November 27, 2022

The Power of Thanksgiving

The Power of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2022 (Luke 17:11-19)

Luke 17 Within the context of Luke Jesus has been traveling for some time to make his way back to Jerusalem.

  • He is now between Samaria and galilee.

Verse 12 The Greek word used here is for various diseases affecting the skin–not necessarily just leprosy.

  • Because of social ostracism and religious laws, lepers would seek out others with the disease.
    • Even those with whom they would not normally associate.
  • It also says they stood at a distance because they were not allowed to approach other healthy people.

Verse 13 They are calling out to Jesus at a distance in keeping with what was required of them.

  • This was also an ongoing call to get Jesus’s attention, they didn’t just call out once.
  • The NIV has “have pity on us”
    • It could really be seen as “be merciful to us”

Verse 14 We need to understand the history, “it was the job of the priest to diagnose leprosy and to declare healed lepers “clean.”

  • So, in keeping with the costumes of the day Jesus sends them to the priests.
  • This was the only way for them to re-enter society, they needed a declaration from the priests
  • So, we not only see Jesus’ immediate compassion to heal them.
    • But He also desires to see their lives restored.

There is also the huge element of faith here as the lepers are told to head to the priest before they are healed. These men acted with great faith.

  • The verse concludes by saying that as they went, they noticed they were healed.
  • The verb structure “they were cleansed” is in the passive voice,
    • So, the action of being cleansed happened to them, they had no part in it other than receiving it.

Verse 15 Only one of the men comes back to Jesus!

  • The word translated here as praising means to bring glory. Glorifying God.
    • It Is where we get our English word Doxology.
    • He comes back and with a loud voice and gives doxology.
    • The word for loud is the word mega.
    • The man came back and gave a mega doxology.
  • The previous verse has a plural pronoun indicating that more than one was healed.
    • In verse 17 Jesus makes it clear that all ten were healed.
  • But only this man goes beyond the physical healing to see the hand of God.

Verse 16 He now comes right up and throws himself at Jesus’ feet ignoring the requirements of a leper to keep at a distance.

  • The word in Greek here is eucharistos from where we get our English word Eucharist.
    • Eucharist is another word for Communion or the Lord’s Supper.
    • That’s the level of thanksgiving and worship this man in engaged in.
  • The Greek also says he throws himself on his face see the
  • The story now takes that shocking twist. The man is a Samaritan.

Verse 17 Jesus makes it clear that all ten were healed.

  • It is not stated but the implication is that the other nine were Jews.
  • Obviously, this is a stinging indictment on the others’ lack of thankfulness and recognition of God’s mercy.

Verse 18 The word translated here as “foreigner” is used in the LXX as “pagan” or “heathen”

  • Only time it is used in the entire NT.
  • Jesus is saying, “was no one found to return and give praise to God except this pagan?”
  • This same word appeared on the signs prohibiting foreigners from passing the inner barrier of the Temple.
    • This was the word that says you cannot come to God.
  • Irony, the one who was farthest from God was the only one to return and give thanks and praise.

Verse 19 The expression “your faith has made you well” should be seen as full salvation.

  • The Greek word is really the word for saved, your faith has saved you.
  • Both the act of faith to go, and the returning in thanksgiving are enough for Jesus to declare this man saved.
  • Recognizing the work of God and Thanksgiving are tied to Salvation for Jesus.
  • Remember a bit ago Jesus called this man a pagan.