Luke 17:11 ¶ And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
We are clearly instructed that everything in the Scriptures solely concerns the revealing of God the Son. John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
All things originate and culminate in Christ, the Lord! Revelation 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Therefore to but draw from our above listed context a simple, surface account of these ten lepers, without seeing the more in-depth revelation of the Person of Truth, is but to remain on the low ground of religious rhetoric, or expression. And we know that the kingdom of God is not in mere word, but in power. Also, the letter of the law killeth; it is the spirit of the word which is unto life. 1 Corinthians 4:20 For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power. 2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
And the arteries of our religious systems are already too clogged with but wordy sermons. So let us seek the glorious gift of the Holy Spirit to take us into the greater depths of spiritual revelation, taking the veil away and bringing us behind the holy curtain, into the revealing of the glory of God! Hebrews 10:19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
First of all let us realize that the final judgment of every soul who has ever lived, whether righteous or reprobate, will be determined by their relationship to Christ Jesus as a stranger! Matthew 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Matthew 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
And the matter of His being a stranger shall then be the subject upon all the minds of both these groups. None will be able to ignore it!
Matthew 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
And of the reprobate we read: Matthew 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And the conclusion of the matter of both groups is finally determined by their opportunity to relate to Christ Jesus as a stranger! Matthew 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
Therefore it befalls this poor writer to bring to your attention this grave matter of you presently seeing Christ around you every day in the form of a stranger! May God have mercy!
Let us now see the ways in which our Lord is revealed in this Samaritan leper. First of all he was a Samaritan. And we have oftentimes seen our Lord in the account we call “The Good Samaritan.” And in Luke 10:33 he is termed, “a CERTAIN Samaritan.” For our Lord is most assuredly seen as separate from sinners and a most unique man. Luke 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, Hebrews 7:26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
The Jews even proclaim our Lord to be but a Samaritan! John 8:48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
Then we see that he was the only one in this account to give God the glory! And it is even said that he turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. This is most uniquely attributed to our Lord. For in our fall into sin we lost the glory! For what is sin but the coming short of the glory? Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; And we have the awesome responsibility to glorify God in all that we do. 1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
And there was no way that any of us fallen sinners could recover that glory! It had to be God himself, coming in the appearance of the Last Adam to restore that glory! John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 24 ¶ Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
And the response from the Father is most clear: John 12:28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
Our glorious Savior restored that which he did not take away! Zechariah 6:12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
And next we see that although he was “separate from sinners,” he was numbered with these lepers. His presence with them made there to be ten. For without him, the Lord Jesus asked, “but where are the nine?” He was clearly “numbered with the transgressors!” Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
Hebrews 2:17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
And we read that this leper cried out for mercy. Unbelievable condescension! God being made to seek for something outside of himself, having now experienced NEED! And not just any need, but requesting mercy! For mercy is only for the guilty! Mercy has no meaning without a guilty object.
Listen to these words which we really are in no way privileged to hear: And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Matthew 27:46) He who is one with the Father. He who has been the Father’s delight before the mountains were brought forth. Proverbs 8:25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: 30 Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Our sin separated the Son from the Father! May God have mercy on us!
Then we see that he alone among these lepers was said to have faith. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. The other nine were well on their way back to their previous homes, families, friends and lifestyles. They were but cleansed of the physical malady of leprosy. But not a word to any of them as to the cleansing of their souls by faith! This Stranger is the only individual proclaimed to be associated with faith! And Jesus Christ alone is both the author and the finisher of faith! Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;…
And this gift of faith is the evidence of the invisible God. It is the means of salvation, and the victory by which we overcome the world! Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report. 27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
And true, saving faith that pleases God, will always like Noah’s bird, without fail, return back to that which launched it to begin with. For as Noah’s bird returned to the ark from which it was launched so, like This Stranger who turned back, faith will always find both is source and object in Jesus Christ alone!
And many of us, like the two on the road to Emmaus, only proclaim Jeus to be but a stranger to Jerusalem until we feel our hearts to burn with his words, and see him break the Bread of Life for us!
Luke 24:18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
Luke 24:30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
May God be pleased to open the eyes of today’s religionists who have him to be but a baby in a manger, or a dead man on a cross, or a figment of a fanciful imagination, and clearly reveal him as very God, and absolute Lord!
Pastor Gene Breed
May 3, 2023