WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
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(The rarity of man’s gratitude toward GOD)
In Luke 17, verses 11-19, as JESUS and HIS faithful disciples move on toward HIS final visit to Jerusalem, and HIS appointment with death on the cross at Golgotha, somewhere near the border where Samaria meets Galilee, they meet up with a group of ten men that had all fallen prey to the dreaded disease called “leprosy”.
As they entered into this certain village, the ten men, who were standing at a distance, shouted out to JESUS, saying, “JESUS, MASTER, have mercy on us!” JESUS then turned and looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests” (go to church). As the ten men walked along going to show themselves to the priests, the leprosy that had overtaken their bodies suddenly began to disappear from them until it was completely gone.
Of the ten men that had cried out to JESUS for help that day, at least one was a Samaritan, and ironically, it was only he, who saw fit to return and thank the LORD for what HE had done for him. It was the Jews who always felt special and privileged about being “GOD’s chosen people” here on earth, however, sadly, few of them ever grasped the duty of responsibility that came with the assignment of being a light to the world, and showing the world, through their behavior, that Christianity really does produce the best men and women.
“Responsibility” will always be the obverse of “privilege”, and we won’t ever be able to have one without the other. When we enjoy the privilege of being GOD’s children we must remember that we have a responsibility that begins with being “thankful” and “obedient” to GOD for the blessings that HE bestows upon our undeserving lives every day.
GOD blesses us, with and through, provisions for our daily needs, despite our disobediences and sin against HIM (GOD the FATHER), and furthermore, HE forgives us for past, present, and future disobediences and sins, through the sacrificial blood of HIS only SON, JESUS CHRIST (GOD the SON), and finally, HE leads and guides us into a future of obedience to HIM through the power of HIS SPIRIT (GOD the HOLY SPIRIT).
The Samaritan man who returned, showed through his actions, that he was more so, “a child of GOD” than those of the “chosen nation” of Israel. He came back to thank JESUS for what he had done for him, and he fell prostrate to the ground at JESUS’ feet, and he praised GOD for his healing.
JESUS then inquired of the righteous man, saying, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this Samaritan return to give glory to GOD?” These were all questions that the Samaritan man couldn’t answer of course, but JESUS, WHO knew the wickedness and lack of faith in the hearts of most men, even the Jews, said to the grateful man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well”.
JESUS healed, not only the Samaritan man who returned to thank HIM, but HE also healed the less deserving Jewish men who didn’t. However, none of us really ever deserve the goodness and mercy of GOD, no matter how good we think we are. We as Christians must all strive to stay focused on the greatest and only perfect “human example” that ever lived in this world, JESUS CHRIST, WHO can deliver all those who desire to “overcome” our carnal state of existence, and claim our place in the Kingdom of Heaven, that JESUS says, has been prepared for us, since the very foundation, of this world.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander