131013 Luke 17:11-19

Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Text: Luke 17:11-19

Theme: Remember to Say "Thank-You" to Jesus

Good Morning! Allow me a moment to introduce myself to you. My name? Well, my name really isn't that important. All that you need to know about me is that I am one of the 10 lepers that Jesus healed. In fact, I am the one that came back to thank Jesus for healing me of that dreaded disease of leprosy. I want to thank your Pastors for giving me this opportunity to speak to you today; to offer you encouragement to do as I did that great day when Jesus healed me. My dear friends, my encouragement for each one of you today is REMEMBER TO SAY "THANK-YOU" TO JESUS.

While the Bible doesn't record it, before I came down with leprosy, I had heard Jesus speak a few times. I heard him preach and teach from God's Word. I heard him tell us that he is the promised Messiah whom we were all waiting for. God the Holy Spirit had led me to believe that Jesus is that promised Savior. I also heard about the many miracles that he was able to perform. I knew who Jesus is. So, when I and the other nine men who were with me that day saw him off in the distance, we called out to him: "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" Rather than come up to us and place his hands on us, rather than making it a big show or a glorious display of his almighty power, very simply, all Jesus said to us was, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." You see, in my day, if you came down with the disease of leprosy, a priest would declare you to be an "unclean" person. In order to be declared "clean" or healed, you needed to once again go before a priest. It is in the book of Leviticus that the LORD had said, "When anyone has an infectious disease, he must be brought to the priest [and] the priest is to examine him" (Leviticus 13:9-10).

I will never forget what happened next. As we started out to go show ourselves to the priest, suddenly our skin became clear! The sores and the pain were gone! You can imagine the excitement and joy that we felt. We had been cured of this very deadly disease. In their excitement and joy, the other nine ran ahead, anxious to show the priest that they had been healed. But I didn't go with them. I knew the very first thing I needed to do was to go back and to say "thank-you" to Jesus. It didn't matter that I am a Samaritan and that Jesus is a Jew (in my day, Samaritans and Jews didn't even talk to each other). That's why after I thanked him, Jesus asked, "'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'"

What Jesus said to me next I will always remember. He told me, "'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'" As I think back to what he said to me that day, I know that Jesus was not referring only to the physical healing that I now enjoy. After all, he could have said this same thing to the other nine who never came back to thank him. What Jesus was saying to me that day was this: "You are healed. Your physical disease is gone. And, through faith in me, faith created in your heart through my all-powerful Word, your spiritual sickness is gone as well." Because of the unfailing love of my Savior, I am healed physically and spiritually. THANK-YOU, JESUS!

I am curious how you react when you read this account of my healing. Do you end up comparing yourself to the other nine men who were with me that day? Do you ever find yourself thinking, "I know that I wouldn't have acted the way that those men acted! I would have come to say thank-you to Jesus." Perhaps you will never receive a miraculous healing like the 10 of us enjoyed that day, however I do know that you receive blessings after blessings from our Lord. Yet, wouldn't you confess that, more often than not, you fail to take the time to say, "Thank-You, Jesus" for all those blessings? It is as if the Lord walks up to you on the street, hands you so many blessings that you can hardly carry them all, and then, without saying a single word, you turn and walk away. What ungrateful, sin-filled creatures you are! How deserving you are of God's eternal damnation and punishment!

Now I will quickly confess along with you, that I too am I sinner deserving only of God's eternal wrath and punishment. Yet, today you and I are able to say "Thank-You" to Jesus. Why? Jesus Christ has washed you and me clean of all our sins. The leprosy of your sin and mine is completely healed! Jesus made heaven and a life that never ends at his loving side in the perfect joys of heaven, our very own gift to look forward to. In response to these wonderful blessings, we offer him our thanks. During worship services such as this, you and I lift up our voices together in word and song, to praise and thank our loving Savior-God. With a thankful heart, you and I hear and study his Word as often as we are able to. With a thankful heart, you and I come to the Lord's Table to receive his Holy Supper, and the assurance that the price for our sins is paid for in full through the body and blood of Jesus. In thankfulness for the great love of our Savior-God, you and I return to him the best of all our gifts. You and I gladly and willingly give back to the Lord the best of our time, the best of our talents and the best of our treasures. This is true for you and me as individuals, and it is true for you as a congregation. Along with the writer of Psalm 118 you and I say, "You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

As I close today, I want to take a moment to say "thank-you"; thank-you for giving me this opportunity to speak with you today; thank-you for allowing me to share my life changing story with you; thank-you for allowing me to leave you with this final word of encouragement: Today, and each day of his grace to you, remember to say thank you to Jesus! Amen.

 

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