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November 23, 2021 7:00 am
Your Bibles with you.
Do not turn with me if you would dilute chapter 17 and will be looking at verses 11 to 19 all the way to Jerusalem is passing along between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village he was met by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying Jesus master, have mercy on us when he saw them, he said to them, go and show yourself to the priest and as they went, they were cleansed.
Then one of them. When he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice, he fell on his face at Jesus feet given him. Thanks that he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered were not 10 cleansed where the nine was no one failed to return to give praise to God except this foreigner said him rise and go your way, your faith has made you will that with me as we got our Lord in prayer. Heavenly father we look at the story tonight that anchors us stories in gratitude and thankfulness.
Jesus blesses 10 lepers by healing them heals their bodies. He takes away their pain gives them hope gives them their lives back.
He restores them unbelievable joy. None of them walk away without offering a word of thanks Lord that takes us off. We hate that attitude. We think that we are like the one where the Samaritan is filled with appreciation and humility and ran back to Jesus to offer things.
Father, help us to not get real help us to see that we are way too often. Like the nine who enjoy your grace and your mercy and your blessings and your joy. Take it for granted that we probably deserve it. We don't deserve it.
We deserve disfavor we deserve your wrath. We deserve hail the Lord Jesus you gave us what we don't serve you gave us salvation you gave us grace you gave us Jesus you gave us your love Lord, open our eyes to our ingratitude, and may we leave the service tonight.
Loving Jesus more than when we came in here. This is the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen. You may be seated. The old Puritan William Law said the following. And as we go through this passage tonight. All I want you to keep these words in mind. He said if I could tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and all perfection, it would be to make a rule for yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you, for it is certain that whatever seeming calamity may happen to you if you thank and praise God for it. You turn it into a blessing if you could work miracles. You would not do more for yourself than to have this wonderful spirit for heals by just a word and turns all that it touches into happiness. Tonight we're looking at an event in Jesus life, it seems to have have caused him very deep hurt. Jesus heals 10 lepers and none of the lepers run off rejoicing with happiness over their healing and only one comes back and gives thanks to Jesus. Jesus responds in painful disappointment in excess of them were there not 10 that were cleansed, where of the other nine.
Does it matter to God. Whether were thankful or not. Does he really care. I think that it matters greatly and I think that this passage teaches us that it matters greatly. This event took place. According to most Bible scholars probably about exactly a week before Jesus went to the cross Jesus at this point in time has has just to raise Lazarus from the dead and after raising Lazarus from the dead he took a short trip back up to Galilee and I think probably he did that in order that he might spend a little bit of time with his mother who lives in Galilee and Nazareth.
He went there to spend time with her and I think knowing that he was gonna die very very soon. He was probably getting his house in order.
So now after that is done, he he's going to travel from Galilee back down to Jerusalem and as he does that he goes south to Samaria as he is going through Samaria goes by little village, and as he goes by this little village out by the side of the road. They are 10 lepers and it's like they're waiting for him to come by evidently.
I think they were. I believe that they were waiting for Jesus because maybe they had heard that he was coming this way. Had these guys met Jesus before we don't know but we do know this thing is he was Jesus name. It spread and gotten very well known by that point in time. Everybody was talking about him. They were saying.
Maybe this is the Messiah that this is the one is on unbelievable things, and most of all for them.
They knew that people were calling Jesus the healer.
Jesus had the power to give sight to the blind, to give hearing to the death to to give a speech to the meat to give the ability to walk to those who were lying and not only that, just a few days before the Jesus it even raise somebody from the dead Lazarus.
After being in the grave for four days.
Jesus had raised him from the dead and now he was out sharing his testimony at and given price the glory for what he had done so. These lepers knew exactly who Jesus was another story is only recorded for us in the gospel of Luke. Why is that think probably because Luke was a doctor he was a physician and we have more of the healing miracles that Jesus did in the gospel of Luke than in any of the other Gospels here was Luke, a physician himself, and he had spent his life trying to cure diseases, especially terrible, horrible diseases like leprosy and he probably not had much success at that at all. And now he sees Jesus. Jesus who can just say the word and somebody will be made well Jesus who can just touch somebody and somebody will be made well. I think Luke is very excited about this story, Jesus enters the village and these lepers see him coming look at what they they did versus 12 to 13 as he entered a village he was met by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying Jesus master, have mercy on us all of those to think for a minute about the their their approach to Jesus Scripture says they were standard off at a distance that was purposeful.
You see, they were lepers. They lived in a leper colony. They were there by the side of the road, but it was actually a place where they were relegated to go so they were there by the side of the road and and in his Jesus came like this, step back. You see, this is what they were told to do. They cannot touch any person that was left out on non-lepers like had to stay away from the effect when they went out on the street they had to carry little bail with them and they would bring that bail so that if anybody sold them, and they would hear the bailing know this is leper stay awake. He's contagious. Don't get around. So I think by the distance that they were showing they were showing respect for the Jewish law. They were also showing respect for Jesus Christ himself, but that didn't stop them from asking for help.
They cried out to Jesus from a distance and they said, Jesus master, have mercy on us. I think essentially what that is is a prayer starts off with praise the calling master. They could've been colony Lord Jesus Lord master, have mercy on us.
What is that this intercession and it is not selfish intercession like I didn't say Jesus have, have mercy on me. They said, Jesus, have mercy on us collective mercy.
They were asking for. Here's the thing I really want you to key in on it was a prayer of mercy and desperation.
Hebrews 416 says this. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. I know a lot of professing Christians he got all cranked up about that verse and iceman. We like this idea that we can come boldly to the throne of grace, and they give you the idea that by coming boldly to the throne of grace that that means to them that you can come arrogantly to the throne of grace and folks, that's not the truth that all why is it that we can come boldly to the throne of grace.
Is it because we are righteous and we are good or that our faith is so powerful that we can just come arrogantly to the throne of grace, absolutely not. The only reason that we can come boldly to the throne of grace is because with the blood of Jesus Christ has has bought for us and that is the privilege of being able to come before him.
It is simply mercy. I remember being in a community prayer meeting one time and and everybody was praying for different people that had had needs.
It was one guy there with it was enough.
The faith were church and he was praying for a lady that was sickened and he was getting very very loud, almost shouting, and he was demanding of God that God heal this lady. He was an Lord, I am holding you to your word. I'm standing in faith, you cannot deny me and Psalm 80 for the Scripture says that the Lord will not withhold any good thing to those who were walking uprightly. He said Lord I am walking uprightly. He said Lord I am living a strong Christian life I'm living by faith. So I'm demanding that you give me what I asked for here.
You cannot withhold this good thing from me because I am standing in faith.
I got up and started to walk out of the room.
He said were you going to sit on get away from you and he said why is it will. God is my heavenly father and I said my father Dutch Agnew my earthly father. And if I had talked to my earthly father like you've just been talking to my heavenly father.
My dad would not me across running. I said I feel much more comfortable asking for mercy rather than demanding that God give me what I want because I think that I'm righteous. RT Kendall's of the following mercy is that something that can be given or withheld injustice deal done. What makes mercy mercy is that the person whose priority is to give it can either bestow it or withhold it and be truly just whichever he chooses to do. Mercy is not receiving what we deserve. When's the last time you asked for mercy. When's the last time you pray for mercy.
Do we not realize the end that mercy is the first thing we would ask for when we come to the throne of grace. This is because the throne of God is to be protected from people who rush into God's presence and demand. As if with a snap of the finger.
God will not have this the throne of grace is a built-in protection shield that cannot rightly be penetrated unless the petitioner knows his or her place and chose the right attitude when approaching God. Maybe this is why you haven't been seeing your prayers answered. We are first of all to ask God for mercy. Only a sovereign has the right to determine who comes into their presence.
You don't walk up to the wrought iron gate at Buckingham palace and asked to see her Majesty the Queen only. If you were previously invited, would you be allowed in.
Fortunately, in the case of the throne of grace, which is seated his Majesty King Jesus, you and I are invited. Let us come simple ordinary people like you and me invitation has been given. Moreover, no qualifying is necessary, it does not matter what your political party or cultural background, the color of your skin, your education or your social status is. Let us come ordinary people like you and me but we must know our place when we come to the throne of grace, we asked for mercy and this keeps us from any trace of arrogance or presumption our gratitude to God will almost always be in proportion to our sense of feeling unworthily blessed because the God who could have passed us by. Didn't see the attitude of this understanding, mercy in John Newton's great hymn amazing Grace. When he said through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come to his gray suit brought me this far and gracefully me home. In the movie amazing Grace. I don't know if you had the opportunity to watch that are not about William Wilberforce is life in his his ministry and trying to remove slavery from England and they did a wonderful job in that movie of portraying the heart of John Newton who is one of William Wilberforce's best friends Newton when he was a young man had been a slave trader and he had terribly mistreated the slaves and and once he became a Christian.
It was just the thing that brought haunting memories into his mind until the day that he died about how he had treated the slaves and now at this point in time of John Newton's is an older man is almost blind. His mind is not where it once was anyone able to preach anymore.
He still wanted to serve in the church so this particular scene he is he is cleaning the floor in the church as his way of serving God, will William Wilberforce when he got in trouble or needed some counseling. Always go to John Newton shows up at church and and he's over there washing the floor and he starts talking to him and telling him how he's been working so hard to get to get these laws passed in England that would abolish slavery and John Newton walks over to him with tears streaming down his cheeks and a grandson by the arms and he shakes and and he says don't quit, don't quit, don't quit.
He said for the sake of all the damage that idea to the slaves don't quit.
He said if God could save me a wretched sinner like I am, then God can use you to break these wicked slavery laws and God did.
Newton wrote his own obituary read. It reads as follows John Newton clerk once an infidel and a libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa was by the rich mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, preserve, restored, pardoned and appointed to preach the faith. The long labor to destroy the said all that to say this, all 10 of these lepers solve their need for mercy. Jesus looked at these poor wretched man and his heart went out to the me so their condition skin was falling off their bodies that they had some of the flesh on their faces. That was have holes in their faces. The flesh eaten all the way to the bone. They were had families that work back home when they were alone and uncared for, because they could not be with them and Jesus looked and he saw the humiliation that that these lepers were going through his heart broke from for them and he stated he was still at a distance from them but he screamed out to them and he said go and show yourself to the priest and the Scripture tells us that they laughed and they went and they headed to the priest as they went, they were healed to try to picture that site. If you can. 10 million whose flesh is fallen off their bones who were sick who are are weak they can hardly move their muscles are just atrophied trying to get down the road they're trying to do what Jesus says and as they are trying to move down the road heading to the priest.
I am just like that.
They are made while I may just completely. Their skin is perfect. The flesh is back on their face that they're able to move there able to get around that they everything's right. And I can you imagine their excitement. I mean just filled with joy there praising God, jumping up and down that there there hugging each other and slapping each other on the back giving each other high fives. Finally one of them says hey this is what we need to do this because of the priest real quick.
Let's get him to okay and declare that we are playing and then will go to our families.
I got all excited about it and they took off nine of them. Do you headed to the priest as fast as I could run one of the guys stayed back Samaritan and he watched as they ran down the road till finally there outside he turned around and he goes to find Jesus, how long it took him all the while he finds Jesus and when he finds them. He runs to win and he falls on his face in the dirt's noses down in the dust. He throws his arms around Jesus feet base his feet with tears and he says thank you thank you thank you Jesus looks back up at Amon looks kind of out in the area and as if they're out of base more people. They are in any sales were there not 10 lepers that were plans where the nine where the nine several things I want point out to you in this passage. First of all is to look at the way that all the lepers are like number one, they are all lepers. They all have that same terrible deadly disease. They are sick. They're all sick.
They are weak. They're all facing certain death.
Their situation is absolutely hopeless. They are outcast.
When they come to a road that they know that they have to get their bails out and have to ring the bales to be sure that nobody comes because they are very contagious. They could give it to somebody else there in a horrible terrible situation and they can't do anything about it bones. They were the most pitiful people.
Humans on earth.
At that point in time opening hospitals visiting people who had diseases where the flesh was deteriorating and there's a stench that goes along with deteriorating flesh that will knowledge you and the people that are experiencing that themselves in a going thing that they get embarrassed over that is a horrible, terrible thing. This was going on with all these lepers. They are all in the same situation only ask you this. What is leprosy represent in the Scripture. It's a symbol it's a type it's a picture of what it's a picture of sin. So this is a picture of us because guess what we are all sinners and what that means is that without Jesus Christ we have no hope. There's no hope of being cured.
Only Jesus can do it in Romans chapter 3 verse 23. It was a possible policy and we have all seen and come short of the glory of God like number two they were alike in their desperate desperate determination to live as rascals refused to give up man. They were not going just take death lying down. That will a fight to live I will know about you but I like that I like people who don't want to give up. It bothers me when I see people that just want to quit because things get tough. They were like that. These guys were determined to live.
Thirdly, they all possessed of faith in Jesus, they may not have understood all the spiritual ramifications of who Jesus was. But what they had heard about him, and they were they were wanting to ask him for help. They wanted and were willing to believe they heard some great stories about Jesus. They heard Kelly Kelly healed blind eyes and and death ears and and how Howie loosened tongue of the of the mute they heard now that he's even been raising people from the dead, so they were excited and all 10 of them said by George was trying my out, let's try them out. I believe that he can help us all 10 of them were out there the road waiting for him to come by.
Having heard that this is the great physician and he is able to heal.
Finally, when they see Jesus we see more their faith, for they do they cry out to him for help. They say Lord Jesus master, have mercy on us, and they very easily could have said Lord week. This is not right that this is not good. We been dealt a bad hand here by God in a way I look at all these other people in here that don't have leprosy. Why is it that we got it and they did.
This is not fair.
Lord, I didn't say that they just ask for mercy.
Then they obey Jesus for Jesus ago and show yourself to the priest. Now, if a person had leprosy and he wanted to go to the priesthood to be okayed and declared not leprous that usually waited until the leprosy was gone. Jesus didn't tell them to do that, they still had leprosy disease was still there Jesus that you going to the priest that in questioning is what you meant Lotus that supposed to be done with watched the guys on TV. What we know how it's done he supposed to pop up on the head say he'll I that's not what they said I just obey Jesus and as they went, they were healed forcefully. They were alike in that they were all healed. The path of obedience is the path of healing and the Bible says as they went, they were healed. All of them, all 10 of them. What a beautiful picture to and me and who literally stuck with the cane flash running skin open sores, running plus their hair falling out their feet and muscles not able to function and move and all of a sudden they are clean. Their skin is clean is as a newborn baby and they got strength and energy like they hadn't heading, probably years. Can you imagine the joy and excitement you would feel if you experience something like that. I will never forget. I situation happen with one of my best friends since Tony Harper he is been a youth director at Calvary Baptist Church Rover 45 years and manner God knows and loves the Lord would play football together and baseball together in high school.
But when Tony was in his late 20s he started having bad headaches. He went to the doctor they did x-ray they found out they had a brain tumor that was about the size of a small orange's attorney would have to operate did x-ray could see where this tumor was so will have to do another x-ray right before the surgery. And so I started doing are we going to do that x-ray and Tony was laying in on a gurney waiting to do the x-ray and is he was lying. They said all of a sudden he felt something just on his head. He said it felt like a hand just, just, went through his hair and went over his head said he could feel it. There wasn't anything there and he said all of a sudden the pain was gone. He said that he'd been experiencing pain for months without let up just like that, it was gone and he said a peace came into his heart like it never experienced before and they took him into the x-ray.
They did they ask Ryan and took him back out and they came outside this program sorry but x-ray I brought them back in the did another x-ray and they they can check that out. They came back they got them again as Mr. forgot to do 1/3 x-ray. They did 1/3 and I came back.
The doctor sat down with them is a ton you not believe this, we don't even believe it. He said he said we took the three x-rays today and that tumors absolutely gone absolutely gone in East brought the x-rays out from the day before from several different angles. You could see it, about the size of a small orange broth asked the x-rays out for that day and it was absolutely gone. Tony call me a little bit later that day to tell me what it happened. I was in seminary at the time we were living in a in a duplexers ministerial student that was living in the duplex right beside me things. Gary and before this surgery. I don't ever it's a Gary month. Everyone my very best friends is having surgery on brain tumor today.
I want you to pray for them and he said Doug. I'll pray for them, but I don't think it'll do any good.
He says everybody I know that has had a brain tumors died as a pray for him anyway and he did well when when this happened and Tony call me. I went over to his apartment and hollering at MS told them what happened. He went crazy. I tell I don't think that his faith grew like that in any time in those three years that he was in seminary, but that did something to his heart when a time of rejoicing that was for Tony's family for Tony's friends and for for everybody that noon is the way it was for the least 10 lepers. It was a time of healing and what rejoicing. They must've done so in many ways those 10 lepers were very much alike, but in one way they were not like at all nine of those lepers said go home.
It's been a long time since we see our family.
It's been a long time since my wife hugged my neck. It's been a long time since I got home a little girl it's been a long time since I got to play ball with my with my boy, it's been a long time and they took off her home and didn't give a thought to going back and giving thanks to Jesus the nine lepers failed to be grateful. And I don't think that any of the excuses that they had were valid. You and I just got the feeling that if they could have been there and they could've watched the Samaritan that went back and fill it Jesus feet and wept at his feet and said Jesus, thank you thank you thank you I think it would've changed the direction that they were going. I think they were to stop.
I think they would've given great thanks to the Lord. I think if they had been able to look in the Jesus I see the tier in his and realize the hurt that causing because of their lack of thankfulness.
I think it would be different thanks living. Living your life with the ad achieve of gratitude. Maybe you're not a leper that's been healed but if you're Christian, you're Christian that a person that is has been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let me tell you this if Jesus never does anything else for you through all of eternity.
You will never be able to thank him enough for what he did for you on the cross. Years ago I heard Jack Hudson preach a sermon. Used the illustrations. It was on Thanksgiving and used illustration that I just never been able to forget but he said that there was a lady in the first church that he pastored that experienced the death of her husband and she had son that was a senior in high school. She had very little education herself. She knew almost nothing about the modern work world. She'd been a housekeeper all of her life in a housewife. Now, all of a sudden, everything's different.
After the funeral, her son senior in high school came up to her and said you know dad's died and he's left us no money. So I guess I can kiss college could buy and she said oh no she said I'm a put you through college you go to college, so she went out she got a job is very low pay and job she scrimped and she saved and she worked and worked she got enough to put into that first semester I got to school, and they started writing letters to her would write letters to about three times a week and after that first year.
The letter started coming about once every three weeks. He would go home and vacation time and spend time with her first two years and after that he started taking his vacation time and and going often and spend and with friends instead. All this time. As the years started going by Wally's in college she kept right on working she would take in washing and ironing and do all this extra work order to make enough money to to get him to school during all that time she never bought herself address.
She never got a car that she needed work for several miles and she walked to work each day and she she did that rain or shine and whether she was sick or whether she was healthy. Finally, it was his senior year he joined a fraternity and the fraternity was then decided that during the spring time. They were gonna take their spring break go to Daytona beach for a big party and so he wrote his mama a letter in and said we want to take this vacation to Daytona Beach. Would you provide the money and she took in some more washing and took care of that increased her her workload about three weeks before he graduated, she got a letter from school and though the letter stated that he was getting ready to graduate. She was invited she got so excited she was going to see her son graduate for all the work she done. After all the things that she had done and sacrificed. He was finally getting ready to graduate should have enough money to go so she went to her next-door neighbor and he let her borrow it to keep this more washing for me of the next few months. Let you borrow the money and she took it. She called up her son.
She said look, I'm to be able to go to your graduation soon as she said that he got panicky because he didn't want his his girlfriend was for frat brothers to see this is a mom of his who would wear dresses that were just totally out of style and who is just kind of gotten haggard look a haggard demeanor was pretty much embarrassed about the ace in mommy you don't need to do that to that's just a waste your money itself.
I show you my diploma when I get home. Don't worry about that if you just don't need to come don't you don't need to waste your money and so she said okay I will come. She got off the phone she started thinking that she said I want to go and I'm just it was surprising so so she did that wild horses couldn't keep her away on graduation day she arrived on the campus.
She didn't telling that she was there she went right to the auditorium.
She found a seat right there. Graduation started, her son walked up on the staged platform.
He walked across the called his name, he got his diploma came and sat down there with the students and then finally the graduation ended all the students stood up through their hats into the air, and they started marching down where she was that they marched right down the island when her son got the right where she was. She reached over and she grabbed his hand jerked around to see who in the world that was and what he saw was his mother jerked his head back and his frat brother was right beside him said who is that old lady. He said all her said she's just my wash one and his mama heard the comment that sounds like an gratitude that is an gratitude that I have a feeling that's nothing compared to the unthankful and appreciative attitude that we often have toward God the 20 Jesus done for us.
He created us, he saved us these in the process right now of sanctifying us in one day he will glorifies does Jesus deserve our thanks all man does he ever was probably heavenly father we now repair our sales to partake of your supper, you promise that in this service you would bless us with your presence. We don't believe that you show up physically but literally appearing to us in the bread and the wine we stand in faith that you will be with us spiritually as we partake. We also look forward to our Lord's supper times, but we always do. But Thanksgiving is is more more special than ever is the time to not only partake but the focus on how much we appreciate and love what you did for us on the cross, Lord. Let us experience your presence. Let us experience your glory this evening, for it is in the precious and holy name of Jesus that we pray. Amen