Today I attended a sermon where the pastor referenced Luke 17:11-19 and looked at the gratitude of the 1 of 10 lepers who turned back and fell at the feet of Jesus, praising God. While this is a great example of thankfulness and gratitude, it speaks to a much larger concept in my spirit.
When this verse was read aloud I felt a stirring that pointed to something more. I see 10 lepers sent to the priests and were healed along the way. The customs of the Hebrews were focused on the priest as their link to God as the priests explained the laws of the Old Testament. Then when they are all healed, the Samaritan or “the foreigner” as Jesus says, turns back and falls at the feet of Christ. Jesus inquires where the others are. Some people may see one grateful man and nine that are not as grateful. I on the other hand, see nine Hebrew men caught up in the customs of the law and one outsider who sees Christ as the source and returns to Him in gratitude. He recognized Jesus as the ‘great High Priest’ of the book of Hebrews. Many Christians get caught up in religion, in man’s attempt to reach and/or please God. What I see in this short excerpt from Luke is God reaching down to His people through His Son and our Savior Jesus; and Jesus recognizing that the one who returned to give thanks to God at the feet of the Messiah was the one who’s faith made him well.
Don’t look to religion, look to Christ Himself. Find your healing at the foot of the cross in personal relationship with your Savior. Your faith makes you well.
Since then we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Seeing Jesus heal many people as we read the gospels brings a thought to my mind. These people were being healed due to their faith. (Matthew 15:28) Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” I feel that their faith was in His ability to heal and not who He was. (John 2: 23b-25) many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person. People from all around overwhelmed Jesus and the disciples with their numbers. All that came seeking Him with faith in His ability to heal were healed. (Matthew 8:16) That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. I’m sure that there were some that believed Jesus was the Christ, but I see disciples that hadn’t quite grasped the gravity of what they were seeing and Pharisee who were dismissing Him, even with their knowledge of Old Testament prophecies.
I can’t blame these people because I have the privilege to read the gospels and the words of the Holy Spirit spoken through Paul, Peter, and John. I’m blessed to learn from their actions and perception. I believe that was part of God’s perfect design. Each generation is meant to learn from the previous. (Psalm 78:5b-7) He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments. When we fail to do this, we see the effects in the Old Testament of people falling away after being in the direct presence of God and His protection/guidance. Although the healings by Jesus did help those who were directly healed. I think the real purpose was to grow the faith of the disciples to strengthen the coming ministry/church. It was also done so that later generations could see what the light of God on earth looks like.
Jesus healed those people for YOU!