Luke 17:11-17 Deliberate Thanks Giving

by | Apr 10, 2024 | Luke, New Testament

I. The Need Of The Lepers

A. Their Physical Condition

1. Their bodies

a. The Jews considered several forms of skin diseases “leprosy”
b. Hansen’s disease attacks the nervous system, & the victim loses sensation
c. They can cut/burn themselves and never know it. Extremities fall off.
d. Slowly but surely, body parts fall off, and the body is consumed.

2. Societal implications

a. They stood apart afar off because of the leprosy.

i. V. 12- “as He entered the village”. They lived outside/away

b. There were spiritual and societal prohibitions that made them segregate
c. Leviticus 13:45, 46 45“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’
46He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

d. Jew believed that leprosy was the judgment of God.
e. “Have mercy on us”– The only sense of companionship that these men enjoyed was the club of the “walking dead”. Dead men walking.
f. Jews & Samaritans normally didn’t dwell together.

3. Spiritual implications

a. 9 of the 10 were Jews, but b/c of their leprosy they could not worship God at the Temple in Jerusalem.
b. They were outcasts from the spiritual community of faith

B. A Spiritual Parallel

1. Leprosy- a type of symbol of sin. Isaiah 1:4-6
2. Sin & its effect on human body– worry, stress, addictions, std’s, psychological, hepatitis, HIV virus, cirrhosis of the liver, bulimia, anorexia, accidents
3. Sin & its effects on us in society– isolation from loved ones, together w/others & bound together b/c of sin.
4. Sin and its spiritual implications

a. Leviticus 13 tells us that physical leprosy was more than “skin deep”
b. Sin is not an outward problem, tho0ugh it can be outwardly seen
c. It is an inward/heart problem that manifests outwardly.
d. How often we try to treat the symptom, and not the cause.

5. Original sin brought death to humanity. Individual sin brings damage & sometimes early death.

II. The Cleansing From Jesus

A. The Physical Cleansing

1. Came as a result of them asking Jesus to be cleansed
2. He did for them what they or no one else could do for them.

a. They had called Jesus, “Master”. – Chief Commander
b. Jesus had proven himself to be the master & Lord over their leprosy

3. They were to show themselves to the priests (Leviticus 14)

a. When Jesus told them to do this, they understood the implication: healing
b. The priests were to be the examiners of someone who had leprosy

i. O.T. passages told the priests what to look for on the leprous man

c. If they were pronounced clean, they could re-enter social & spiritual life

4. They were to make a sacrifice to God, and then re-renter life as a cleansed man

B. A Spiritual Parallel

1. Man cannot cleanse himself from sin
2. Titus 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration & renewing of the Holy Spirit…

III. The Thankful & The Unthankful

A. The Thankful One

1. It is interesting that Jesus’ first words to them was to go to the priests
2. Once announced cleansed, they could re-enter society and Temple worship
3. Jesus never even mentioned or asked to be thanked.
4. His concern was for their complete restoration, not them thanking Him.

a. Restoration of their bodies
b. Restoration of them socially, with family friends, their town.
c. Restoration of them spiritually

5. V. 16, 18– He was a Samaritan, a foreigner

a. Samaritans were half breed Jews: practiced mixture of paganism/Judaism
b. Of the ten lepers, he was the one with the least correct understanding of God, yet he was the one with the thankful heart.

6. This healed foreigner humbled himself, glorified God, and took the time to actually give thanks.

a. He returned to Jesus to give thanks. A deliberate action.
b. He delayed his own gratification to thank Jesus
c. Psalm 107:8 8 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!

7. V. 19- You faith has made you well

a. Only pronounced to the thankful man
b. Was Jesus giving a summary of what had happened, or something that was additionally happening?
c. All 10 were healed, but only 1 was told he was “well”.
d. Well- sozo. Usually speaks of salvation, can include wholeness, completeness. The others were healed, but incomplete/unsaved.

8. Matthew Henry– Temporal mercies are then doubled and sweetened to us when they are fetched in by the prayers of faith, and returned by the praises of faith.

B. The Unthankful Nine

1. These men should have had a more correct understanding of God.
2. They were more concerned with their gratification and moving forward with life.
3. If you would have tried to stop them and ask them if they were grateful, they would have replied, “Of course”, but they would not have gone back.
4. Many are intellectually grateful to God, but never actually grateful to God.
5. They have a philosophy of thankfulness, but not a practice of thankfulness.
6. They are glad for God’s work in their lives, because it enables them to do what they want to do. But they are more concerned with their agenda, than with giving thanks.