10/14/07, P20C

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
Luke 17: 11-19

11On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee . 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” (NRSV)

aith healing is a subject that we do not understand so we ignore it until we need it. I have seen a lot of nominal Methodists become great believers after receiving a terminal medical diagnosis. “We got bad news preacher will you please pray for Mama?

I would pray more intensely too if our family had received bad news, and I did.

My drive home from the doctor’s office was torture. I prayed and cried, somehow I drove up I-75 to 285 and Marilyn and I cried together and prayed. “O God please heal my body!” And God did, in time.

Many have similar stories. We have stared down illness and won.

We can identify with the horror that these ten dying men, scorned and starved, were experiencing. It was a terminal disease in the first century. In addition to a painful and slow death people then believed it was contagious and lepers had to stay away from all human contact, even by their family. Today we know that it was caused by terrible unsanitary conditions, and that it could have been treated by simple cleansing with soap and disinfectants. But these ten sick men were hopeless and they probably cried out for healing from every cleric or holy man whom they ran across.

It was easy for Jesus, “Go and show yourselves to the Priest.” All ten were healed already just by asking. They were able to go home to put their lives back together again.

But one thing about death, it always comes our way again. All ten died, not soon, but later. Yet they had their precious moments on borrowed time.

Many of the movies of Jesus’ life, and books too, picture the lepers at the Cross of Jesus. Some have said that they became evangelists as they told, and re-told their stories. Who among us could be able to not tell? All of us have our own personal and unique stories to share of personal encounters with the Savior.  

I never tire of hearing persons very personal stories. Some had never shared their stories with anybody until the pastor came along. I have encouraged everyone to share what God has done in their lives. Sometimes they do not feel as they should tell anyone because their gift from God might seem insignificant, not as dramatic as ten lepers healed all at once.

Lastly, and if we can truly believe it is so, God’s greatest miracle is not just extending our lives, but the best is that He gives us a whole new celestial body in death. It is not just a reconditioned used body but an entirely new life in Glory.

We do not know much about life in heaven but we do know that we will be able to be back with our families and friends, and perhaps we can meet the ten men were healed that day when they called out saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” and Jesus did have mercy on them and also on us when we cry out for mercy.

You see, just as the ten lepers had to do, we still must pray for mercy with blind hope.

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
10/14/07, P20C