Friday, May 5, 2017

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

                        Seven Steps For Healing.

                                Luke 17:11-19

                          Alex Thomas, Jackson, TN. 

                                 Atlanta MTC

"Rise and go; your faith has made you well", Luke 17: 9

While Jesus was travelling to Jerusalem along the border between Samaria and Galilee, ten men who had leprosy stood at a distance and shouted, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" Jesus responded, "Go show yourselves to the priests". As they went, they were cleansed. One of them, a Samaritan, when he realized that he was healed, he came back, threw himself down at Jesus' feet and praised God in a loud voice. Jesus asked, "were not all ten cleansed, where are the other nine"? Jesus then told the Samaritan, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well".

Leprosy is a dreadful disease, which attacks the body, leaving sores, missing fingers, toes, damaged limbs etc. Lepers were not allowed to be with their own family. They had no community support. In Lev. 13:45 we see that a person with leprosy was required to wear torn clothes, his hair be un-kept, cover the lower part of his face and cry out "unclean, unclean".    

7 Steps of healing based on the healing of 10 lepers.

1. Call out to Jesus: Jesus had already healed many miraculously by this time. Though the lepers stood at a distance as required, they positioned themselves to be in Jesus' view so that they could approach Him. In Vs.13, we read that, "they called out in a loud voice, Jesus master, have pity on us". To get Jesus' attention, open your mouth and cry out to Him. When we cry out for mercy, God gives us what we do not deserve.

2. Follow His instructions: We have to patiently listen and obey His instructions. He told them to go and show themselves to the priests, as the priests in those days acted as the 'local health inspectors' who had the authority to declare them 'clean', (Leviticus 13 & 14). All the ten lepers faithfully obeyed Jesus and went to show themselves to the priest, without questioning Jesus. "As they went, they were cleansed", Vs. 14. When Jesus asked the paralytic man , "get up, take your mat and go home" (Mark 2: 11), he just obeyed. Miracles will take place, when humanity obeys Divinity.

3. Praise the Lord: All the ten were healed, but only one of them, the only Samaritan among them, returned and threw himself at Jesus' feet and praised Him in a loud voice. Returning denotes repentance. Jesus asked, "Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?", Vs. 18. The Samaritan gave credit where it was due. The lepers were considered an outcast for health reasons and all the Samaritans were considered an outcast due to their mixed heritage, but it did not matter to Jesus. "God is not a respecter of persons". In Luke 12: 8 we see that, "whoever acknowledges me before men, the son of man will also acknowledge him before the angel of God". When you are healed by God, declare it publically.

4. Fall down at His feet: The Samaritan showed his complete surrender and humility to Jesus when he threw himself down at Jesus' feet.   

5. An attitude of Gratitude/Count your blessings: This Samaritan's life was a life of gratitude. Gratitude to God is manifested in our obedience to Him. The other nine did not do anything wrong, because Jesus asked all of them to go and show themselves to the priest, but one of them came back to give thanks. The nine were ungrateful. Be grateful for the things we have. The grateful people have a positive attitude. Complaining is a form of ingratitude. Even though Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, leprosy brought them together. If common misfortunes can bring people together, why not on other occasions too?

6. Go Forward: Jesus told the Samaritan who bowed down to Him, "Rise and go, your faith has made you well". With the healing he received, he became a new creation. There was no reason to go back on his old ways as Jesus has given him a new life.

7. His faith has made him well: All the ten lepers received physical healing, but only this Samaritan received spiritual healing also. Thus he got a second blessing too, which the other nine did not get.   

PRAYER

Lord, we acknowledge that "to obey is better than sacrifice". Help us to patiently listen to You and humbly obey You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:

From the U turn the Samaritan took, we could see the four traits of a 'thankful' person.

(1). He opened his eyes and saw that he was healed, Vs.15.

(2). He returned to thank Jesus, Vs. 15.

(3). He praised God in a loud voice, Vs.15.

(4). He had a faith that distinguished him from the crowd.