4 30                 Turning Back              Luke 17:11-19

God doing what God does

  • Traveling about (while in human form anyway)
  • Making and building relationships with people
  • Healing the hurting

The lepers doing what lepers do

  • Pushed out to the margins
  • Separated from the decent, healthy folks
    • They were seeking help
    • They were crying out for mercy
    • They needed healing
    • They needed to know someone cared
    • They craved human contact
  • Many, MANY others have ignored their cries, made standard responses (bless your hearts, praying for you, will give to the telethon,…etc)

Jesus did what Jesus usually does

  • Something very different from what us self-absorbed and weak faithed people do
  • He healed them
    • Not with a flourish
    • Not with many words
    • Not with mud and spit
      • Jesus sent them to the priests and healed them
        • “AS THEY WENT”
        • We should NOT overlook this phrase!

The lepers showed an extraordinary faith that most do not possess

  • They were still sick and afflicted
  • Nothing had changed
    • They Started towards the temple
    • They believed
    • They were healed AFTER they started their journey

9 lepers, well FORMER lepers, did EXACTLY what most people would do:

  • Took the GRACE God had given them and went on their way
    • No looking back
    • No thanks
    • No sustaining relationship developed
    • Just “I got mine…for now”
    • What makes the Dead Sea dead?
      • Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything.
      • The Dead Sea is 1,412 FEET BELOW sea level.
      • Mineral laden water flows into it, but evaporates or is absorbed leaving behind a liquid nothing can live in for long.
      • The Dead Sea is dying, shrinking at what is termed an “alarming rate”
    • Why is it that many Christians are cold?
    • Why is it that many Christians do not serve the Lord?
    • Why is it that many Christians do not GIVE to God through His church?
    • Because they are all the time receiving
      • Never thankFULL as the one leper
      • Grace flows in and either evaporates (goes unnoticed) or is absorbed
      • never giving out anything
        • only wanting to receive
      • Leaving life evaporating at an alarming rate

1 leper, well FORMER leper, did something different

  • He TURNED BACK
  • He changed his path
  • He went to Jesus and GAVE HIM THANKS
  • He was THANKFULL for the GRACE he had been given and desired to praise Jesus
    • Praising God with a LOUD voice
    • FELL at JESUS’ FEET

One fact makes this SUBMISSION, HUMILITY and GRATITUDE even more amazing:

  • He was a SAMARITAN
    • They were haters of the Jews
    • They didn’t get along
    • By the Old Testament the Samaritans were contaminated by bad blood and false worship.
    • We all remember the story of the Good Samaritan in the New Testament.
    • Based on their Samarian homeland today we might call them Muslims or Palestinians….(south of the Sea of Galilee and North of the Dead Sea…between Jerusalem and Nazareth
      • Still enemies of the Jewish Nation today
    • But here, healed by Jesus Christ, THANKFULL
    • Never give up on a person or a people!
      • God can do greater things than you

Jesus healed and encouraged this Samaritan and sent him along his path full of praise, worship and FAITH in Jesus Christ.

  • Today maybe Jesus is asking “Were not more cleansed? Where are the rest?  I gave my life for all but how many return thanks?”
    • Have you been cleansed?
    • Have you lived thankFULL lives?
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