Luke 17:11-19 Story of the ten lepers.
James began by reading the story of the ten lepers. Leprosy is a terrible disease, one which takes away the person’s ability to feel. They had to stay at a distance and call out “unclean.”
What’s interesting is this group of men was together, both Jews and Samaritans. Jews had no dealings with Samaritans, and visa-versa. Yet here they were reduced to their common humanity as a result of their misery.
The irony here is that these men, deprived of feeling, are healed by Jesus and yet 9 of them still feel nothing in their heart for the One who saved them.
Jesus knew there was only one who will pay off in the investment; 90% of Jesus’ healing ministry in this encounter took off as soon as they got their healing.
It doesn’t make sense. Why would Jesus waste His love, His power on so many who He knew wouldn’t serve Him?
What’s the motivation to serve, why the great love?
I think Jesus was trying to show us how we should relate differently to people in this world. How we should concern ourselves more with people’s pain than their potential.
Matthew 14:13-14 “Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. 14 When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”
Moved with compassion for them, He healed their sick. He doesn’t say He healed the worthy, the holy, the grateful, those who would serve Him. It says He healed them because He felt compassion for them.
Matthew 9:36 “Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd.”
When He saw the multitude, He was moved with compassion. Immediately following, He gives His power to the disciples and instructs them to go and minister to the people.
Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”
Don’t discriminate, don’t look for those who are deserving or even asking. Give in the way in which you have received and let compassion be your guide.
“Compassion” in Scripture is an interesting word meaning to be moved inwardly.
We continually see this compassion in Jesus as He encounters those around him.
- Those who are sinning. Mark 5:1-20
- Those who are sick. Matthew 14:14
- Those who are suffering. Luke 7:11-13
Jesus, even though He knew the faults of those He encountered, never let it get in the way of His compassion and His love.
Consider us though, we can become so caught up in people’s failures that we become blinded to their pain.
We should be so willing, because of what Christ has done for us, to love and to give and to heal those who God has put in our path.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
The reason you and I sit here today is because God cared about us long before we cared about Him.
When we encounter the hurting and the broken, what will we share? Compassion or condemnation for where they are at?
Some here still need the restoration of Jesus in your life.
God’s love is strong enough to accept you where you are at; His compassion is greater than your failure.
Church it is time to show the world that God’s love still works.
It’s time to meet people where they are, unconcerned about what may or may not have put them there.