Each year we set aside a day to celebrate God’s faithfulness to us as His Church. We count our blessings in order to give thanks to the Blesser. Sometimes these days land during difficulty, but, if anything, it makes these days even more crucial than they already are. Studying what God has done stirs hope of what He can do again. In Luke 17, we see just how important it is to recount His deeds and give thanks.

Samaria and Galilee were racially divided regions Jesus passed on His way to Jerusalem. As he passed through a village, He was met by ten lepers. Leprosy is a bacterial attack on the skin and nerves resulting in loss of feeling, lesions, and deformity. A leper was quarantined with lepers for life. They knew Jesus had authority, for no one called Him Master, except His disciples. In Jewish culture, if a quarantined person was made well, he went to the priest to be restored. But Jesus was testing them. All ten went. All were healed. But, one turned around and praised God.

Jesus has power in His hands and mercy in His heart. Jesus has an eye for people. The ten cried out to Jesus, and He saw! Suddenly, the mercy in His heart moved the power in His hands. In a stunning display of authority, each leper was healed. Bacteria eliminated. Lesions closed. Nerves and skin restored. For Providence, we have prayed for 3 years that God would plant our lives in the Church, the gospel in our city, and churches in the world. Jesus saw. Jesus moved!

Jesus wants to see gratitude spilling from our heart. What are the most alarming words in this passage? “Where are the nine?” Jesus cares because gratitude is a gauge that provides a reading of our heart. Receiving grace and giving thanks is a rhythm of relating to God. Like breathing, they are crucial to our spiritual life. Receiving grace is like inhaling. Giving thanks is like exhaling. Ingratitude, then, is like holding our spiritual breath. Could Jesus look at you after such blessing and ask, “Where is he/she?” Or on PBC and ask, “Where are they?”

Jesus enables gratitude to spill from our heart. We can generate a “thanks,” but never a grateful heart. The Bible speaks of a leprosy that infects us. Like leprosy, sin starts small before infecting our mind, heart, and hands. Like leprosy, sin numbs us to barbs and blessings. Like leprosy, sin separates us from God and others. Unless Christ heals, we are bound to sin, and its wage is death. But, there is the gospel! There is a sadness to spiritual blindness. The nine are where? Nine healed Jews continue to the temple to be restored to those awaiting the Christ. One healed Samaritan, forbidden from that Temple, returns to give thanks and finds himself face-to-face with Christ. There is only one source: Jesus! Religion will lead you to temples, self-righteousness, and ingratitude. Jesus will lead you to God!

 

SERMON NOTES

  1. Jesus has power in His hands and mercy in His heart. (Luke 17:11-16)

  2. Jesus wants to see gratitude spilling from our hearts. (Luke 17:17)

  3. Jesus enables gratitude to spill from our hearts. (Luke 17:18-19)

 

INTROSPECTIVE QUESTIONS 

  • Have you trusted Christ and been saved?

  • Have you/Are you continuing to thank God for His grace in your life?

 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

It’s easy to give thanks or count our blessings on birthdays, Thanksgiving, weddings, etc. But, giving thanks in times of hardship, turmoil, or suffering is really difficult. However, it is so necessary. Even during this time of quarantine, disease, isolation, uncertainty, and fear, we are called to recount the blessings Christ has so richly bestowed upon us, His Children. And allow those blessings to continually point our minds and hearts to the cross. We are to be constantly reminded of what was done for us in order that we might have any blessings bestowed upon us. It is all because of Jesus!

 

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