THE ONE LEPER, WHEN HE RETURNED
TO GIVE THANKS
OUR LORD’S COMMENDATIONS
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Luke 17:11-19;
Commendation: Verse 19)
Only Luke’s gospel has the record of the ten
lepers who were cleansed by the Lord while
He was on His way to Jerusalem. Normally
these ten men would not have been
together, for some were Jews and some
were Samaritans - look up John 4:9; but
people who are in the same kind of trouble
are often thrown together. These leprous
men “stood at a distance” (verse 12), and
when they saw the Lord they cried to Him
for pity (verse 13). He commanded them,
“Go, show yourselves to the priests”, and
as they obeyed they were cleansed. One
returned to give thanks (verses 15-16), but
the other nine were not heard of again
(verse 17). The man who returned to give
thanks received a word of commendation
from the Lord (verse 19). To appreciate the
significance of our Lord’s commendation
of this we need to study the whole story in
detail. Five simple lessons emerge from it:
1. NO-ONE HAS EVER CALLED ON THE LORD
JESUS FOR HELP AND CALLED IN VAIN.
Notice in verse 13 their cry was earnest -
they were lepers, but even they may be sure
of the Lord’s help. Thank God, no-one is too
sinful, too diseased or in too great a
difficulty to call upon Him and receive His
blessing. Christ is no respecter of persons;
here were Jews and Samaritans - look up
Romans 10:11-13. Whatever trouble we may
have, if we will call upon Him He will be
gracious to us and undertake for us - look
up Psalm 50:15. If we will call upon Him for
help - see what Psalm 34:6 and 19 say!
2. THE LORD DOES NOT DEAL WITH EVERYONE
IN THE SAME WAY.
From verse 14 we see that He dealt with
these ten men in accordance with Leviticus
14:2-4. What he said in effect was, “The
priests have condemned you as lepers; if
you believe that I can heal you, and am
healing you, go and show yourselves to
them that they may see you are healed.” In
contrast with this, turn back to read of the
Lord’s healing of the leper who came to
Him in Luke 5:12-14. He did not send that
man to the priests; He cleansed him in a
moment by the power of His word and His
touch. Or think of Naaman, who before he
was cleansed had to dip in Jordan seven
times – look up 2 Kings 5:14. Likewise, in
the matter of salvation the Lord is sovereign,
and in no two cases does He work alike.
Compare, for example, His dealings with
Nicodemus (John 3), with the woman at the
well (John 4), with the Queen’s Treasurer
(Acts 8), with Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9) and
with Cornelius (Acts 10). How different were
the experiences of these people! There is
only one way to God - look up John 10:9;
14:6; Acts 4:12; but there are very many
ways to Christ.
3. SPIRITUAL BLESSING ONLY AND ALWAYS
COMES IN THE PATHWAY OF OBEDIENCE.
In verse 14 Jesus said, “Go… show
yourselves… and as they went, they were
cleansed.” They simply took the Lord at His
word, and when they did what He said they
received the blessing they needed so much!
The operative words here are: “as they
went…” ; in other words, as they obeyed,
they were cleansed. If we would experience
fulness of spiritual blessing we must realise
it can only be as we are willing to do what
the Lord says. What are the commands of
the Gospel that are clearly set out in the
Word of God?
COME - Isaiah 1:18; Matthew 11:29; John
6:37; Revelation 22:17.
REPENT - Mark 1:15; Luke 13:3; Acts
17:30; Romans 2:4.
FORSAKE - Isaiah 55:7; Matthew 5:29;
2 Corinthians 7:1.
BELIEVE - John 3:16; Acts 13:39; Romans
1:16; Ephesians 2:8.
CONFESS - Matthew 10:32; Romans 10:9;
1 Timothy 6:13.
BE BAPTISED - Matthew 28:19; Acts 2:38;
BE AT THE LORD’S TABLE - Luke 22:19-20;
1 Corinthians 11:23-26.
The measure of our obedience to the Lord
will determine the measure of His blessing
experienced and enjoyed in our lives - look
up John 2:5, and compare Acts 9:6. Full
obedience brings fullness of blessing.
4. WHEN WE CONSIDER ALL THAT THE LORD
JESUS HAS DONE FOR US, THE VERY LEAST WE
CAN DO IS THANK HIM, AND GIVE OUR LIVES IN
FULL SURRENDER TO HIM.
Look at verses 15-16. It was natural to
return and give thanks, and yet nine did not
do so! If the Lord had cured you from
leprosy, would you not thank Him? Have you
ever thanked Him for leaving Heaven for you
(2 Corinthians 8:9); for coming to
Bethlehem’s manger for you (Luke 2:7); for
triumphing in the wilderness for you
(Matthew 4:11); for His three years of public
ministry for you (Acts 10:38); and for all that
He endured in Gethsemane and
accomplished on Calvary for you (Luke
22:44; 1 Peter 2:24)? Have you ever thanked
Him that He rose triumphant from the grave
for you (Romans 4:25; Revelation 1:18); and
that He ever lives to make intercession for
you (Hebrews 7:25; Romans 8:34)? Have you
thanked Him, not in word only but by the
dedication of your life to His service? Look at
the following references, and notice some of
the things for which the apostle Paul was
thankful: redemption (2 Corinthians 9:15);
kindness (2 Corinthians 8:16); obedience
(Romans 6:17); and fellowship (2 Timothy
5. IT IS ONLY WHEN WE DEFINITELY COME TO
THE LORD AND THANK HIM FOR ALL THAT HE
HAS DONE FOR US THAT WE RECEIVE HIS WORD
OF ASSURANCE AND HIS SPECIAL
Look at verse 19. It is one thing to be
cleansed, forgiven and saved, but it is
another thing to know it. Do you know it?
Many Christians do not have the full
assurance that the Lord wants them to have.
They are constantly filled with doubts and
fears. The way to be sure about our
salvation and the fullness of spiritual
blessing that is ours in Christ is to do what
this one leper did - verse 14. That enables
the Lord, through the channel of our faith,
to make us whole - verse 19!THE ONE LEPER, WHEN HE RETURNED TO GIVE THANKS
THE ONE LEPER, WHEN HE RETURNED