by Dr. Samuel Lee   11/17/1995     0 reads



Luke 17:11-19

Key Verses: 17:17-19

  "Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other

nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except

this foreigner?' Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith

has made you well.'"

Study Questions

1. Who did Jesus meet on the border between Samaria and Galilee? What

was the common bond between this group of Jews and Samaritans? How

did they show both respect and trust toward Jesus?

2. How did Jesus heal them? Why should they show themselves to the

priests?  What reveals their faith? In what ways was one man

different from the rest?  What blessing did he receive? What lesson

did Jesus teach?

3. Some unthankful people: Read John 5:1-15. What special grace did the

paralyzed man receive from Jesus and how did he display ingratitude?

What does the parable in Mark 12:1-12 reveal about the nature of


4. Some thankful people: Read Acts 16:22-25 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

What can you learn from Paul about being thankful?

5. Three pillars of God's grace to remember: Jehovah Jireh (Gen 22:14);

Ebenezer (1Sa 7:12); Immanuel (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23). Look up the

meaning and the stories connected with each of these and tell what

each one should mean to you.




Luke 17:11-19

Key Verses: 17:17-19

  "Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other

nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except

this foreigner?' Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith

has made you well.'"

In this passage, we learn two things. First, Jesus heals even a

Samaritan leper, who was segregated by the Jews. This small event

manifests that Jesus is the Son of God. Second, we also learn from ten

lepers about unthankful people and thankful people. In this passage, as

the children of God we must learn how to thank God as of first

importance in whatever situation we may be in.

First, a story about ten lepers (11-19).

Now Jesus was going up to Jerusalem with his disciples and they had

to pass the border between Samaria and Galilee. There was a borderline

between Judah and northern Israel as a truce line. We call this border

no-man's land. Even if it was a no-man's land and a truce line, many

lived in the border. They were sorrowful lepers.  Lepers from Judah and

lepers from Samaria lived together in the border without any strife on

account of their empathy due to their leprosy. They suffered from poor

food supply which was on a subsistence level. But what made them most

sorrowful was that they were human beings, yet they had to live in the

borderline. Who knows if there were several teenage leper girls. How

could you help them? As Jesus went into a village, ten men who had

leprosy met Jesus. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud

voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" How did Jesus help them?

As we know, Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem to become a ransom

sacrifice to save men from their sins. Therefore, Jesus must be bracing

himself for the suffering to come. One young man who looked very

courageous like Samson became nervous when his traffic court date was

approaching. But Jesus was not selfish. At that moment, Jesus cared for

ten lepers. When Jesus saw them he said, "Go, show yourselves to the

priests." As they went, they were cleansed (14). Jesus' way of healing

shows that he was occupied with the thought of trials, suffering,

crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem. Nevertheless, he healed

them. But only one of them came back to Jesus, praising God in a loud

voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him--and he was a

Samaritan (16). Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed?  Where are the

other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except

this foreigner?" Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made

you well" (19).  Nine of them were ungrateful, though their leprosy was

healed. They did not come back to thank Jesus. Here we see two kinds of


Second, unthankful people.

When we read John 5:1-5, we feel that we look at a caricature of the

world.  The pool of Bethesda looked so beautiful. On the other hand,

there were a great number of disabled people lying there--the blind,

the lame, the paralyzed, because they believed that the first one who

jumped into the pool when the water was stirred would be healed.

Secular humanism suggests a solution that the blind man carry the lame

man piggy-back and run to the pool to save themselves. But they have to

decide who goes into the pool first for healing. This is the human

dilemma. Men can mutually help each other, but men cannot save others

because of their selfishness.

There, Jesus saw a man who had been an invalid for 38 years. Jesus

said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once, the man was

cured and picked up his mat and walked away, without saying, "Thank

you, Jesus" (8,9). The day Jesus healed him was a Sabbath. When the

temple police passed by, he reported that Jesus had healed him on the

Sabbath in order to save his skin. If he were a man, he had to remember

how much Jesus had done for him. But he was an unthankful man.

The parable of the vineyard (Mk 12:1-12) explains the unthankful man

more vividly. This is a parable Jesus spoke to his chosen people. The

owner of the vineyard made a beautiful vineyard and its environment and

gave it to his tenants to take care of it. Here, the tenants refers to

his chosen people. At first, the tenants thanked the owner that they

could have the privilege of taking care of the master's vineyard. The

vines grew and grew and bore abundant fruit. Then their hearts were

occupied with a second thought. They only thought about the vineyard,

not about the owner. They became victims of hallucination. In their

hallucination, they lost themselves.

Actually, the owner of the vineyard gave them the vineyard to take

care of it.  But he wanted to maintain the spiritual order and the love

relationship and a thankful mind between the owner and his tenants. So,

many times the owner sent his servants to see if they were doing well

and wanted to  get just a few grapes to see if they had a thankful

mind. The tenants, however, only thought about such a beautiful

vineyard and its fruits. When they only saw ever-growing and

sufficiently abundant grapes, greed came into their hearts. Then Satan

began to control their hearts. Each time the servants came from the

owner, the tenants sent all the servants back empty-handed and badly

injured. Those who went with two legs came back with one leg. Those who

went with a beautiful nose came back with a bloody, broken nose.

Nevertheless, the owner sent his servants again and again. Finally, the

owner sent his own son. They also killed the owner's son. The owner

could not believe that the tenants killed his own son. Here we learn

that when man forgets how to thank God, he becomes a devil.

Third, thankful people.

When we study the Bible, to glorify God or thank God is our divine

duty. So Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "...give thanks in all

circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Paul,

the greatest theologian, defines, "to thank God in all circumstances is

the will of God for us." Once, Paul and Silas went to Philippi. Paul

converted a witch-girl, who had made her owner rich. Then the owner

brought gangsters and beat Paul and Silas. So, in order to stop a riot,

the mayor of Philippi kept Paul and Silas in prison. That night, they

did not cry, saying, "Look at my broken nose." Rather, they sang in

deep thanks for the privilege of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus at

Philippi. If we have this kind of thanks and praise to God, we can

recognize ourselves as truly great men in the sight of God. When we

have a thankful heart in any situation, God is most pleased.

When we try to count God's graces one by one, we learn that God's

grace is uncountable. We also learn that our sins are uncountable.

God's grace is too great to fathom. But we can categorize it in three


  Jehovah Jireh (Gen 22:14). Jehovah Jireh is Abraham's life

testimony. It is not so long. Abraham started his life of faith at the

age of 75. God promised to make his name great and to make him a great

nation and a blessing to all people. Abraham simply believed in his

promises. Genesis 12:1 says in order to become the greatest man who

ever lived in the world, he had to leave his country, people and

father's household. This prerequisite implies that he must get out of

ordinary life and live a life of faith based on the promise of God. All

of a sudden, he said to his wife, "Quick, quick, pack up, Sarah! We are

going to leave our hometown and relatives and go to the promised land."

At that time, Sarah was barren. Out of her hysteria of barrenness, she

could have said, "What are you talking about?" But she did not say so.

She just followed Abraham.

The Lord had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and

your father's household and go to the land I will show you" (Gen 12:1).

Abraham believed that the promised land looked like a paradise. But

when he went there and saw, the people of the land looked strong and

wealthy. Abraham was startled for a little while, thinking about how he

could survive there. But he believed that this was the promised land

that God gave him. Emotionally he was disturbed. But he built an altar

as the expression of thanks (Gen 12:8).

God wanted to see if Abraham loved God more than Isaac, God's

blessing to him. So God commanded him to give Isaac as a burnt offering

at Mount Moriah. Isaac really wondered. Everything was there, but there

was no sacrifice. So Isaac asked, "Father, where is the sacrifice?"

Abraham said, "God will provide (Jehovah Jireh)." When Abraham

determined to make Isaac a burnt offering, there was a voice from

heaven, "Abraham, Abraham. Do not lay a hand on the boy. Now I know

that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your

only son" (Gen 22:10-12).  On the mountain of the Lord, God prepared a

ram in the place of Isaac. Abraham showed us the example that for those

who believe in God's promise, God provides everything, and that God

blesses those who believe in his promises. There are so many people who

are slaves of future security. Even if they have mountain-like money,

their future security problem erodes their souls. So Jesus said, "But

seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will

be given to you as well" (Mt 6:33).

  Ebenezer (1Sa 7:12). Ebenezer means, "Thus far has the Lord

helped us." The word, "Ebenezer," is Samuel's life testimony. Samuel

belongs to the time of Judges.  God appointed him as a king-raiser

among his people. Samuel thought that God and the law of God are the

standard of his people and they didn't need a king like the pagan

world. But his rebellious people wanted a political king. What is more,

his two sons were obnoxious and spoiled. Samuel was old. To Samuel, his

life of shepherding seemed to have been a complete failure, and he

cried. But when he prayed, he realized that God had used him thus far

preciously. During his time of shepherding, his people had undergone

one hardship after another. He and his people could have been destroyed

by the enemies. But God always helped them. When Samuel remembered the

God of Ebenezer, he understood that God would help his people as

before. Samuel thought that he had suffered enough to shepherd God's

flock. He was bitter. But when he remembered how much God had helped

his people thus far, Samuel was overwhelmed by a thankful heart to God,

and he cried. Sometimes we think that we live our lives with our own

effort. But without God's help we perish, as the crops perish without

morning dew and rain in season. We must thank God that he has helped

us. We must believe in the God of Ebenezer.

  Immanuel (Isa 7:14; Mt 1:23).   Immanuel means God is with us.

Matthew 1:23 summarizes the concept that God is with us. It says, "'The

virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will

call him Immanuel'--which means, 'God with us.'" God is with us to save

us from our sins. He is with us to care for each of us. How nice it is

if we can row our lifeboats in a glassy sea. But frequently, God gives

the storm of life to us. The Bible teaches us that we must thank God

whatever the situation God places us in. As we know well, Joseph was

the eleventh son of Jacob, the father of faith. Because of his

brothers' jealousy he was sold to an Ishmaelite caravan for 20 silver

coins. In Egypt, he was sold as a slave to the king's captain of the

guard, Potiphar. Potiphar's wife had been very proud of her husband

thus far. But as soon as she saw Joseph, her husband's greatness looked

small. When she saw Joseph's integrity, she felt that her heart was

empty. She nagged Joseph with the authority of a master's wife to enjoy

some together. But God was with Joseph. Joseph kept his heart right

with God. Then the woman put Joseph in prison with false accusation. In

his teenage time, his most sorrowful event was missing his old father.

Besides, he was imprisoned.  Of course, Joseph cried and cried in the

prison of a foreign land. But he believed that God was with him. Then

God gave him strength to work for the prisoners. Romans 8:31 says,

"What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who

can be against us?"

When we look back on God's graces upon us, they are countless. But

we do not remember; rather, we are bitter because of hard life and one

or two things that made us bitter. These kinds of people are petty men.

Like Samuel, we must thank God that he has led us thus far. We cannot

do much for his flock. But we must thank God for the privilege of

praying for them, in the hope of raising them a kindgom of priests and

a holy nation.

Let's thank God that he is always with us and cares for us. Let's

pray that we may thank God in all circumstances. May the God of Jehovah

Jireh, Ebenezer, and Immanuel be with you.