Scripture reading – Luke 16-17
Today’s Scripture reading, Luke 16-17, continues with two additional parables taught by Jesus: The Unfaithful Servant (16:1-13), and The Rich Man and Lazarus (16:19-31). The latter is believed by some to not fall into the category of a parable because it uses a man’s proper name, “Lazarus.”
Four Spiritual Principles (guidelines) For Living in a Sin Cursed World (Luke 17:1-10)
In Luke 17, Jesus moved from employing parables in His teaching, to teaching His disciples specific spiritual principles. The first principle was a warning: Offend “one of these little ones” (meaning, to discourage or lead one to sin), and you invoke God’s wrath (17:1-2).
A second principle was a command for addressing offences: When offences arise, which is inevitable, don’t give place to bitterness. Rather, go to the one who has offended you, “rebuke him,” meaning to address his sin (17:3), and be ready to forgive (17:4).
The essential of faith, was the third principle, and can be summed up in this: “Faith as [i.e. or as small as]a grain of mustard seed,” is powerful (17:5-6).
The fourth principle was in the matter of obeying God: As a servant is duty bound to serve his master (17:7-9), so is a believer who serves the LORD (17:10). We have no cause or grounds for pride or boasting, for when we have served the LORD faithfully, “we have done that which was our duty to do” (17:10).
Gratitude: A Blessed Attitude (Luke 17:11-19)
With His appointment of the Cross before Him, Jesus, passed “through the midst of Samaria and Galilee,” setting His face to go up to Jerusalem (17:11). As He traveled with His disciples, Jesus encountered ten lepers who appealed to Him from afar, “Master, have mercy on us” (17:12-13).
Jesus commanded the lepers, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests,” and as they went on their way, “they were cleansed” (17:14). Ten men had been healed, but only one “turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan” (17:15-16).
Notice the phrase, “he was a Samaritan” (17:16).
“Misery loves company,” is a trite saying that might have described the unity of the lepers when they were ten in number. However, though they had all experienced the blessed miracle of healing and the wholeness that only Christ could give, only one, a Samaritan expressed sincere gratitude.
The Samaritan, however, had known a life of rejection in Israel. He had borne not only the scars of leprosy, but the scorn of Jews who looked upon his lineage with disdain. He demonstrated a humility of one who had known rejection, and he was profoundly aware that he was the object of God’s grace.
Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (17:17); “18There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (17:18).
Why a “stranger?” He was a Samaritan. Unlike the nine ungrateful men who had been healed of leprosy, he was a “stranger” from God’s covenant promises with Israel. He felt his unworthiness, and was sensitive to His need. He had been transformed, not merely physically, but spiritually.
Jesus commanded the Samaritan, “Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (17:19). He was whole! Not only having been delivered from leprosy, but delivered from the curse of sin, by his faith in Jesus Christ!
Friend, are you “whole?” Not merely physically, but spiritually whole. You can be, by simply turning from sin, putting your faith in Jesus Christ, and receiving Him as your Savior.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith