Archive for August 4th, 2010

Luke 17:11-37

Luke 17:11-37 reveals a key habit we all need to build – the habit of thanksgiving.  Luke records the story of the ten lepers who stood at a distance and called to Jesus to have mercy on them.  They were outcasts and not welcome to come into the presence of the people.  Jesus heard their cry and told them to “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”   The command required action on their part.  But the result was related to the action – sort of like the parting of the Red Sea or Peter walking on the water.  Something happened when faith was acted on.   “And as they went they were cleansed”.  It doesn’t say that when Jesus spoke they were healed, or that a light from heaven shone on them and set them free from this disease.  Healing happened as they went and obeyed His command.  That is often how we receive God’s power – we take a step – we follow His direction and take action – and He releases His power.  This in itself is quite a story, but the teaching lesson here regards what happens after the healing occurs.  What was the response of the 10?  “Then one of them” did something.  In fact, Luke records in detail the actions this one healed man took:

–       “when he saw that he was healed – he didn’t even know it had happened until he turned and went

–       turned back – he stopped and turned around to come back to Jesus

–       praising God with a loud voice – he knew that God had worked in his life in a miraculous way

–       fell on his face at Jesus’ feet – he is overwhelmed by the presence of the Savior and Jesus touch on his life

–       giving him thanks”  – he thanks Jesus for what He has done

Jesus asks where the other nine are.  Great question isn’t it?  But the real question is – would you have stopped to turn around and go back to worship and thank Jesus?  Do you?  He is doing things like this in your life every day.  They may not be as big as being healed from leprosy, but He is at work in and through you every day.  We just need to slow down and pat attention to what He is doing.  And then we need to make sure we stop, turn and give thanks.  That is a habit we really need to focus on and build.

Jesus tells us why this leper was healed.  “Your faith has made you well”.  The power of faith is shown to us over and over in scripture.  With faith we can move mountains, be healed, walk on water, and a whole lot of other things.  Faith is putting our trust in the power of God.  The disciples were trying to understand what would happen during the last days.  Jesus is clear that there will be plenty of settling up – as there was during the times of Noah and Lot.  “So it will be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed”.  God is going to settle the score.  Those who know Him through Jesus will be saved, like Noah and Lot were.  Those who don’t will be destroyed just like the people in Noah’s day, and the people in Sodom and Gomorrah when fire rained from heaven.  The truth of it is this: “whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it”.  Does that make sense?  It does in Kingdom terms.  God wants us all in for Jesus.  When we give our life to walk with Christ, we will find eternal life that never ends.  When we live life focused on self and our own interests we will find that we come up short when standing at the gates of Heaven.  God requires us to get things right with Jesus.  We have to deal with our sin problem.  We have to put evil away.  We have to walk with the Savior.  Many will cry foul and say it isn’t fair.  They weren’t all that bad – at least not as bad as some.  But God isn’t interested in our feeble attempts to be good.  He is interested in our hearts being given to the One who has the power to save us – His Son Jesus Christ.  Are you ready for that day?  Remember to tell Him thanks if you are.  And if not, today is the day to seek and find the Savior!

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