a cure before it happened. To the blind man, He said;"Go wash." To Abraham, He said;"Go to a place that I will show you." Finally, Let us observe Jesus’s reponse to the TEN lepers. The NINE who receive God’s blessing ungratefully displeased Him. But the ONE who received His blessing gratefully was made whole. All of us were lepers at one time. Sin had left us afar off from God. Jesus delivered us also. What happened? Did we do like the the NINE? Did we go straight for the ceremony? Did we stop and immediately returned to praise the source of our blessings? We should not wait for Thanksgiving Day. We should be giving thanks everyday. The question remains the same, Did not God bless an abundance of people? Where are they this morning?
May God Bless Every grateful heart.
Pastor Rodney L. Johnson Sr.,