Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
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Why Only One Person Giving Thanks
Luke 17:12-19

12 And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; 13 and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-- where are they? 18 "Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well." (NAS)

Introduction
We can ask why didn't the other nine return to give thanks? We might better ask why we do not give a better job of giving thanks. A recent survey found the following:

Here are selected findings on attitudes toward Thanksgiving from a survey of 1,005 adult Americans conducted by Scripps Howard News Service and Ohio University.

"The holiday season is coming up. Do you and your family usually have a special gathering for a meal at Thanksgiving?"

Yes ....................................92 percent

No ......................................8
 

"Do you normally say a special grace of thanksgiving at this meal?"

Yes ....................................83

No .................................... 17
 

"This is a tough question, but give me your best answer. Do you think God has given special blessings to the United States?"

Yes ....................................62

No .................................... 33

Don't Know ............................. 5
 

"Did God help America become a free and secure nation?"

Yes ....................................65

No .................................... 28

Don't Know ............................. 7
 

"Did God help America become a wealthy nation?"

Yes ....................................46

No .................................... 45

Don't Know ............................. 9
 

(Source: Survey of 1,005 adult residents of the United States
interviewed by telephone from Oct. 15-27 in a poll sponsored by Scripps Howard News Service and the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University.)
© 2000 Scripps Howard News Service. All Rights Reserved.
 
 

1.    Why Only One Person Giving Thanks When There Were
Ten Lepers Being . . Thoughtful. v 12


    "And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him;

A.    Thoughtful because of the . . Sickness. v 17

        1.    They knew they had an infectious disease.

B.    Thoughtful because of the . .Scriptures. v 17
 
Lev 13:45 "As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!' (NAS)

C.    Thoughtful because of the . . Savior. v 17

        1.    They believed He could heal.

Illustration Thanksgiving After Thoughts . . .
The entire family sat around the table. Before they began their Thanksgiving feast, each member spoke a few words about what they were thankful for. Little Johnny's dad was thankful for the raise at work

Grandma was thankful for the long life she had lived. Mom was thankful for her loving family.    When it was Johnny's turn, he hesitated. After a few moments of thought, he said, "I'm thankful that I'm not a turkey!"

Application

The lad was thoughtful. These lepers were thoughtful. They were reflecting about the scripture and their needs.
 
 

2. Why Only One Person Giving Thanks When There Were
Ten Lepers Giving . . Tidings. v 13


            "and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"

A.    Tidings In the Call Of . . Many. v 13 a
            ". . . they raised their voices, . . . "
 

B.    Tidings In the Call of . . Mercy. v 13 b
        ". . . saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!""
 

Illustration
In his book Living Life on Purpose, Greg Anderson shares the story of one man's journey to joy:

The man's his wife had left him and he was completely depressed.   He had lost faith in himself, in other people, in God -- he found no joy in living.  One rainy morning this man went to a small neighborhood
restaurant for breakfast. Although several people were at the diner, no one was speaking to anyone else. Our miserable friend hunched over the counter, stirring his coffee with a spoon.

In one of the small booths along the window was a young mother with a little girl. They had just been served their food when the little girl broke the sad silence by almost shouting, "Momma, why don't we say our prayers here?" The waitress who had just served their breakfast turned around and said, "Sure, honey, we pray here. Will you say the prayer for us?"

And she turned and looked at the rest of the people in the restaurant and said, "Bow your heads." Surprisingly, one by one, the heads went down. The little girl then bowed her head, folded her hands, and said, "God is great, God is good, and we thank him for our food. Amen."

That prayer changed the entire atmosphere. People began to talk with one another. The waitress said, "We should do that every morning."    "All of a sudden," said our friend, "my whole frame of mind
started to improve. From that little girl's example, I started to thank God for all that I did have and stop majoring in all that I didn't have. I started to choose happiness."
 

Application

These Lepers had to decide to cry out to Jesus. What about us in our times of need and our times of great joy, What about in all times of life.
 




3.    Why Only One Person Giving Thanks When There Were
Ten Lepers Showing . . Trust. v 14


        "And when He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed.
 

A.    They Showed there Trust In the Words of the . . Savior.
            ". . . He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests.". . . "

        1.    They demonstrated Trust In Jesus by Coming to Him.     Luke 5:12-14
12 And it came about that while He was in one of the cities, behold, {there was} a man full of leprosy; and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, you can make me clean." 13 And He stretched out His hand, and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He ordered him to tell no one, "But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded, for a testimony to them." (NAS)
 

B.    They Showed there Trust In the Words of the Scripture.
            ". . . "Go and show yourselves to the priests."

        1.    They demonstrated their trust in the scriptures.
        2.    No difference in the words of scripture and the words of Jesus

Lev 14:2 "This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, (NAS)

Illustration
The FBC of Columbia Missouri recently voted to leave the Southern Baptist Convention This is what the pastor said as quoted in a local news paper   "Heretofore, Baptists have said 'What would Jesus say about this?' " Baker countered. "Now they're saying that all of the Scriptures carry the same weight - Old Testament, New, prophets, Paul, Jesus . If there are two Scriptures that have tension or are conflictual, you yield to what you would say the spirit of Jesus would say on that issue."

C.    They Showed there Trust In Their . . Strategy.
        ". . . And it came about that as they were going, they were cleansed."

        1.    I think they discussed this among themselves. Just what did He tell us to do? Then they did as
                the Lord had said.

Application

We have the opportunity to follow the words of scripture. As we do we are following the ways of Jesus.
 




4.    Why Only One Person Giving Thanks When There Were
Ten Lepers Being . . Transformed? v 15-19


15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine-- where are they? 18 "Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well." (NAS)

A.    The Transformation In the . . Samaritans Point of View. v 15 -16

        1.    He realized Jesus was the Messiah.
        2.    He wanted to show himself to Jesus.

B. The Transformation In the . . Saviors Point of View. v 17-19

        1.    Jesus asked 3 questions

                a.    Were there not 10 Cleansed?
                b.    Were are the Nine?
                c.    Was no one found except this foreigner?

From Bible Studies Foundation http://www.bible.org/
20sn This is a parenthetical note by the author. The comment that the man was a Samaritan means that to most Jews of Jesus' day he would have been despised as a half-breed and a heretic. The note adds a
touch of irony to the account (v. 18).

Hobbs Statement
Alas a foreigner might not be permitted in the Jewish part of the temple, but one found grace with the Lord of the temple. Hobbs An Exposition of the Gospel of Luke. P 250

Illustration
The sun had just risen on a hot August day in 1944 in the small village of Plelo, in German-occupied France. The 15-year-old boy did not know why he and the other citizens of Plelo had been lined up before a firing squad in the middle of the town square. Perhaps they were being punished for harboring a unit of Marquisards, the French underground freedom fighters. Perhaps they were merely to satisfy the blood lust of the German commanding officer who, the evening before, had routed the small group of Marquisard scouts.

All the boy knew was that he was about to die. As he stood before the firing squad, he remembered the carefree days of his early childhood, before the war, spent roaming the French countryside. He thought about all he would miss by never growing up. Most of all he was terrified of dying. How will the bullets feel ripping through my body? he wondered. He hoped no one could hear the whimperings coming from deep in his throat every time he breathed.

Suddenly, the boy heard the sound of exploding mortar shells beyond the limits of his little village.
Rapidly moving tanks could also be heard. The Germans were forced to abandon the firing squad and face a small unit of U.S. tanks. The twenty American GI's were led by Bob Hamsley, a corporal in Patton's Third Army. A Marquisard captain had asked Hamsley for help. After three hours, fifty Nazis were dead, and the other fifty were taken prisoner.

In 1990 the town of Plelo honored Bob Hamsley on the very spot where dozens of the town's citizens would have died if not for him. The man who initiated the search for Hamsley and the ceremony honoring him was the former mayor of Plelo, that same 15 year old boy. He had determined to find the man who saved his life and honor him. It's hard to forget your Savior.