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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
The Grace Of Gratitude
This week we are going to look at the story of the ten lepers found over in Luke 17. We see them as Jesus came by and they cried out for mercy and when Jesus told them to go show themselves to the priests they were healed of their leprosy and only one turned back to thank Jesus for the healing. This shows us that gratitude is sometimes missing in our lives as it was missing here. Gratitude is an emotion of the heart which is driven or excited by favor or benefit received. It is a sentiment of kindness or goodwill toward a benefactor or one who gives to them. In short gratitude is simply being thankful. During Jesus’ ministry He healed many who had leprosy. He told the disciples of John to go and tell John the things they had seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and all the other things Jesus did. Only two of these particular miracles where recorded in detail however; here, and in Luke 5 where one other leper was healed. We are going to look at four basic things this week concerning this story and these lepers’ restoration.
The first thing we will see is the people of the restoration. The Bible says there were ten lepers. Leprosy was the most dreaded and feared of all the diseases of the Bible because there was no known cure. It disfigured and destroyed the body so no wonder this disease many times represented sin in man. Often times the hands and feet of the victim would be affected. Sometimes the nose or ears would be affected and in the latter stages even the lips would be deformed. It was mostly believed that only God could heal leprosy so when Jesus healed these men it gave evidence of His deity. These ten lepers consisted of nine Jews and one Samaritan. Normally these classes of people don’t associate with one another but their common disease probably drew them together. They may have been together but their association didn’t lessen the effects of the disease or make things any easier for them. Many times we see sinners crowding around each other trying to get support from one another but it doesn’t help them in the long run and it certainly doesn’t make them righteous. Proverbs 11:21 says “Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished”. Notice too, where these lepers stood; afar off. They were separated from everyone. This is one of the reasons this disease was dreaded so much. It separated families, friends as well as causing heartache to the land. Sin too separates families, friends and causes heartache.
Next we will see the plea in the restoring as we see they cried out by lifting up their voices. They were standing afar off because of their separation so they had to cry aloud to be heard. Leprosy sometimes affected their voices and ability to speak so it was a great effort to cry out but they did it because they wanted help in their trouble. When we get in trouble and are bothered by the things of the world we will cry out no matter who is around. These men could have sat and died but they wanted relief and cried aloud for help. They didn’t just cry out to any one on the street but they cried out to the One who could help them. They cried out to “Jesus, Master”. Some cry out to idols, others cry out to dead saints and still others light candles to try and relieve their burdens, but the real burden lifter is the Lord Jesus Christ. They said unto Him, have mercy on us. They pled for mercy not merit. They deserved nothing and could do nothing to help their cause but they asked for mercy from the God of mercies. As a sinner we deserved no mercy, no grace, no salvation or anything else but because of His great love toward us He showed us mercy in saving us.
Then there is the precept of this restoration as we see the healing came with a command from Jesus. If the precept, or command was obeyed it would bring healing to the lepers as well as honoring Jesus. There was compassion shown in the precept for Jesus saw them; He looked upon them. He didn’t have to look at them nor did He have to look at us in our sin condition but because of His compassion He did look and take notice. There are many other instances in the gospels we see where Jesus looked upon people and had compassion for them. Where is our compassion for people? Where is our compassion for the lost? The sick? The needy? The discouraged? Jude wrote in Jude 22 “And of some have compassion, making a difference”. When He looked on them He said unto them to go show yourselves to the priests. This would show their faith but also show to the priests Jesus’ great power. They would have to tell how they obtained this miraculous healing and that would glorify the Lord Jesus and the priests would have to admit, or at least acknowledge, that Jesus may have been sent from God. As they went to show themselves to the priests they were cleansed. Blessings come out of obedience. Lack of blessings sometimes reveals the lack of obedience as well. Had they just sat there they never would have received the blessing of healing. It is sad that we live in a world today that wants the blessings without the obedience. They want everything given to them without ever working or laboring to get it and our liberal government is accommodating them!
Lastly, I want to look at the praise in the restoration. Only one of these lepers turned back and with a loud voice glorified God and fell down at Jesus’ feet giving Him thanks. Many times we want the help and want it now but too many times we are also slow to give Him the thanks that He deserves. Notice the one who turned and gave Him thanks. It wasn’t any of the nine Jews who were there; it was the lone Samaritan who was with them. He was the only one of the ten who turned around and thanked Him and praised Him publicly. Even today there are some who are ashamed to praise Him publicly or say anything about Him publicly. He fell down at Jesus’ feet upon his face. This showed his humility. A proud person can’t praise the Lord in the way He deserves because they are too caught up in themselves to give Him the honor they heap upon their own selves. May God help us get us off the throne and put Him on the throne which He where He belongs. If we spent more time at His feet we would find ourselves more like Him and better to be used by Him.
When the Samaritan turned and worshipped and thanked Jesus for the healing Jesus told him to go thy way, thy faith hath made thee whole. This spoke of more than physical healing but it spoke also of Spiritual healing which is far more important. Are you as grateful today as you should be? It is because of Him that we live, breathe and are able to do anything but many times we take these things for granted. Thanksgiving is a condition of the heart not the mind or the mouth. Our true thanks comes from the heart.