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 LUKE 17:11-19

THE HEALING OF THE TEN LEPERS ... AND THE THANKSGIVING OF ONLY ONE!

 

Join us for a verse-by-verse study of this Miracle performed by Jesus.

It teaches us the vital importance our Lord attributes to a thankful heart!

--- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

"And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.  And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."  Luke 17:11-19

 

 

LESSON 1 ... SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2005:

The Lord was on His way to Jerusalem ... to die for our sins!

Luke words it like this:  "And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee."  Luke 17:11

This is the opening verse in the Paragraph we now call "The Cleansing of Ten Lepers."

The verb "went" is in the "middle" voice in Greek.  That means the action being described impacts the Subject himself!  Jesus will be "changed" forever by this Trip to Jerusalem, to the Cross of Calvary!

Even the Disciples knew this trip was the final one, that death would be the result!  "Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him."  John 11:16

Furthermore, the verb "passed" (meaning "to go or come through") is in the middle voice!  This is the Crucial Time of Jesus' earthly Ministry!  Everything He does is critically important and loaded with great significance!

Why then does the Holy Spirit lead Luke to here include nine verses about ... "thankfulness?"

Our verse today ("And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.")  begins that "Thank You" section of Scripture.  And, for that matter, only Luke records this event!

Could the fact be that Jesus' mind was so heavily on the Cross, on going to die for you and me, on being the Propitiation for sin ... that He was (more than ever) keenly aware of the Price necessary for such Redemption?

That Price for our salvation is Jesus' Own Precious Blood!

And in making that ultimate Sacrifice for lost mankind, was Jesus also divinely and spiritually attuned to the fact that man, the recipient of such a great Salvation, should be eternally GRATEFUL?

In other words ... going to the Cross ... it appears that Jesus was exceedingly somber ("heavy hearted") ... and aware of every word of thanks and appreciation a man might utter, even a Samaritan man, even a leper!

And do remember than in the Old Testament leprosy is a type or picture or symbol of sin!

Here we have a case of leprosy being cleansed by Jesus, foreshadowing our own sin being washed away by the Lord too!

And the appropriate response to this marvelous Grace is ... adoration, worship and THANKS!

IF that's the lesson of this great Bible Paragraph from Luke ... other Bible Verses should teach us thankfulness as well.

Like ... "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."   1st Thessalonians 5:18

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."   Psalm 100:4

"O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever."  Psalm30:12

And even in heaven ... "And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen."  Revelation 7:11-12

So, dear friend, today as you go to Church ... think about the Price Jesus paid on Calvary ... His death on your behalf ... and give Him THANKS and praise and worship!

Let's join King David and sincerely say:  "Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy Glorious Name."  1st Chronicles 29:13

Amen!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 2, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2005:

The man is a Preacher.

He's written a few books and preached from some well-known pulpits.

But the other day he made a statement I shall never forget.

He said that he begins every day "thanking the Lord" for each event in his life, each event over the past twenty four hours!

Every day he has a "thanksgiving service" in his heart!

One that specifically covers the previous day God allowed him to live!

That fact "touched" me indeed!

Thankfulness!

I fear that we Christians today are far too ungrateful!

Perhaps you think that such an attitude is just not that important.

Listen to Paul in 1st Thessalonians 5:18 --- "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 

"Giving thanks" sure sounds important in that verse!

The verb here ("eucharisteo") is an imperative, a command from God to us!

In fact Philippians 4:6 requires us (with a whole set of imperative verbs) to pray with thanksgiving in our hearts!  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

And using the picture of an overflowing river, one out of its banks, the Holy Spirit teaches us to "abound" ("perisseuo") with thanksgiving!  "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."  Colossians 2:7

Thoughts such as these led me to the miracle Jesus performed one day when ten lepers met Him!  You remember!  Our Lord healed them all ... but only one returned to give thanks!  This is all recorded by Luke (and Luke alone) in the New Testament.  (Luke 17:11-19)

And if you don't think thanksgiving was important to our Saviour ... listen to the question He asked:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?" 

"Where are the nine?" asked our dear Lord?

Only one out of ten was grateful.

Nine apparently were not.

Folks, into which category must we be placed today?

Grateful?

Or ungrateful?

Excuse me ... while I go "thank" the Lord for some things!

                                                                                  --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 3, SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2005:

I have still been thinking about the ten lepers Jesus healed in Luke chapter seventeen.

That great miracle apparently occurred in Samaria.

"And it came to pass, as He (Jesus) went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off."  Luke 17:11-12

Samaria was a district of the "Holy Land" that most Jewish folks avoided.

Due to its very history and the wickedness of the population, "the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans."  John 4:9

Early this morning I did a little study on Samaria.

I was amazed to fine that, although it was a land of great sin and a questionable past, the Lord again and again showered it with His amazing Grace!

Let me show you what I mean.

Revival Number One ... Jesus made it a point to pass through Samaria ... on His way to the Cross!  We've just read Luke 17:1-2.  It was on this occasion that the ten lepers were healed ... and one of them was saved!  "And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." This is an example of personal Revival!

Revival Number Two ... Jesus again went through Samaria in John chapter four.  That now famous trip brought Him to a well-side.  There the Samaritan Woman came!  She too got saved and went and told the whole City of Sychar about Jesus and ... "many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did."  (John 4:39) Now that is city-wide Revival!

Revival Number Three ... Philip the Evangelist preached!  "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city."  (Acts 8:5-8) However, this Revival met with some definite opposition!  "But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one."  (Acts 8:9)  Yet God gave the victory! "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." (Acts 8:12)  This is entrenched Revival!  God gives overcoming devil-chasing Revival!

And the Lord did all this for a bunch of old sinners!

He saved them!

He blessed them!

He revived them!

This sure makes me glad!

Glad for the Grace of God!

No wonder that Samaritan leper, the one Jesus healed, was so careful to give Him thanks!

Have I thanked Him as well?

Have you?

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 4:

Luke 17:12 tells us that one day Jesus "entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off." 

That "village" was somewhere in the land known as Samaria.

Or ... at least one (but perhaps more than one) of the lepers was a Samaritan. 

You probably know the "outcome" of this Bible event.

Jesus healed all ten lepers of their dreaded disease.

The Greek noun for "lepers" here is "lepros" and means that which peels or flakes!  This describes their extremely scaly skin, one sign of leprosy!

That little noun "village" (in Greek = "kome") means a place where one can "lay down" at night and rest!  Almost always it indicates a place much smaller than a real "city."

And the noun for "men" is not the more general word "anthropos," but the more specific term "aner."  These ten are men in the sense of being former husbands or fathers ... their disease separating them forever from loved ones!  "Aner" means the "male" of the species.  No women were in this group.

And the reason the lepers stood afar off?  They were required to do so by the Law of Moses!  "And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be."  Leviticus 13:45-46

There is surely nothing attractive about this poor crowd of dying men!

Yet Jesus still entered this village!

The sight of ten sick men did not deter Him!

He was on a Mission!

In reality He was on His Way to the Cross, to die for sinners!

But ... He enters this place long enough to send ten men home ... well!

I have found two places in the New Testament where Jesus at least attempted to enter Samaritan cities!

One nearly ended in disaster!

The other ended in Grace!

Watch:

"And it came to pass, when the time was come that He should be received up, He stedfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before His face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for Him. And they did not receive Him, because His face was as though He would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?"  (Luke 9:51-54)

Two Disciples, the most loving ones of them all, wanted to send fire and destroy the whole place!

That would have been terrible!

Then ... our text here in Luke 17:11-14 reads:

"And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as He entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.  And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed."

Jesus wanted to send, and did send, healing and love and grace to this little village!

That's just like Him!

Now, here's my point ...

Aren't you glad that the day Jesus passed by your heart ... "Grace" was offered?  That is ... full and marvelous and amazing and manifold Grace!

Had the Disciples (or others like them) been in control, we might have only been offered Fire and Judgment!

Than God for Jesus!

Thank God for Mercy!

Thank God for His everlasting Love!

By the way, I also have found one more place in Scripture where we are specifically told that Jesus "entered into a village."   Again it's Luke who tells us: "Now it came to pass, as they went, that He entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard His word." (Luke 10:38-39)  THIS TIME when Jesus entered a little town (Bethany), HE was received with love and kindness!  Someone (Mary) cared for Him and adored Him and worshipped Him and sat at His Feet, hearing the Word of God!  And someone else (Martha) served Him diligently, preparing a meal for His tired and hungry body!

Loving Jesus!

Now ... look at the three "options" these Bible Texts present.

Jesus tried to "enter" in Luke 9 and was rejected!

Jesus did "enter" in Luke 17 and healed ten lepers, a disease that pictures sin in so many ways!

And Jesus also did "enter" in Luke 10, to be loved and appreciated sincerely!

Hating!

Healing!

And Helping!

"Call down fire!"  (Luke 9)

"Leprosy be gone!"   (Luke 17)

"Lord, we love Thee!"   (Luke 10)

Bible student reading here today, what is your heart attitude this Lord's Day morning?  In what mood will you attend Church?

Are you angry?  (Luke 9)

Are you in need of Jesus' Kindness yet one more time?  (Luke 17)

Or ... are you ready to go to Church and worship Him, exalting the Saviour with all your heart?  (Luke 10)

I do pray that He "enters" the place you worship today.  Remember, He promised:  "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."  Matthew 18:20

And when He "enters" do respond properly!

                                                                                --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 5:

The ten lepers, the ones Jesus healed in Luke chapter seventeen, did not specifically ask to be healed from their dreaded disease.

Rather, they asked Jesus for mercy!

Just mercy!

Listen to their prayer:  "And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."  Luke 17:13

The great British Preacher of bygone years, Alexander Maclaren, said of these sick men: "One symptom of advanced leprosy was the simple fact that the human voice was weakened.  Most lepers could not speak above a whisper!"

Yet these men cried out, best they could, to Jesus!

Maybe their "sounds" were no more than attempted "squeaks" ... begging God for help!

Let me mention this today.  When calling upon Jesus, it is not the level of one's voice that counts!  It's the position of one's heart!  Is that person trusting Christ our Lord with faith believing?  If so, "creaking" or "speaking," he or she will be heard!

Next ... notice what they called Jesus!

"Master!"

Our Lord is often called "Master" in the New Testament, but usually with a different Greek noun behind that name!

"Didaskalos," which simply means "teacher," is used of Jesus forty times by the New Testament writers!   I mean that each of those forty times it is rendered as "master!"

And the Greek "rabbi," used fourteen times of Jesus, means "great one" and is a term of respect.  It is translated eight times as "master" (having reference to Jesus) in the King James Version of the Bible.

"Kurios," meaning lord or Lord, is used of Jesus and rendered as "master" several times too!

So does the word "despotes," meaning one in absolute control, appear as "master" in our Bibles!

BUT ... our word for "master" in Luke 17:13 is different yet!

It is "epistates."  This noun combines "epi" (meaning "upon") and stasis (a "standing") ... to picture one who is in charge of everything!  One who oversees all!  One who stands above the situations of life!

It was Jesus as "epistates" in Luke 5:5 Who told the disciples to cast their nets on "the other side" of the ship!  Whereupon they caught more fish than they could handle!

It was Jesus as "epistates" in Luke 8:24 Who told the winds and the waves to "be still," and a great storm calmed immediately!

In Luke 8:45 it was Jesus as "epistates" Who knew someone (a bleeding woman) had touched Him!  BY the way, when she did so, she was healed!

In Luke 9:33 it was Jesus as "epistates" Who had been "transfigured," shining as brightly as the noon-day sun, in the presence of three of His disciples, not counting Moses and Elijah!

And, finally, in Luke 9:49, it was Jesus as "epistates" Who forbade the disciple's unkindness to a man who was casting our demons (in Jesus' Name), but was not one of Jesus' particular companions that day!

Look at the significance of that word ..."epistates!"

It describes the Lord Jesus Christ as One Who could ...

       ... control the fishes of the sea!

       ... calm the winds and the waves of a raging storm!

       ... heal a sick and weak body!

       ... radiate the brightness of the very Glory of Almighty God!

       ... reverse human emotions from anger to kindness!

       ... and, in our Luke 17 Text, cleanse ten lepers of their plague!

What a God!

What a Saviour!

What a Lord!

What a Master!

What an Overseer!

What an "Epistates!"

But ... just maybe ... a greater act than all of these ... is Jesus' giving MERCY to these poor lepers!

Mercy!

The verb "have mercy" is "eleeo" and means to "show compassion" on someone!  One dictionary says it means "to compassionate!"  (In the New Testament "Grace" deals with one's guilt!  And "Mercy" deals with one's misery!   (Hear the two "G" sounds and the two "M" sounds?)

I am so glad Jesus cares how we feel!

Of course our misery is due to our guilt!

God's Grace (through the Blood of Jesus) takes care of the guilt ... so that God's Mercy (through His sheer Love) can care for our misery!

The ten sick lepers asked for mercy!

And they got it too!

An old publican asked for Mercy ... and he also was not disappointed!  "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner." (Luke 18:13)  That man went home "justified" says Jesus in the very next verse!

In Psalm 57, with Saul and his army "closing in" for the kill, David (hiding in a "cave") merely asked God for Mercy!  "Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast."  Psalm 57:1

Did David get any "mercy" that day?  Listen to verse ten of the same Psalm, "For thy mercy is great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds."

He got a whole earth-full of mercy!

Friends, when you are in despair or discouraged or in danger or sickly or scared, cry out!

Cry out to God!

And, when you obviously don't have time to give Him your ten point program for safety, plead for His MERCY!

That, His great Mercy alone, will meet your needs!

The first time the word "mercy" is used in our English Bibles, it comes from the lips of Lot, who was being rescued from the doomed city of Sodom!  See Genesis 19:19.

The next time it is used ... a Bride for the Son of Abraham is being found!  Just read Genesis 24:27!

Even when God is angry, exercising His holy wrath and righteousness, the best thing to do is plead for His great mercy!

Habakkuk did!

"O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy."  Habakkuk 3:2

Yes!

"Lord, we need Thy Mercy!"

More than anything!

And that Mercy today comes only one Way, straight through Jesus, God's only begotten Son!

"Mercy ... In Jesus' Name, Amen!"

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 6, OCTOBER 4, 2005, FROM KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE:

The words to an old godly song say: "Only trust Him. Only trust Him. Only trust Him now!  He will save you. He will save you. He will save you now!"

That's so true when applied to Jesus!

Faith, trust, belief!

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

This quality of "faith" is so well illustrated in Luke 17:11-19.  There Jesus meets ten lepers.  "And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed."  (Luke 17:14)

First notice Jesus "saw" them!  By law, they HAD to be standing far away!  They could not closely approach anyone!  Their disease often could be contagious!

And leprosy, which is one of Scripture's most complete symbols of sin, well depicts the principle of "loneliness!"  Sin separates one ... from his loved ones, from his real friends, and even from the Lord!  I believe one of the terrible things about Hell (even including the fire and brimstone and weeping and wailing) will be eternal separation from God and His Love!

I'm so glad that I too, when a sinner (a "leper" spiritually), was seen by the Lord Jesus Christ!  That verb "saw" in our Text (in Greek = "eido" or "oida") means to see and understand!  "To discern!"  Then it comes to mean "to pay attention to someone!" 

While we were yet sinners, Jesus "saw" us and "paid attention" to us ... and even died for us on Calvary!

Next our Lord did a strange thing!  He told these lepers to go "show themselves" unto the priests! 

The priests, you see, served as "inspectors" of leprous men.  Only the Jewish priest, a son of Levi, could pronounce a man "defiled" and banish him from society!  In fact, the last time these men saw a priest ... that's exactly what was happening!

But to "show themselves" (in Greek = "epideiknumi") means to exhibit, to put oneself on display or to demonstrate! 

Jesus is about to heal these ten men!

But He additionally wants the priests to know that Someone is around Who can cleanse from leprosy!

Jesus is here witnessing not only to ten sick men, but also to a whole company of priests!

Once ten completely healed lepers appear at the Temple ... being examined and pronounced "cured," some questions just have to be asked!

A groups of priests that day kept wondering:  "Who is He?"

This Jesus of Nazareth!

I'll answer that right now:  He is God the Son!

Now ... it took some real faith to leave Jesus' presence that day and proceed to the Temple area of Jerusalem, where the priests were to be found!

Yet the lepers began to obey the Lord!

Turning and walking away ... something began to happen!

Here's our verse for today one more time:  "And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed."  (Luke 17:14)

"As they went ... they were cleansed!"

As they exercised believing faith ... the leprosy was removed!

They trusted.

They obeyed.

They were delivered of a life threatening malady!

The verb "cleansed" (in Greek = "katharrizo") means to be made free from any defilement!  They were "purified!"

The verb is in voice "passive" too!

The men did NOT heal themselves!  It was something done UNTO them or FOR them!  An action taken UPON them!

And the time sense of the verb is glorious too!  It's a "aorist" verb.  The action is begun and completed immediately!  They were healed instantly ... and thoroughly!

What power has believing faith ... with an Almighty God!

Jesus even later told one of the lepers:  "Thy faith hath made thee whole!"

Friends today, thank God for faith!

Thank God that He can still cleanse old sinners, making them pure and spotless and holy!  No more "leprous" blemishes!

Our Verse today, while describing a literal event in Jesus' Life, is almost a "parable" ... a parable teaching soul salvation ... by faith!

Are you saved?

If so, thank God for His precious Gift to you!

If not, listen to Jesus' words from John 5:24.  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life."

Jesus can save you now!

Amen!

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 7:

The words are "striking!"

They indicate absolute "assurance" in the life of an old Samaritan leper!

He had been associated with a group of ten such men ... until one day they met Jesus!

They begged our Lord for "Mercy!"

But, instead of "touching" them or "speaking" a healing word on their behalf, Jesus just told them to "Go" and show themselves to the local Jewish priests.

That's when it happened!

Our verse for today, Luke 17:15, tells us:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God." 

The "healing" apparently occurred as the men were obeying the Lord ... obeying Him purely by faith!

(Had they appeared before a priest still in their dreaded leprous conditions, they would have certainly been in violation of Jewish Law!)

But as they walked away from our Lord ... and toward Jerusalem ... noticeable things began occurring!

Their skin became clear once again!  It had been splotched and scaly. 

Their internal pain began to subside too! 

The "sores" that had erupted on their bodies dried and disappeared as well!

The swelling that had accompanied the disease began to disappear also!

Their voices became stronger!

Their physical strength returned!

The sentence of "death" had obviously been removed!

All this having happened without even a "touch" from Jesus!

Without a direct "word" of healing from the Master!

He just WILLED it so ... and it was done!

These "symptoms" of leprosy had been eradicated so rapidly and so thoroughly that each leper knew, beyond doubt, a cure had been successfully effected --- a complete cure!

That's why our verse says:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God."  Luke 17:15

"When he saw that he was healed!" 

He was sure it had happened!

No doubt about it!

If anyone questions it ... just let them look!

And now to the application of today's Lesson ...

Leprosy in the Bible is a "picture" of sin!

Being delivered from it ... by Jesus' Power ... is a "picture" of a lost sinner being "saved" by the Grace of God!

"KNOWING" you have been delivered ... is a "picture" of the assurance of one's salvation!

And these lepers KNEW that healing had come!

When one gets "born-again," usually the "change" is so marked, so clear and so drastic that both the ex-sinner and even those around him can tell!

The one leper our verse mentions surely KNEW!

The verb used for "saw"  ("He saw that he was healed") is "eido" in Greek.  It means to see with understanding or perception!  He not only observed the symptoms physically disappearing, but also recognized that full healing had been administered to his old sick body!

He was positive!

But ... can one really know for SURE that he or she is saved?

John the Disciple sure taught so!

He wrote one whole Book of the Bible to give such assurance to Believers in Christ.  Listen to him near the end of his first little epistle:  "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God." 1st John 5:13

Isn't that clear?

John wrote that whole Book (1st John) to give "assurance" to the followers of Christ Jesus!

"That ye may know that ye have eternal life!"

Amen!

If you are today doubting your salvation ... memorize, meditate and act upon the Epistle of 1st John.  Internalize and obey its teachings.  If you have truly trusted Christ Jesus ... I predict that assurance, if lacking now, will have arrived by the time your "project" is completed!

You too can "know!"

Now before any of you spend more endless hours in doubt this week, before you pace the floors another night, before you worry yourself into sickness ... try what I've advised.

Memorize 1st John!

See if you have passed the "tests" the old Apostle administers ... tests that indicate whether one is saved by God's mighty Power and Love!  Washed in the Blood of Jesus!

Then ... if no "help" comes, keep on worrying!

After all, you will be worrying about the greatest issue you'll ever face in this life, your very soul's salvation!

You will be wrestling with your eternal destiny ... heaven or hell!

That's certainly worth the "concern!"

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 8, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 2005, FROM KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE:

Today's Lesson is still about giving thanks unto the Lord.

One old preacher aptly said that there is a difference between "praise" and "thanks!"

He believed that "praise" was the higher quality of the two!

When defined, "praise" basically means giving God Glory for Who He is! We praise Him for His Grace and His Love and His Holiness and His Eternality and His Immutability and His Omnipotence and so much more!

Then ... We "thank" Him for the things He has done!  We thank Him when He answers prayer and saves souls and lifts burdens, for example.

Not only in these days is mankind failing to praise God properly, we have also lost much of the art of thanking Him too!

We are becoming more and more an ungrateful people!

Paul said that was one of the traits to expect ... in the last days of planet earth! "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy ...."  2nd Timothy 3:1

One day a man deliberately took time to thank Jesus for something!

His action so impressed the Lord that certain comments were made, revealing words from the lips of our Lord!  These words show us Jesus' actual attitude toward thankfulness ... and its opposite!

The man in focus today is a leper, a former leper anyway!

Jesus had just healed him!

Then ... "When he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."  Luke 17:15-16

He had already left Jesus' presence ... but once he recognized that healing had come ... he returned to the Lord!  "Turned back" (in Greek = hupostrepho) means "to twist back around" ... or to change one's direction!  That little prefix, "hupo," literally means "under" and may insinuate that the giving of thanks is humbling to one's soul!  It is something that today's liberated self-centered man will NOT often do!  It's too demeaning!

Then the man "glorified" God!

"Doxao" means to value one with esteem or great worth!  The semantic trail of this word goes back to a stem that means "to think" or "to seem."  Glorifying God is telling Him what you think about Him ... in a worshipful sense!

Note that the former leper glorified Jesus with a "loud voice!"  Look at this Greek term:  megas phone!  It's our English word megaphone!  A magnified voice!  This is proof that the leprosy is gone!  It always affects the human voice, rendering it weak and raspy!  These symptoms are now absent for sure!

The recently cured man then "fell down at Jesus' feet!"  Here's another sign of humility!  The first time those words, in English, are used in the Bible ... "And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants."  Joseph's brethren are in the presence of the one they wronged so cruelly!  (Genesis 50:18)  Joseph is here a Type of Christ as you already know.

The words "giving thanks" translate the major Greek verb "eucharisteo."  When its two components are fused together, the word literally means "good" ("eu") and "grace" ("charis").  Good Grace!

It here depicts one who is saying good things about the Lord Who freely heaped Goodness and Blessing upon his miserable soul!

Being in present participle form, "giving thanks" means that our ex-leper kept on thanking Jesus!  He just couldn't quit!

Folks, are we thankful today?

As thankful as we should be?

The Psalmist tells us ... "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Psalm 106:1

Paul adds that we are to be ... "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20

And John reminds us in Revelation 11:16 that in Heaven some day we will still be ... "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."

Let us all join today in a spirit of thanksgiving to the One Who loves us so!

                                                                                     --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 9:

I have been told that Matthew Henry, the British Preacher who wrote that great Bible Commentary, preached an extremely long series of sermons to his church people.

He did so at their mid-week service.

His Text each Wednesday night dealt with one of the "questions" of the Bible!

He started with Genesis 3:1 where the devil literally questioned God's Word!  "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

And he ended in Revelation 17:7 where John the Disciple writes ... "And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel?

The whole series of sermons took Pastor Henry twenty years to complete!

On one of those Wednesday nights, he preached from Luke 17:17.  There Jesus asked a question.  Here's how Luke puts it:  "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?"

"Where are the nine?"

Jesus had just healed ten lepers ... but only one, and he a Samaritan, took the time to say "Thank You" to our Lord!

Upon hearing those words of deep appreciation ... Jesus wondered out loud ... "What about the other men who were healed?"

Our Lord observed that not one of the others expressed a single word of gratefulness!

"Where are the nine?

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I believe one of the sins we commit ... one about which there is little preaching or concern or conviction ... is that of ungratefulness.

Once Jesus, in Luke 6:35, seems to equate the sin of "unthankfulness" with other forms of "evil!"  And the word He uses there for "evil" (in Greek = "poneros") means the worst kind of wickedness!  The kind that spreads and destroys and kills!  "But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil."

And Paul, writing in 2nd Timothy 3, associates "unthankfulness" with sins like blasphemy, lying, pride, sensuality and idolatry!

One of the sins that every man commits in his early rejection of God is that of not being thankful.  Again Paul teaches us:  "Because that, when they (mankind) knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened."  Romans 1:21

The Bible's greatest Psalm of Praise commands us to worship God with sincere thanks in our hearts!  "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."  Yes, every time we step into God's House ... we should do so with hearts of gratefulness!

Furthermore Paul the Apostle prescribes "gratefulness" as a way of life for the Christian!  "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful."  (Colossians 3:15)  The verb Paul uses in the clause "be ye thankful" is a present tense (on-going, habitual action, not a one-time thing), middle voice (the actual giving of thanks impacts the subject, changing him in some good way), plural (all of us Believers must be involved) imperative (a command, not a request)!

"Be ye thankful," people of God!

It is a sin if we are not!

Thank the dear Lord for cleansing you from leprosy!  (In Bible "type" and "symbol," leprosy is a picture of sin, the sin Jesus' Blood washed away when He saved us!)

THANK THE DEAR LORD for the precious Word of God!

Thank the dear Lord for answering that last prayer you prayed!

THANK THE DEAR LORD for the indwelling Holy Spirit!

THANK THE DEAR LORD for your Church and Pastor!

THANK THE DEAR LORD for you loved ones!

THANK THE DEAR LORD in everything! 

The Apostle Paul wrote:  "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."  1st Thessalonians 5:18

And he practiced it too!  Again and again he said things like this:  "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord ...."

What a lifestyle!

A Spirit-filled lifestyle!

And if you are worried about "thanking" the Lord too much, you may calm your fears!  Scripture says that the Lord expects us to be "abounding" in thanksgiving!  "Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."  The verb "abounding" here (in Greek = "perisseuo") is used of a river when it overflows its banks! 

We are to live literally "overflowing" with thanks ... unto the Lord!

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 10:

There are many ways to "glorify" God!

In fact, the Apostle Paul believed that all of life, if lived in a godly manner, could bring "glory" to our dear Lord!

Listen to First Corinthians 10:31 ---  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

See what I mean?

Eating one's meal, drinking a glass of water, or even washing the dirty dishes those two activities created ... can be done in such a way  to bring "honor" and "glory" to the One Who died for our sins, Jesus Christ God's Son!

An example of this principle can be found in Luke 17:11-19.  There Jesus had just healed ten lepers!

And, of the ten, only one returned to give Him "thanks" for His kindness!

Here's the exact text.  It is describing that one grateful ex-leper!  "And he (the leper) fell down on his face at His (Jesus') feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

See that word "thanks"?

This Samaritan was a recipient of God's Grace ... and he rightly wanted to return some acknowledgement of that Grace to the very Lord God Who healed him!

Grace, the noun, in Greek is spelled "charis."

Thanks, also a noun, in Greek is spelled "eucharistia."

Do you see the "connection?"

Thanksgiving is, grammatically at least, an expression of one's receiving God's Grace in some special way!

God to mankind:  "charis!"  (GRACE!)

Man to God:  "eucharistia!"  (THANK YOU FOR THAT GRACE!)

So ... back to our original thought this Saturday in October ... one more way to "glorify" God is through our thanksgiving to Him!

Now let me prove that from our Luke 17 Text. 

Let's connect verses 15 and 16.  Here they are:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

Luke here equates "glorifying" God to "giving thanks" to Him!

He, in the act of glorifying God, gave Him thanks!

Need more proof?

Jesus, in verse 18, speaking of this lone grateful ex-leper said:  "There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger."

Of the ten, only one was "found" who returned to give God (Jesus) Glory!  And just HOW did he do that, glorify God? 

By giving thanks ... at Jesus' feet!

Additionally Paul, in 2nd Corinthians 4:15, links "thanksgiving" and God's "glory!"  "That abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God."  I have underlined the three "key" words!

Does anyone reading these paragraphs today plan to glorify God?

There are many ways you can do so!

But one of the major ways is to ... GIVE GOD THANKS ... all day long!

No wonder the Old Testament teaches us to always ... "enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."  Psalm 100:4

You folks may be tired of hearing about "thanksgiving" this week.

But even if you are ... I am still "thankful" God gave me this Luke 17 Passage of Scripture ... to study and teach.

I do not want to be "ungrateful!"

That sure puts one in bad company!

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."   2nd Timothy 3:1-5

See what I mean?

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 11:

"Thy faith hath made thee whole!"

That's what Jesus said to the Samaritan beggar!  He had been a leper thirty minutes earlier!  But our Lord had just healed him!

Jesus' exact words were:  "And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."   Luke 17:19

Now here's a thrilling thing!  This man is not the only person in Scripture to whom our Lord spoke these words.

To a lady who had been bleeding twelve years ... "But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour."   Matthew 9:22

This particular miracle is also recorded in Mark 5 and Luke 8 ... with the same words!  "Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."  Mark 5:34

Doctor Luke relates our Lord's response:  "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace."  Luke 8:48

Then yet again ... Jesus spoke these special words.  This time to a blind man! Bartimaeus heard ... "Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way."  Mark 10:52

In each of these cases (with a leprous man, a hemorrhaging woman and then a blind man) Jesus used the Greek verb "sozo" when He pronounced them "whole!"

What's so special about "sozo?"

It's the verb the Holy Spirit uses to denote salvation!

"Sozo" means "to save!"

In the passive voice, "sozo" means "to be saved!"

For example, in Acts 16:31, where Paul points a repentant jailer to Jesus ... his words are:  "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."

"Shalt be saved" translates our little verb here ..."sozo!"

Our leper in Luke 17 ... falling at the feet of Jesus and thanking Him, has just been saved!

Get this carefully:  "And one of them (the ten lepers), when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan ... and Jesus said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."  Luke 17:15-19

Through believing faith three New Testament prototypes (examples) have been born again!  Two were men, the other a lady!

But ... their faith had to be placed in The Right Person ... the Lord Jesus Christ!

Just think.  One of ten lepers ... and only one apparently ... was saved!  All ten were healed of the disease!  But only the one who could not stay away from Jesus got saved!

I say, "Praise the Lord for salvation!"

Folks today, let me ask each of you ... ARE YOU SAVED?

Have YOU been made whole?

If not, come to Jesus!

He indeed can do so!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 12:

Jesus once during His earthly ministry healed ten lepers at the same time!

The miracle happened in a place near the Galilean and Samarian border. 

The "group" of lepers included both Jews and at least one Samaritan!

That's an unusual combination for at that time "the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans."  John 4:9

Furthermore, Jesus did not heal these men by means of His direct "touch!"  He did that with a leper in Luke 5:13.

Neither did He cure these men with a quick straightforward statement like, "Be thou healed!"

The Lord simply commanded them to ... "Go and show themselves unto the priests."

Then ... the miracles began to occur!

"And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed,"  Luke 17:14 tells us!

So ... what happened next?

Presumably the nine (who were Jews) went to Jerusalem and appeared before the Priests there.

They continued to obey our Lord.  I mean ... to "the letter" of the Law!

But ... what about that Samaritan?

Folks, he could NOT go to Jerusalem and appear before the Priests there!  No provision was made for a Gentile, a foreigner, to receive such benefits!  (The "Law" of the cleansing of the leper is precisely given in Leviticus 14.  I read it carefully and see no "clause" that would include a Samaritan!)

Now ... if this newly healed Samaritan leper could NOT go to the Priests in Jerusalem, where could he find a Priest?

One Preacher suggested that maybe he could go back home to Samaria and consult one there.  But would Jesus send a man like this to a heathen priest for validation? No, He wouldn't!

Then ... where can this healed leper go to find his Priest?

Try this ...

GO TO JESUS!

HE IS A PRIEST!

HE IS A HIGH PRIEST!

HE IS THE HIGH PRIEST!

HE IS THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST!

And "going to Jesus" is exactly what this Gentile ex-leper did!

Luke tells us:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at Jesus' feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."  Luke 17:15-16

He went to the Priest all right! 

The nearest Priest!

Jesus Christ, the Son of God!

And Jesus "saved" him that day too!

Read the rest of Luke's account:  "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

I guess a lot depends on the Priest you consult!

I wonder what would have happened if they all (all ten healed men) had fallen at Jesus' Feet! 

I do believe that Jesus, the High Priest of all history ... past present and future, would have pronounced them ALL clean and whole!

ALL of them could have heard the assuring words:  "Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

I am so glad today that I do not have to find a Levite, a Jewish Son of Aaron, an earthly Priest of Israel ... in order to commune with God!  Nor do I have to come before any other kind of human religious Priest or Father or Rabbi either!

I can come before Jesus!  Hebrews 4:14 clearly tells us  ... "We have a Great High Priest, That is passed into the heavens, Jesus The Son Of God."

He alone can forgive sin!

He alone can pronounce one whole!

Appear before Him today!

                                                                                 --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 13:

He had been a leper!

Perhaps for many years!

Jesus healed him ... along with nine of his companions!

Then ... "When he saw that he was healed, he turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan." Luke 17:15-16

The old ex-leper fell at Jesus' Feet and worshipped!

I began to think of others in Scripture who had also placed themselves "at Jesus' Feet!"

The man who was demon possessed, Legion by name, was miraculously delivered from his oppressors by the sheer power of our Lord!  Then the local people ... "came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid."  Luke 8:35

A man named Jairus also came to Jesus and ... "he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: for he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him."  And before we know it ... "Jesus answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole."  Luke 8:41-42 and 50

Then Jesus, having died and been buried and victoriously raised from the grave, met His Disciples one day.  You will remember that our Lord remained on earth for forty days after His Resurrection, prior to His ascending to Heaven. The Twelve immediately ... "came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him."  Matthew 28:9

But, perhaps best of all, Mary of Bethany ... the sister of Lazarus and Martha ... illustrates how one can live at Jesus' feet!

We see her kneeling before Him three times in the New Testament!

Read with me Luke 10:38-39.  "Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word."

Then, when her brother Lazarus had died ... "Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died."  John 11:32

And just before Jesus' arrest and crucifixion ... "Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment."  John 12:3

Three times!

Mary sat at Jesus' Feet!  She sorrowed at Jesus' Feet!  And she served at Jesus' Feet! 

What worship her life shows!

One more quick example ... being yet future!

Paul promises this in Philippians 2:10-11.  "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth.  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."  Yes, judgment is coming for everyone, a day of reckoning!

This is not the first time the Apostle has written these words either.  In Romans 14:11 he quoted the Old Testament, using his famous "it is written" formula! "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

That Old Testament reference is Isaiah 45:23 where God says --- "I have sworn by Myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

So, the old ex-leper of Luke 17 (the man we've been studying for several days now) ... when he fell at Jesus' Feet to give thanks and glory and praise ... joined a pretty impressive company didn't he?

Some day we will ALL be found there!

"At Jesus' Feet!"

Friend, spend some time there today!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 14:

Let me re-visit a verse today please.

Something else needs to be said about it.

The Lord asked "Where are the nine?"

He had just healed these ten men who were lepers!

One of them, and only one, had returned to humbly fall at Jesus' feet!  He longed to glorify God and thank Him for what had been done!

This man's grateful attitude so impressed Jesus that He wondered aloud, "Where are the others?"

Luke 17:17 records for us these words:  "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?"

The question Jesus asked makes us wonder.

Is Jesus implying that He enjoys such praise and thanksgiving?

Do notice that the "glory" here is not specifically given to Jesus ... but to "God!" Read Luke 17:15-16 with me:  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

Of course please understand that Jesus IS God! 

And I believe that the way the Holy Spirit has led Luke to word this "burst of praise" ... the ex-leper, although a Samaritan, recognizes Jesus' Deity too!

Again, does God SEEK thanksgiving and worship and praise from His subjects?

YES!

For proof I would simply cite Jesus' Own words again!  This time from John 4:23.  "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him."

See that?

"Seeketh," the verb here, can even mean "to crave!"

Jesus just told a Samaritan WOMAN this time that God "hungers" for  worshippers who will thank Him and glorify him and worship Him!

Dear Believers in Christ, if you want to please your Heavenly Father today, thank Him and praise Him as you live for His Glory!

Make such worship a lifestyle!

You will bring Him great delight!

"Where are the nine?"

Furthermore ... this question Jesus asked might indicate His utter surprise at the lack of gratefulness shown by the majority of these ten healed lepers!

Now, few thing made Jesus "marvel!"

I've found only two!

Great faith did! 

In Matthew 8:10 we are told:  "When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."  This is spoken of a Roman soldier, a centurion, who sought healing for a servant back home.  The verb "marvel" (in Greek = "thaumazo") here means "to wonder at" or "to admire!"

Another thing that made Jesus marvel was man's lack of faith, his unbelief! Mark 6:6 briefly tells us:  "And He marvelled because of their unbelief. And He went round about the villages, teaching."

But our Luke 17 question today ... "Where are the nine?" ... indeed comes dangerously close to marveling! 

Jesus was aghast at the lack of thanksgiving shown by the nine formerly leprous Jews!

"Where are the nine?"

Folks, this Wednesday in October our Lord "desires" to hear words of thanks and appreciation and wonder and worship from His people!

He "seeks" such!  He "aims" for that!

And He "wonders" or "marvels" if such thanks and glory are not given!

"Where are the nine?"

Jesus longs for them to glorify God too!

"Where are the nine?"

Jesus is amazed that they did not give thanks!

Friends, today will we be counted among the "nine?"

Or will we be like the "one," the one who returned to fall at Jesus' Feet?

The one who fell at Jesus' Feet ... "giving Him thanks!"

This may be more important than we realize!

In Philippians 4:6 Paul gives a one verse "summary" of the right way to live for Jesus!  "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."

See that? 

The verse says:  Don't worry!  Pray about everything!  Stay in communion with God!  And live for Jesus ... "with thanksgiving!"

Again I say, "It's important!"

                                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 15:

Most of you are familiar with the miracles of our Lord.

The Gospel of Luke records for us several events in Jesus' Life that the other Gospel writers omit. 

One of these is the miracle of the healing of ten lepers, all at one time!  Quaint old Matthew Henry said this was the equivalent of emptying a whole hospital!

Today I would like to share with you several little "nuggets" about this great miracle.  Some of these I have found while reading other research materials.

Lepers could not come into close contact with any member of the public!  The Law required this separation!  Leprosy could be contagious!  The old rabbis prescribed at least a distance of four paces!  Another source says that a distance of at least fifty yards had to be maintained!  Still another said that the leper or lepers had to always attempt to stay downwind from a crowd!

Sin, which is symbolized here by leprosy, also causes separation!  Ultimately sin brings upon the wicked man eternal separation, even from God and His Love! And the place of such separation is Hell itself, including all its tormenting fire and brimstone and weeping and wailing!

When the ten lepers first approached Jesus, still standing afar off, they cried for "Mercy!"  The Greek verb there suggests action attending to  someone's suffering and misery!  They actually cried, Lord "mercy me!"  Or Lord, "mercify me!"   In reality that's the heart cry of every truly repentant sinner!

"Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God."  So says Paul in Romans 10:17.   This truth is so well illustrated by actions of the ten lepers in Luke 17.  Jesus told them (using His Word) to go show themselves to the priests in Jerusalem.  They all, having heard that Word ... acted upon it ... by obeying it, setting out for the priests many miles away!   Their proper response to Jesus' Word ... produced faith!  The sheer Word of God ... here yielded faith!

Jesus healed ten lepers with less than ten words!  Here's all Jesus said to the ten men collectively:  "Go shew yourselves unto the priests."  Luke 17:14

The one leper who returned to Jesus to give thanks was no longer required to go to the priest!  At least not according to our Text.  Jesus saved that man right on the spot!  "Thy faith hath made thee whole!"  Luke 17:19  ("Made whole" here is the Greek verb "sozo," to save!)  The Lord told him, "Go thy way!" That's an example of the liberty we have in Christ Jesus!  The New Testament believer does not have to live under the Law of Moses!  He is free to go his way ... filled with the Holy Spirit of God!

In Luke 9, immediately after the Transfiguration of our Lord, Jesus began his six month journey to Jerusalem ... to die for our sins!  Luke 9:51 tells us ... "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem."  He is "on the way" during the rest of the Book of Luke!  For proof see verses like Luke 9:53 and 13:22 and 17:11 (our incident here with the ten lepers) ... "And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off ...."  Also Luke 18:31 and 19:11 and 19:28 add to this inspired travel narrative!  When Jesus healed these ten men of their dreaded disease, itself a sign of sin, He had Jerusalem and the Cross and Death and Burial and Resurrection on His mind!

And then the great British preacher Charles H. Spurgeon added some thoughts about these ten healed lepers.  He observed that only one of them returned to give Jesus thanks, proving that ... More people receive benefits from Jesus than thank Him!  More folks pray ("Have Mercy," O Lord!) than praise the Lord (falling at His feet ... with thanks)!  More also are willing to obey rules (go to the priests) than ever express thanks!   And surely more individuals simply believe our Lord than fall at His feet worshipping Him with grateful hearts!

There you have just a few more thoughts about the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus ... and the one leper who returned to give thanks!

The Lord said in Psalm 50:23 ... "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me."

Let's all praise and thank Him today!

By doing so, you will be bringing Glory to His Name!

                                                                                   --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

LESSON 16:

Did you ever, after reading a Text of Scripture, wonder "What happened next?"

Maybe it's not the best method of Bible Study, but sometimes I ask that very question.

The Holy Spirit chooses sometimes to leave the ending of a Bible Story somewhat "unfinished!"

Maybe He does this to further excite our interest!

The Book of Acts ends that way!

Paul was "under arrest" in Rome ... yet dwelling in his own hired house, preaching the Gospel!   But what about his trial before Nero? 

So does the great Book of Jonah!  The Prophet is sitting outside the great city of Ninevah, still pouting and angry!  How long did he sit there before acknowledging the good Grace of God and ... then going back home?

And the account of the Prodigal Son's older brother!  Did that boy ever get a sweeter attitude?  Or did he stay mad the rest of his life?

Well, I am wondering today, not too far from the Thanksgiving Season, what ultimately happened to the one Samaritan leper Jesus healed.  You know ... the only one of that group of ten in Luke 17:11-19 who returned to give Thanks to Jesus!

Jesus was on His Way to Jerusalem, knowing that there He would be arrested, beaten, crucified, buried and raised again for the forgiveness of our sins!  "And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.  And as he entered into a certain village ...."

Then it happened, the miracle.  "There met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed." 

Yet just one of the men showed any thanks to Jesus, glorifying God the Father for His Mercy!  "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan."

Then Jesus responded so uniquely to the man's lovely attitude of gratefulness: "And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger."  The Lord was apparently amazed that the others did not say "Thank You" as well!

THEN it is recorded that our Lord ... "said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

Now those words prompted my original question of the day!

After Jesus told this ex-leper "Arise, go thy way," what happened?

Obviously the man was saved!  "Thy faith hath made thee whole!" proves that!

But ... what next?

Likely these things ensued:

He made a quick trip home, bringing great peace and delight to a little wife and two or three children ... a family that thought they would never see Daddy again!  Jesus has a way of putting families back together!  I would have loved to observe that reunion!

He no doubt kept a joyful and grateful heart.  One just does not easily forget that once he was a leper, but now is every whit clean!

He certainly went back home and told people about Jesus!  Some things just can't be kept quiet!

And I am sure He saw the Lord every opportunity He had!  Maybe even bringing others to Jesus too!  I can hear him now saying, "Come and see a Man that spoke ... and my leprosy disappeared!"

He probably even met week after week with a few fellow Believers and worshipped the Lord God Almighty in some place near his dwelling!

Yes, a life was changed forever that day!

Just maybe all those things happened.

But, if you remember, I actually asked at the first of today's Article, "what ultimately happened to this man who was healed?"

That one I CAN answer!

Ultimately he died.

And went to Heaven!

And he is there now ... where we shall see him some day ourselves!

That much we KNOW for sure!

All these possibilities --- I listed five of them!

And this one absolute --- He IS in Heaven today!

All because of Jesus!

Let's all thank Him and worship Him today, our precious Lord and Saviour!

                                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

We pray you have grown spiritually as you studied this great passage of Scripture!  At least we all should be more thankful unto our Heavenly Father!

 

 

Thank you for visiting the "Luke 17:11-19" Page!

Please PRAY for us as we travel.

 

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