In one story, as Jesus went through a village there was a group of 10 men who suffered from a horrible skin disease. They could not be around other people, and even had to call out that they were “unclean” so no one would come near them. When Jesus came into town they cried out something different… “Jesus, have mercy on us!” Jesus responded by telling them to go to the priest and be pronounced clean, as was the custom of Jewish law. Off they went, and as they walked, they were cleansed. One man, recognizing that he had been healed, turned and went back to Jesus, loudly worshiping and thanking Him. Jesus said, “Weren’t there 10 of you healed? Where are the other 9? How is it that the foreigner (a Samaritan, not a Jew) is the one who came to say, ‘Thank you’?” Jesus then told the man to go on his way for his faith had made him well.
There are three things we can learn from this miraculous story which can be found in Luke 17:11-19.
· There is power in the word… both our word and in the word of Christ. We often don’t receive healing or deliverance because we don’t ask for it. Once I was the last person in a Krispy Kreme store. While checking out with 2 dozen doughnuts and a bottle of milk I jokingly asked if I would get the ‘last customer discount.’ Without cracking a smile she rung me up and charged me $1.82 instead of the $14 it should have been. There is no such thing as a ‘last customer discount.’ But I received it because I asked for it, and she had the power to give it. When our word of faith is met by Christ’s powerful word of truth, a breakthrough is bound to happen. The apostle James says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” (James 4:2) How many other people in that village needed deliverance through Jesus but didn’t even ask Him for anything?
· There is a process in the way. When the miracle does not come immediately upon the request, we can give up on it. We have to have our vehicle emissions tested. Sometimes after an emissions leak is repaired, you have to drive 100 miles in order to clear the on-board computer. Only then can you take it in to have it inspected for the repair and cleared for approval. Jesus didn’t wave a magic wand over these men and heal them. They were cleansed as they went on their way. The Bible is full of stories of people who had to march around their enemy for days to gain victory, or dip multiple times in a river to be healed. God doesn’t always perform a flash miracle. Sometimes He works the deliverance through our walk.
· There is purpose in our worship. There is something to be said about praise and thanksgiving. King David wrote to God, “You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel.” (Psalm 22:3) In His presence we find completeness. In praising Him for what He has done we scatter the enemy. God has worked in everyone’s life, but not everyone will go back to loudly tell Him, “Thank you!” Jesus keeps track of His miracles, and it moves Him when the unlikely person does not just receive a miracle from Him, but returns to worship Him.
Today Jesus will be passing through your village. There is no need to sit quietly like a spectator as He meets the needs of those around you. Call out to Him in faith and watch Him respond in power. When He commands you to walk, keep on walking. Don’t give up because the breakthrough because it isn’t how you imagined it would be. And when you are delivered, return to Him to give great thanks. He has done for you what you cannot do for yourself, and what no one else could do for you. Make a big deal out of that. Don’t be the 9. Be the 1.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.