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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He Touched Me

LEPER     A person who suffers from a slowly progressing and incurable skin disease. In the Bible the word leprosy refers to a variety of symptoms. Biblical leprosy was most likely a severe type of psoriasis.

Leprosy is a chronic, infectious disease characterized by sores, scabs, and white shining spots beneath the skin. Modern medicine has all but eliminated the disease after learning proper methods of treatment.

In Biblical times they recognized that Leprosy can only be cured by a Miracle.  There was no medical/human cure

Luke 5:12-16  “While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”  And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”  But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities.  But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”  ESV

  • A INFECTED MAN had no hope for healing
    1. He was FULL of leprosy
      1. Not just infected by it – FULL
        1. He had been stricken with this disease for a long time
  • An INFECTED MAN saw one glimmer of HOPE
    1. Jesus Christ
    2. He went to Jesus and collapsed before Him
      1. LORD
        1. Recognized that He was God
      2. If You Will
        1. NOT – if you can
        2. He knew and believed He could
  • You can make me clean
    1. HEAL ME
    2. Remove the pain
    3. Remove the disease
    4. Remove it INSIDE and OUT
  • Jesus saw the INFECTED MANs pain and his faith
    1. Jesus HEALED the INFECTED MAN
    2. He was not the same anymore
    3. The sores, the scabs, the spots, the pain were GONE
  • All at the TOUCH of the Creator’s Hand
    1. His heavy burden was removed
      1. The shackles GONE
    2. And OH THE JOY THAT FILLED HIS SOUL
  • Science and Medicine have figured out leprosy in our day and it is very rare now – and usually curable.
  • BUT; EACH OF US IS STILL INFECTED WITH A DISEASE
    • A disease that only a MIRACLE CAN CURE
    • The disease is called SIN
      • AND IT HURTS
      • There is no human cure
      • No doctor can cure sin
      • No preacher or priest can cure sin
        • IT takes a SUPERNATURAL MIRACLE
      • Only JESUS CHRIST can cure sin
        • RUN TO HIM
        • PRESS IN ON HIM
        • BELIEVE IN HIM
        • Ask Him to HEAL YOU
      • Romans 3:22-25a “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood.”
      • I can bet this HEALED man was NEVER THE SAME AGAIN

2 Kings 5:1 – 14                     Trust God’s Ways

We all have problems. Health/Financial/Family/Relational/ and more.

    1. Having trouble does not make you unique
      1. It makes you NORMAL
    2. There are approximately 7.25 BILLION people alive right now with trouble of one thing or another
      1. We live in a world INFESTED with problems
      2. This world is far from perfect
    3. Where is God?
      1. Right here amongst all 7 billion PLUS of us
      2. I believe God listens and has answers for us about our problems. He is speaking through His Word, His Church, Prayer and in those issues.
        1. God is doing more than we give Him credit for!
        2. God is working
  • Miracles happen every day
    1. Do we see them?
    2. Do we accept them?
    3. DO WE REJECT THEM?
  1. I do not think the problem is that God is away on vacation and we are left all alone.
    1. I think the problem is that WE ACT LIKE GOD IS NOT HERE AND WE ARE ALL ALONE
  2. We read the Bible, we listen to God’s spokesmen
    1. We refuse to follow what God tells us we should do
    2. We reject the good
    3. We embrace our problems and shrug
  3. The question is are we listening and looking for His Word?
    1. If we find His answer are we following Him with Faith?
    2. If not we are rejecting Him, His Word and His Promises
  4. We are just like Naaman
    1. He was told there was a Prophet of God who could help
    2. He obtained permission to go seek the Prophet
    3. He made the Journey
    4. He sought permission to see the Prophet
    5. He saw and heard the Prophet speak God’s Word
    6. Got angry and rejected the Prophet and Word of God
      1. He said he could have done that at home
      2. He said it was foolish – “Why should I have to do that?”
  • He wanted the MAGIC SHOW
  1. He wanted the EASY WAY
  2. He wanted the BLESSING without the FAITH
  1. Left with more problems that when he arrived
    1. Arrived a Leper with some glimmer of hope
    2. Left an angry leper who had rejected that hope
  2. This is a good word for all of us to know, accept and follow the Word of God
  3. There is also a good word for us believers to be encouragers for hurting people.
    1. Too often we turn away from those who are hurting
    2. They are Lepers, we do not want see them OR touch them
    3. In Naaman’s case it was his servants who were the voice of faith and encouragement
      1. God has said this! Why will you not follow?
    4. Naaman followed the Word of God as given by the Prophet of God as he was encouraged to by the people of God and he was healed by the power and love of God.
    5. Many of us have been challenged by the Word of God to be obedient and faithful
      1. Maybe by our scripture reading
      2. Maybe by our prayers
      3. Maybe in Sunday School by our teachers or church family
      4. Maybe by our Worship service
      5. Maybe by the message of a pastor/Preacher/Evangelist Maybe in the circumstances we find ourselves in and know what we should do
    6. What is keeping us from faithful obedience?
      1. What are we doing to reject God’s best for our lives?
        1. Baptism? Prayer? Sharing? Love?
        2. What act of love and obedience are we angry about?
          1. WHY?
        3. God has given us so very, very much
          1. He has loves us too much to now reject and walk away
          2. EMBRACE GOD and HIS WORD and find HEALING