Summary: A great need exists for the people of God to thank God.
Today we are going to examine some verses in the scripture that contain a very important message. I want to warn you now that not only is the message a very important one, but it is also very strong. It's a message that will make us analyze ourselves and it may very well be that when we are done we may not like what we have found. It may very well be that what we find is not what we were looking for. Sounds a bit confusing doesn't it? Today we are going to examine a lesson that all Christians must learn. Today we are going to learn about the need to be thankful. Let's now turn to the word of God.
Luke 17:11-19 - And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
The first thing we see here is that Jesus met these ten men that suffered from leprosy. This is not a common illness now a days, but it was very common in that era. To have a better understanding of what is happening here it is necessary to comprehend the magnitude of this illness, and to know a little about history.
I am sure that many of us here have heard about leprosy, that we have read numerous bible verses about this devastating affliction, but actually we do not really know what this illness really is. When we talk about leprosy we are talking about an illness that was the most feared of illnesses in that era. As we can all very well imagine, this was a terrible illness. This illness begins with small growths in the eye lids and the palms of the hand. Then it starts to spread gradually through out the entire body, causing discoloration of the hair, the growth of scales in the parts of the body that have become affected which cause very painful open sores and inflamation. Look at how terrible this illness is, it starts with the skin, causing open sores and swelling, but it does not stop there. It then begins eating away the skin, the flesh and the bone; in other words, it rots away the body part by part. During the last stages to this disease body parts just simply and literally fall off.
The Jews saw this decease as a curse from God, therefore, only God could heal people suffering from this affliction. Isn't this a horrible disease? It’s no wonder that the Jewish people had such strict laws when it came to the people that were suffering from this suffering. The leper was considered as an unclean person both spiritually and physically. They were not allowed to come near any persons, they had to keep a distance of a minimum of six feet from other people including their family members.
Lepers were not allowed to live within the walls of any city. They were cast out and completely rebuked and reputed by everyone. Let’s imagine this for a second or two. Imagine how these people must have felt like. I am sure that their hearts were completely full of sorrow having been banished from society and particularly from their families. With this in mind let’s continue to examine the scriptures.
Then, here we have Jesus on His way to Jerusalem and He meets these people suffering from this terrible affliction. We are talking about people that were completely desperate with a great suffering. But we see that they lifted up their voices to Him. One thing that is very important to know here is that they great humility, the Word tells us: "which stood afar off." They respected the law which demanded that they stay away from everyone at least six feet. And here is where we see the humility reflected, I say this because on numerous occasions people that were afflicted with different types of illnesses would not respect the law, they would simply just rush on up to Him. Therefore, when they did this Jesus saw their humbleness. Brethren, does this sound familiar? I ask this because in all reality these men are not too different from us. When we came to Jesus, we were suffering from an affliction as great if not worse than the one thy suffered. We were completely covered in open sores that impaired us completely. I am not talking about physical wounds, but rather of spiritual ones. Then, we humbled ourselves before God, and just like they did, we recognize that we are undeserving and that we are in a condition that only He can resolve and we call out His name. We come to our Lord asking for mercy, we ask Him to heal our sores, to restore our spirit. And just like He did here with these men, He shows us His infinite mercy and we are healed. He pours out of his Holy Spirit over us, our homes, and all that surrounds us. We just simply begin to receive the blessings and that healing that we longed for. But, here is where the problem begins for a great majority of the people.