Summary: When Christ acts graciously on your behalf, He expects you to express a proper attitude of thanksgiving.
Turn Your Bibles to Luke 17:11-19
Title: When Christ Moves Graciously
Theme: Expressing Proper Thanksgiving to the Lord Jesus
Introduction: Jesus Christ never sinned and His life was not characterized by an ill temper. The passages of Scripture I am about to read hold the account of Jesus healing the ten lepers. Leprosy was a disease which the Jews believed to be afflicted upon people for punishment of some particular sin and as far as they were concerned marked the displeasure of God. The Lord knowing the thoughts of those who would hear of His gracious act took this time to cleanse the lepers who cried out to Him from a distance asking for His mercy.
To have leprosy in the time of Christ had a double whammy because those with this disease were disfigured physically and ostracized socially. Regardless of his previous status in life a leper became known as the cursed and marked with the label “outcast.”
Frank Slaughter wrote in his book The Cross and the Crown, “Wherever the leper went he was required to announce his presence with a cry of ‘Unclean! Unclean! This was a signal for all to draw away lest they be contaminated by the dreaded disease. Lepers could not enter the Temple of Jerusalem nor any walled. Since all religious authorities admitted to being utterly without power in themselves to heal the leper, those having this disease could only find help from God.”
Those being destroyed by leprosy lived a life of hopelessness, crying out to Lord, the only one who could intercede for them.
Listen as I read Luke 17:11-19, “Now on His way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As He was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met Him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, ‘Jesus, Master, have pity on us!’ When He saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him--and he was a Samaritan. 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?’ Then He said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:11-19) Pray!
Propositions: I would like to propose to you that when Christ acts graciously on your behalf, He expects you to express a proper attitude of thanksgiving.
Symbolically, leprosy represents the sinful nature that is in all of mankind. Spiritually, non-Christians are easily afflicted with the results of the sins of the flesh, the lures of the world and the lies of the devil. Unrepentant sin keeps them from having fellowship with God and causes sinners to miss the abundant life that is promised to those who will surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives. Jesus Christ graciously gave up His life on the Cross so repentant sinners could have fellowship with the Lord.
Just as the lepers had no hope of being healed apart from God’s intervention, mankind, who inherited sin from Adam has no hope of defeating sin without having a healthy relationship with Jesus Christ.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what truths does the Holy Spirit of Christ want you to grasp this Thanksgiving season in regard to the gracious working of Christ in your life?
Transitional Sentence: There are many truths found in God’s Word that you must grasp and cling to this Thanksgiving season. The first is that the Lord is always steadfast in His Father’s business. In Luke 2:49 we read of Jesus proclaiming a powerful truth that needs to be illuminated on the hearts of the children of God by the Holy Spirit. He spoke this truth when Joseph and Mary found Jesus in the temple after looking for Him three days. Jesus said, “Why were you looking for Me?... Didn’t you know I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49 NIV) The King James Bible has a wonderful translation with “…I must be about My Father’s business.” (Luke 2:49 KJ)
While affirming His Sonship Jesus was saying that He must be about His Father’s affairs or in the things of My Father. He must devote Himself to the work of God. In Luke 4:43 Jesus said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God… because this is why I was sent.” He also said, “My food… is to do the will of Him [His Father] who sent Him. (John 4:34)
Remarkably we read in Scripture at the age of twelve Jesus knew of His unique relationship with God and that His chief purpose was to complete the work that God His Father had sent Him to do. Jesus also knew that while doing His Father’s will He was completely under the watchful eye and care of God. Even though the Lord’s work would often be misunderstood He walked in obedience to His purpose for being sent to earth. (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory; Matthew Henry Commentary; The Bible Exposition Commentary; The Pulpit Commentary; The New American Commentary; Barnes Notes; The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible)