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Jesus’ Encounter with the 10 Lepers

Benjamin Ng
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  • April 23, 2021
    8:25 PM
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Father in heaven, thank you so much for this time. Thank you lord, that you have blessed us in this past week. Thank you that we are in your holy i was even now. And lord, we just ask for your holy spirit to sanctify our hearts and minds, help us to understand your word. Oh lord, help us to see how these words will be a political will to us this day and help us. Oh lord, that we might grow in grace and in the knowledge of our savior this evening. We pray in jesus' name. Amen. We are continuing our encounters, series and this evening we are studying jesus encounter with the 10 lepers. And we're going to start Here in our 1st text found in luke 17 and verse 11. The bible says and it came to pass as he went to jerusalem. That he passed through the midst of samaria and galilee. Jesus was going through the midst of some merry, he didn't pass through some area and then through galilee, it was the border between these 2 countries: samaria and galilee, and you bill to see on the map here that galilee and samaria. This is the ancient map of galilee, but you see there in the South of it that some merrier is borders with galilee. So jesus, he was just walking between the borders of these 2 countries. And this is what we find in luke 17 verse 12 and 13. And as he entered into a certain village there met him 10 men that will lepers, which stood afar off and they lifted up their voices and said, jesus, master, have mercy on us. Now friends, remember that this village is right between the borders of samaria and galilee, and there was this group of 10 lepers that cried out to jesus from afar off. Now it can't be, it can have been in the Village because lucky they weren't allowed in. It was a contagious disease. People were deadly afraid of leprosy. There was no cure for it. So that's the reason why they stood afar off. Jesus must have been in the Village or near to being in the Village. And so they did not come too close. But they cried out, they cried out to jesus as he was just about to go in there and they're asking for help. And look, what does it mean to day that these people were standing afar off? We know that leprosy in a sense represents sin. It makes us outcasts of the children of israel. We can't be part of god's people. It represents people who have leprosy the represent sinners, but then they are standing afar off. Look at what it says in ephesians chapter 2 and verses 12 and 13. That at that time, you will without christ being aliens from the commonwealth of israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without god in the world. But now in christ jesus ye who was sometimes far off are made nigh by the blood of christ. You see that those are, are far off, are made nigh or made close by the blood of christ. What does those people that a standing afar off? Who do they represent? It is those that are sinners, those that are living in sin, those at last they've not been cleansed by the blood of jesus christ. They don't dare to come close to jesus or in a sense, the church to day. And so they are wanting to be healed though, even though they're standing afar off, they realize that this is not the life that they should be living. And they want healing. They want to be full and hole in christ, but they're probably scared to come to church. But these people, they're asking for mercy. They're asking for healing. They already recognize jesus as their master, as their teacher, as their healer. And so they probably heard of his great works of miracles and healing other people, the lame, the blind, even other lepers. We find in mark chapter one verse 40 that jesus had already healed a leper. And so they had hope in their hearts. They realized that jesus could heal them, and so the lifting up their voices to day. And what does that represent? It represents people that are praying. They're asking god for help and they might not know the exact form of how to pray. But I'm telling you they're crying out to God. And when that cry of suffering comes up to god's ears, friends, he cannot. But just simply help and with a crowd to him, he always hears it's a cry, it's a prayer for healing. A prayer for forgiveness, a prayer of repentance. And so let's come back to the story. Luke chapter 17 and verse 14. And when he saw them, he said unto them, go show yourselves unto the priests and it came to pass that as they whence they were cleansed. It's so interesting. Why would jesus ask them to go and show themselves to the priests? You see, it was actually required by law in the old testament, the priests. They were the ones who would examine those who had leprosy. All those who had any soul of sickness in general. And they were the ones that would determine whether they were clean or not, whether they would be allowed to go back to their homes, whether they would be allowed to be integrated back into society. So this was not just in regard to leprosy, but pretty every much every disease. And they were the ones that would give the final vote it as whether they could come back into the camp. And look in leviticus chapter 14, actually you take time to read the whole chapter. You will find that is really talking about leprosy and, and whether the person is pronounced clean or unclean. But we're just going to read to verses from there. Leviticus chapter 14 verses 2 and 3. This is what the bible says. This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought unto the priest, and the priest shall go forth out of the camp, and the priest shall look and behold if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper. So the priest was very much involved in whether this person would be allowed to come back into society with the rest of the nation or not. He would give the vinyl verdict, he would judge the person and declared his person either clean or unclean. He had the final say and so this is the reason why jesus is asking them, show yourself to the priest, go and let him have a look at you. And you know, in the new testament, this was still the practice. This is what we read and Mark chapter one, and this is after, after how jesus healed that leper inverse 40 and 43. Jesus says this and Mark 144 and say unto him, see thou say nothing to any man but go thy way. Show thy self to the priest and offer for thy cleansing those things which moses commanded for a testimony and to them. So jesus, he even asked this leper also to go and show himself to the priest jesus, even whilst he was alive on earth. Still yet to follow the laws of moses as he wrote it out in regards to how involved the priests would be to be clean or unclean. And look, he was not opposed to the laws of moses when he was alive on this earth. He still upheld it, he still followed the sanctuary laws and it was only at the cross that the law of moses would be done away with. And that's the reason why today we don't need to go to the sanctuary to kill a lamb every time we sin and want to ask for forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the land that taketh away the sin of the wolf. He is the one that has replaced all those sanctuary services. And so we don't need to do any of that today. But jesus, while he was alive on earth. Yes, he said go show yourself to the priest. He is the one that will give the final verdict as to say whether you are allowed back into society to day or not. But what does the priest represent to day? You're probably thinking jesus, right? But no, it's jesus connecting the sinner with the church. Not that the church has any power to cleanse. A person, the priest would not be the one that would say, I'm going to make you clean. And it's not to say that the church has any healing, virtue, all that healing virtue is found in christ and not even to say that the church has power to determine whether a person is clean or unclean today or not. But this just shows the high regard that jesus has for his church to day. We cannot underestimate the importance of church and fellowship and being present at church and not just for coming together and worshiping on a particular day or having that worship with others of the same belief. But also the need for reclaiming the sinner to integrate the sin of back into into a good environment, so to speak, the support that is also needed to help them to remain faithful to God, friends. We cannot underestimate the importance of having fellowship and support from the church. I know sometimes we find that we get discouraged when we come to church as well. But friends, you've got to remember the church is not perfect. It's full of people that are struggling. It's full of people that are one thing, something better and one thing a life of christ or living a life in christ jesus. But we need that support. We need that fellowship. We need that coming together to feed and help the sin a grow and overcome the world and all that they're that they're struggling with, but also to teach them about the love of christ. And so jesus says, go show yourself to the priest, get integrated back into society. And so the lepers, they take off and they start running towards the temple and what happens as they start running in that direction, what actually happens runs. The bible says that they are healed and the word of god was that which healed them. Not because they went that they were healed. Now there was no virtue, ceiling, virtue in their action. But friends, there is a really, really important message in this as well. Look, it shows also the part that we are to play in our own healing. There must be an element of faith and belief in the words of jesus. If we want to be made whole, we are saved by grace. Through faith, we have to believe the word of god, but just believing is not enough. Look, the men, when they started to turn around and go towards the temple, it showed that they had belief in the words of jesus that the actually believed what he was saying. Go show yourself to the priests of the temple there and look when when they heard the word of christ, they could have stood there and gone. They could have looked down at their hands and their arms and their body. I'm still a leper. They knew that the purpose of going to the priest was to declare them clean or unclean. And it's like, I still have leprosy. What's the point of me going to the priest when I still have leprosy? What's the point of me going? I'm still sick. They could have just stood there and stood there and friends, this is the point. Had they just stood there and never moved. They would have never been healed. Do you see that? In the process of growing they were healed? Had they doubted the word of christ and stood there and waited for something to happen to their flesh? Nothing ever would have happened. So even though they might have said they believed the word of christ. But if they never went, they would have never been healed. Friends, there needs to be evidence of our faith as well. Just putting up your hand and saying, Yes, yes, yes, I believe every word that you say is not enough. Ah, yes, yes. Yes. I believe every word of god that you've taught me is not enough. Where is the evidence of your faith? True faith will always give true works. The belief that jesus asks for is not just a confession or, or an acknowledgment of what we hear. She expects action. Let me give you some examples. Name and in the old testament, when he heard the word from the eliza and his servant really it wasn't even a life. It was through his 7 to go wash in the river jordan. She could not believe it and he wasn't going to do it. But the fact that he actually went into the water and he was finally healed. There was no healing, virtue in the water in and of itself. Anyone else that did themselves 7 times would not have been healed as well. But as he believed the word that was given to aliesha from god that as he follow those instructions, he was sealed the blind man that was commanded to go and wash in the pool after jesus put clear in his eyes, he went and in the process of washing he was healed, there was no healing virtue in the clay, in jesus spit to make the clay wet and put in his eyes. There was no healing, virtue in the water. It was all found in the word of god, the instruction that jesus gave. And so that instruction of you vote, you've heard me say this many times, friends, the instruction the command then became a promise. The woman that believe that the had the issue of blood for 12 years as she believed that if she would touch jesus. And she would be healed, then she was healed. There, there was no healing virtue in the robe of christ. As we saw, peter said so many people are touching you, jesus, what do you mean? You see that? But she had faith that combined with her action, she was healed. Peter, when he heard the words of jesus in the middle of the storm on the boat and jesus austin, to step out of the boat, had he stood there, he would have never watson water. Only as he stepped out of the boat, was he able to walk on water, friends, our belief, our faith, it requires action. It requires us to prove the evidence that we have faith in the words that we are reading, saying, okay, okay, I believe it is not enough friends. What does your belief leads you to do? Because you can say, I believe and you don't do anything about it. It means you really don't believe. Do you see that it means you really don't have faith? It really means you don't have that evidence of love for christ. It's so easy to say, yes, I love jesus, but do you really remember though we're not healed and made hole in any action that we must, that we do? But there must be application that comes from our belief. Look at this in philippians, chapter 2, verse 12 and 13. Wherefore, my beloved as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. Do you see that there is a work for us to do, but then was 13 for it is god which walketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure, friends as we begin to apply the words that we hear and we read. God begins to work in US. The fact that were able to be more than overcome through jesus christ is not because of any strength that I have of my own self. But that jesus said, go and sin no more. And so when I try god, he tops up the 90 percent that were really far short of in our own strength will be utter failures. We would not be able to have any victory in and of ourselves would not be able to change our lives whatsoever. The power only comes from jesus christ and as he gives us the victory we are pop putting into practice. Those words is what we call salvation by co operation. A man or woman will never be saved or experienced victory by just sitting there and crossing their arms, waiting for for some show to happen before they will move forward and believe christ, no friends. When faith springs up in our hearts, it begins to bear fruit immediately. In ephesians chapter 2, verse 8 through 10. Look at this for by grace are you saved through faith and that not of yourselves? It is the gift of god not of works lest any man should boast. And many of us we just stop there. We are saved by grace not by works, but look at what happens when a person is saved by grace verse 10. For we are, his workmanship were created in christ jesus unto what good works which god has before ordained that we should walk in them. Friends, when a person is saved by grace through faith, you see that the believing parts were created and as a new creature unto what good works. There will be evidence in the life that the man or woman has been saved by grace through faith because their works are different. A words are different, the places we go on different. The life that we choose to live gives total evidence that we have accepted christ as our lord and savior. Look at this, james, chapter 2, the 17. You know these verses they're familiar with. You, James, to 17. Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead being alone. Friends, true faith has works. True, faith has worked. A man cannot say I have faith and no works because true faith will always has works that accompanies it. And so there must be evidence of our faith to day when that faith is planted in our hearts, it will spring up and all bear fruit. We cannot keep silence. There will be corresponding works and action. And so remember these men, they heard the word of jesus, go and show yourselves to the priests, let them be the ones that will judge. And so they turned around and set their faith as a flint, to go towards the temple to show themselves to the priest, and as they are running that direction, guess what they healed? Had they stood there, remember they would not have been heal, had they stood there and waited for the word of jesus to wash over them and make them whole. Nothing would have happened friends. It was in the process of turning around, running towards the temple that they were made hole. Now let's look at the next verse of the story. Luke 1715 to 16. And one of them. When he saw that he was healed, turned back and with a loud voice, glorified god. And he fell down and his face at his feet, giving him thanks. And he was a samaritan. It's interesting that the bible dimensions that he was a samaritan, as if he had to hit home very clearly. This guy was not a jew, meaning the others must have been juice. Why would jesus austin to show themselves to the priests? Right. I mean, if they will, all samaritans, they would have run off to the temple that they will worshipping him. But no, these people ran off without a hesitation to show themselves to the priest. Because they all believed in the same faith as what christ was referring to. When moses said, you've got to show yourself to the priest for he is the one that will declare whether you're clean or unclean is they were all samaritans, the priests would even entertain their presence if they want the jews. Right. So what's interesting is it is only this samaritan that recognizes that he is healed and comes back and gives thanks to jesus is not that the others did not recognize that they were healed. Look, all of a sudden the pain that you, you have, you know, you probably hobbling awful, you know, the leapers, they lived in pain. It was eating away at the flesh. And all of a sudden you're running and running and you feel no pain anymore. The, the fresh air that would, would brush against the open wounds that were festering when your flesh suddenly that, that fresh pain and blowing of the air on the wound is gone. They don't feel hurtful or bad any more. And so look, if they didn't know they were healed on the process, they must have understood it. You know, at least when they reached the priest they would have definitely known that they were healed. But yet it is a samaritan, the only one that is healed and he turns back and thanks and praises jesus. What does that mean for us to day friends? Could it be that it is more of the non christian that is more grateful to God that for the gifts that are rendered than the actual christians are even though they are the ones that know where the gift and the blessing comes from? Have we gotten used to living in god's presence that we don't recognize that every breath we take is a gift from god. Have we taken for granted the blessings that god has bestowed upon us? We've gotten used to a routine in our lives, in waking up at a certain time and that we fail to understand that it is god that keeps our hearts beating. And our breath going in and out. Have we forgotten that god is a giver of all great blessings. In james chapter one and verse 17, the bible says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the father of light, with whom is no variable, mis. Now the shadow of turning, you know, friends, the fact that you are healthy, the fact that you don't have a body that's full of disease is a testament that, that god is good. What are your praises friends? It's so important to give praises why it's so important to recognise that the god of universe who loves us and so much and bless us with so many good things and allies. If we learn to praise god on a regular basis, or even just right out our praises, we would never turn our backs on him. Do you know that? It's like a man who every day looks for 5 things to praise about his wife. You know that man, he would never commit adultery. He would never come for an occasion. He would always ever love her, because he always keeps the best of her thoughts in his mind about her goodness, about how wonderful she is not how great she is. It would change his marriage, it would be sweet. And if we would do that with god, friends, it would change our relationship with god as well. We would ever be conscious that he is by our side, guiding us and protecting us and blessing us. It's so important to give praises. Please friends, if you've not shed appraise yet, please write down at least one praise. You know, I've not been doing for the 2nd over there because I've been on leave. So for her, and I've just been staying away from all all things related to church so far. But I'm so thankful that in our church chat, we've got this 10 day challenge on being thankful and grateful to God. But it is my practice every day as much as possible to write down 5 phrases for the past day. 5 praises and sometimes I write more friends. You know, what's the opposite of giving thanks. What's the opposite of being grateful? It is murmuring and complaining. You know, if the israelites had kept before them the miracle of the red sea, if they had been thankful every day for the miracle of the manner that fell every single morning to feed them, they would never murmur or complain. If they would learn to give thanks every day, they would not have complained until the point where god had to remove his protecting care against them. If we would learn to be thankful, even for the little miracles in life, we would realize how wonderful of god we serve. But the israelites, they soon forgot they forgot. And you know, friends, we have to have this spirit, we got to cultivate it. This spirit of thanksgiving, you know, at the beginning, writing down 5 praises was not easy to sit there really think 5 praises every day. And this is so important for my health, you know, unnaturally. A person who's pessimistic. I like to look at the worst of life many times and it's not good. It makes me get doubtful to God get angry to God, to blame god and blame people for so many things. But friends, if we would cultivate this habit of thanksgiving, which doesn't come naturally, i'm telling you friends, it does not come naturally. If we did that, you know what would be doing? We're actually sharing the gospel was sharing the good news about how great of god and a wonderful god. We had the person who was who, who was possessed with his demon when he came out of the cave and ran after jesus. And jesus healed him. He wanted to go with christ and jesus a know go back and just simply tell how, how good of god. I've been to you how, what, what has happened to your personal testimony. And he just went around sharing how, how good god was to him. Is it any wonder that the gospel suffers have we become so insular and so focused on self and self pity that we forget to praise god for everything that he's blessed us with. And when little things don't go away, we get upset and we get angry and we get annoyed. And I say this not because I'm perfect because friends, so often a fine I find myself being exactly like that as well. We have to cultivate a spirit of thanksgiving. It's not any wonder that we become so ungrateful friends if god's mercies are new every morning. Then the praises should be new every morning as well. And the samaritan he recognised the blessing of god and he came back to give glory to jesus. Friends, what are your praises? What are you thankful for to day? surely, god is good to every one. Surely, god has blessed you and look. Maybe your, your share to your panama. Yes. Shy to share but friends that should not stop you from giving praise to God. Maybe it's so small. You think it's insignificant but you know what? friends, god is good in the big things as well as in the little things. I'm thankful that that my son he, he's finally much better from his operation from last year's a minor surgery. And I'm so thankful went to the doctor yesterday. And that nothing. There was no complication, the healing of the, the wounds where he made the incision. We're, we're pretty much shield in all these little things. We can be thankful to, God. Every day we got to cultivate the spirit of thanksgiving and praises. And you know, we've and here in luke, 17 versa. 1719 the bible says and jesus answering said, well they're not 10 cleansed. But where are the 9 there are not found that returned to give glory to God save the stranger. And he said to him, arise, go thy way, thy faith has made you hall jesus asked, where are the other 9? He's probably bit disappointed. You know, it's not that he needed to have some sort of thanksgiving and some sort of self edification that he had done a good work. No friends, but the people, they forgot those 9, they forgot and they would soon forget to be faithful to God. Later on as well, but they took their healing for granted. You know, friends, could it be that 9 questions out of 10? A just really ungrateful today. Could it be that we have forgotten god's grace towards each and every one of us. Could it be that it's just we've taken for granted the blessings of the gospel, but to day france, the day god wants to remind us the importance of praise. The importance of giving glory back to God. For the sake of that one samaritan jesus do what was going to happen for the sake of that once the merits of jesus healed alter for the sake of that one man, jesus was willing to bear with an other 9 of their own gratefulness. To does this one was willing to come back and share his thanksgiving and praise friends. You know we, we, we will forget that our faith had over flows in blessing to other people. If not that the others had no faith. But it seems that christ ties faith to praising god because it is only by the eye of faith. We can see how the hand of god moves in each and every one of our lives. It is only by faith as we look through the gospel. And then we look at her and we love to shine in our life. Do we see how good god is to each and every one of us. It was a faith of that man that he was made whole. He believed the word of christ and as he began to run off, he recognised the blessing. And he came back to praise. God friends were at the end of our study, but it's not too late to share a praise. You know, I said it before at the beginning of our, our pandemic, over one year ago. There was so many praises people with praising god for so many things. But friends, have you waned in your thanksgiving? Has, has this life become a new normal that you've already settled into that you're used to already that it's just this way and there's nothing to thank God for any more friends. Please let us learn to share our praises and give glory back to God. Let us bow our heads, father and heaven. Oh lord, please forgive us. So often we are ungrateful. We're unmindful of the blessings. And it's not because we don't see it as a blessing. But it's because we don't see it that you are the one that blessed us. We think that we did it on our own. We think we are the ones that were able to bring this blessing to ourself. Lord, forgive us where we've taken the glory to ourselves. But this evening we want to recognize that you are our god. Want to recognize that your mercies extend towards the deepest of our sins. And lord, we want to recognize that we are unworthy of any of your blessings. But you love us so much that you pour these blessings upon us, even in the sunshine and in the rain, lord, you are with us and blessing us always. Father open our eyes to night to help us to see clearly to help us to see jesus, to help us to see the author of all our blessings. So please continue to guide us and even those, especially who might be going through trials right now. Maybe they can't see any blessings, lord, help them to pause in the midst of their that trial and think how you are such a good god and then strengthen them lot to carry them through this trial as well. So father, thank you. Thank you. Thank you. We love you, we praise you for being a wonderful and merciful for train choose. 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