Summary: Thanksgiving message

Where Are the Other Nine?

Luke 17:11-19

November 23, 2003


I really struggled with this message. My plan was to start our look at the Gospel of Matthew, and not do much with Thanksgiving, but I got to re-thinking that, and so we will begin Matthew next week, and it will be a great lead-up to Christmas as we anticipate celebrating the birth of our Savior.

When trying to decide which passage to look at, I first thought about Psalm 100, where we get our song, “I Will Enter His Gates With Thanksgiving in My Heart.”

Or Ephesians 5:20, which tells to always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But then I came across this passage from Luke. It’s not your typical thanksgiving passage, but it’s extremely important.

In this episode of Jesus’ life we learn something not only about the love and compassion that Jesus showed for the downtrodden and outcast, but we can learn something about one of the other characters involved as well.

Please turn with me to Luke 17:11-19. If you’re using the Bibles under the seats, this is found on page 741. Please follow along as I read.

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. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

We’ve all heard of the Good Samaritan. Here we have the Thankful Samaritan. And this morning I want to use the example of the thankful Samaritan to help us in our observance of Thanksgiving, and my hope is that you will leave here determined to be thankful every day, not just this time of year.

So let me offer you three lessons about the man who returned to give thanks. And may they cling to our hearts as this man clung to Jesus.

The first lesson of the Thankful Samaritan is that…

1. He took notice of his blessing.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice.

Now leprosy was a little bit more than a zit on your nose, know what I mean?

It’s an infectious nerve and skin disease that still exists today, though it can be cured in many cases, if caught and treated early enough.

But in Bible times, leprosy was a death sentence. Not only was it fatal, it took forever for it to finally kill you.

And in the meantime, you were banished from society, forced to keep covered, and yell out, “Unclean! Unclean!” when out in public.

People with leprosy were feared and pitied, but never accepted.

Except by Jesus.

More than once He cleansed lepers, and in at least one instance, He actually touched one as He healed him.

Touching a leper was asking for the disease. If you and I were to touch a leper, we’d stand a good chance of contracting leprosy.

That didn’t stop Jesus. Instead of rejecting lepers, He healed them.

And this old boy, when he saw what had happened, didn’t just say, “Hey, that’s pretty cool. Guess I’ll go the temple and then go home.”

He saw and he understood the magnitude of what had taken place. He was made whole by the hand of God.

And that leads us to the second lesson we can learn from this Thankful Samaritan, and that is that…

2. He proclaimed His praise to God publicly.

16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him--and he was a Samaritan.

Verse 15 says he praised God in a loud voice. He was shouting it!

“Wooooohooooo! Look what Jesus did for me! I’m clean! I can go back to my family! I can ride the camel taxi to work. I can actually go back to work! I can use a public bathroom again!

Look! I’m no longer one of the dregs of society. I can go home and embrace my family for the first time since this curse came on me!”

I can almost imagine Jesus talking to the disciples, and this guy’s hanging on His leg like a little child who doesn’t want his dad to leave for work.

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