Classic Friday: Thankfulness or Jesus (Part 2)


logo []Ten lepers get healed. Once comes back to say, "thanks." What is Luke 17 about? If you said, "thankfulness," you would be wrong. Tune in to find out the real answer.


Classic Friday: Thankfulness or Jesus (Part 3)

Welcome to No Compromise Radio, a ministry coming to you from Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
No Compromise Radio is a program dedicated to the ongoing proclamation of Jesus Christ, based on the theme in Galatians 2 verse 5 where the
Apostle Paul said, �But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.�
In short, if you like smooth, watered -down words to make you simply feel good, this show isn�t for you.
By purpose, we are first biblical, but we can also be controversial. Stay tuned for the next 25 minutes as we�re called by the
Divine Trumpet to summon the troops for the honor and glory of her King. Here�s our host, Pastor Mike Abendroth.
Welcome to No Compromise Radio, a ministry. My name is Mike Abendroth and we are glad to be here on this network of family -friendly radio stations.
I think we�re up to like 600 stations now and our budget is gliming.
I did recently talk to someone and they said their church budget for radio, their radio show was $600 ,000.
I�ll drink to that. Keurig Pete�s coffee, not the best, but we�ll take it. My Harvest House mug of all things,
Harvest House mug, I just got my first non -royalty check for the things
I still owe. The good news is
Yon and Archer, they still owe too. What happens with companies, you get an advance and then they deduct sales from the advance and then once you pay back the advance, then you get a real check.
So I�m still waiting. I thought it was a pretty good book.
I don�t know if Harvest House thinks it�s very good because I don�t think out of any of the tweets that I�ve ever seen or promos, there�s been no promo for it.
So maybe it�s too scary for them, but they were really good to work with in all honesty and sincerity.
All right. Today we�re talking more about Luke 17 and the passage where Jesus heals the 10 lepers and one comes back too.
Thank him. Now I don�t want to digress too much, but I�ll give you a little overview and background of what we�re doing here.
Hermeneutics is the science and art of biblical interpretation and you�re trying to figure out in hermeneutics, what does the
Bible say? I mean, you pick up a newspaper, what�s the writer, what�s the journalist trying to say?
What�s the point he�s trying to make? And so if you pick up a poem and read it, you realize that, oh, it�s a point, there�s a point being made by the author, he or her, him or her, he or she, he or herm.
And then you�ll say, oh, yes, that�s according, I mean, it�s just something you just do naturally. You pick up a certain kind of literature and you say, oh, they�re trying to say this.
Well, the Bible has all kinds of literature as well, from narratives to poetry to apocalyptic, and you just read it and you�re saying, what is
God trying to tell me through this writer, through this man? And regularly we fall into hermeneutical errors and traps and sticky wickets and sick traps.
And we say to ourselves, well, let�s just spiritualize this, let�s make it into a moral story and, you know, don�t do this, do that instead.
Be honest. David�s honest. Oh, I guess he really wasn�t. Oops, there goes that theory. There�s that kind of thing.
And so, I especially belabored the fact that when we look at Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, if you realize why each of those were written, you know,
Matthew, Jesus is a king, portrayed as king there in the gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew, see, that even helps us figure out why
Matthew was written. Mark, he�s the servant, and he is the servant of God, and he is the suffering servant, and he has come to give his life a ransom for many, and it�s all about Jesus.
Luke, of course, we know he�s man, son of man, Jesus�s favorite self -designation for himself.
I knew not to say that, but I just said it. His favorite self -designation, period, right?
Okay, that�s correct. And then John, of course, that Jesus is fully
God. He is the great I Am, and there�s a series of those great passages that show that very thing.
So, when we go to Luke 17, and we�re going to the passage where Jesus heals ten lepers, one was a
Samaritan, and that one came back and said, �Thank you ,� to Jesus. What are we trying to understand?
What�s the point? And so, here�s how I�ve always taught the passage when I wasn�t thinking biblically correctly, hermeneutically.
I would say, �Well, it�s good to be thankful.� Now, it�s good to be thankful.
It�s nice to be nice, it�s good to be good, and I�m thankful when you�re thankful. Actually, when push comes to shove,
I don�t like myself and my thinking when I�m not thankful. I hate it in other people, and I hate it more in my own life.
In gratitude. I mean, my father taught us it was just a reflex. You just said, �Thank you, thank you.�
You know, you get a spank and �Thank you.� And you get a ticket from the police officer, �Thank you.�
And you just automatically say, �Thank you.� �Please� and �thankful� are easy to say, and so it doesn�t take much to do it.
But you can say, �Thank you ,� and not really mean it, but you�re just trying to work the system.
So, in Luke 17, if this chapter � now, we�re going to use some hermeneutics here � if it�s in the context of Luke, the gospel of Jesus Christ according to Luke, then my guess is �
I got a hunch that this passage is more about Jesus than it is about me being thankful. You say, �Well, yeah, but you�re supposed to be thankful to Jesus.�
I know, I know, I know. Let�s just work through it and find out on No Compromise Radio that we get the main point.
And we don�t go to the gospels and find things for people to do that aren�t the main intention.
If you say secondarily, �Doesn�t this make you say to yourself regarding Jesus and His great person and work that you ought to be thankful to Jesus ?�
There are ways to go about it so you let the listeners, you let your audience, you let the congregation, you let the kids in the youth group understand what�s the main point of the passage.
Because I don�t want to peddle the Word of God. I don�t want to say, �Well, this is really a diamond, but it�s really some zirconium.�
What�s that called again? I see why you�re thinking that I can have a little more coffee. Ever try to get a coffee on Madison Avenue?
Can�t do it. We went up to the Met and I�ve never seen such a place, so crowded.
It was Black Friday, but I guess it was supposed to be Black Museum Day or something because everybody�s going to the museum maybe when they ran out of money because it�s just donation there.
It says $25 donation suggested at the Met. And I had my wife and my two kids.
What do you think I did? Well, I will tell you that I gave them some money, but I will tell you that it wasn�t $25 each.
It�s a free museum and they want donations and man, that place is packed. It is packed out.
Although my wife is kind of the proverbial Proverbs 31 lady, there�s a skating park in Bryant Park.
It�s free skating. But what they do is they get you on skate rentals. I think it�s $19 for skate rentals.
For a locker, I think it�s $10 for a locker. And the list just keeps going.
So we all brought our own skates. We have hockey skates and we brought them walking through the streets of New York.
And then we went to Bryant Park and then we got in free and then I brought a lock.
Actually my wife reminded me to bring the lock, but I brought a lock so we got the locker and so it cost us a big fat nothing and we were skating around Bryant Park in New York City.
I don�t know, 8 o�clock at night, 9 o�clock at night. I think it was Thanksgiving Day and listening to Frank Sinatra and it�s always
Christmas in New York City. There�s the New York skyline with the Empire State Building. So between that and the almost free museum.
What does this have to do with anything? I have no idea. It�s just radio though. You just can�t get up here and just give a straight monologue.
So, Luke Chapter 17, we have Jesus and if you have your Bibles, you can turn there and here�s the trick.
Before you even look at Luke 17, why don�t you go to Luke Chapter 1 and that will set the stage for Luke, the
Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Luke and he will tell you right up front that this is going to be all about Jesus in an orderly fashion, in a wonderful fashion.
And the author, Luke, is going to tell us his intentions from the get -go in this, let�s call it a preface.
Right? Let�s call it a preface. �Inasmuch, Luke 1, 1, as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us.�
He�s talking about Jesus, what Jesus did among the people. �Just as those who were from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the
Word have delivered them to us. It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past.�
Remember how close he was to Paul and remember his job as a physician would give us great insight to meticulous reporting.
�It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you.�
Verse 3, most excellent Theophilus. We transition to verse 4, �that you may have certainty concerning the things you�ve been taught.�
So, this prologue, this preface is about Jesus and his life, those things accomplished among us, and we know that because the rest of the book is going to be that very thing.
Luke�s medical mind organizes this account of theology, of Christology, showing that Jesus is, in fact, the
Son of Man, so that we might know that there might be exact truths.
It could be reliable, it could be polemical, and he wants to ground
Theophilus and every reader, including you, every Christian in the truths of Jesus Christ, so that they might understand his birth, his life, his death, his resurrection, his ascension, his soon return.
Matthew, Jesus is the King. Mark, Jesus is the Servant. And in Luke, he is the
Son of Man. Remember Jesus is having a meal with Zacharias, I looked outside and I saw somebody snooping around.
They�re trying to hide from maybe the police. And Zacharias has
Jesus over, and, of course, the false teachers don�t like that, and Jesus says really what the theme of Luke is, �The
Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.� And so, Jew and Gentile, Jesus Christ is human.
And I didn�t say it with technical precision.
Since Jesus is portrayed as a human, he saves humans. He�s not just a
Jew, but he�s a human, right? So there�s one mediator between God and man, the
Jew Christ Jesus? No, the man Christ Jesus. we understand through this book of the humanity of Jesus, and when we have a long account of his birth, when we have a detailed genealogy, things that are stressing the humanity of Jesus.
F .F. Bruce called Luke the first Christian apologist. Bruce goes on to say, �The great age of Christian apologetic was the second century.
But of the three main types of defense represented among the second -century Christian apologists,
Luke provides first -century prototypes, defense against pagan religion, that is,
Christianity is true and paganism is false, defense against Judaism, that Christianity is the fulfillment of true
Judaism, and defense against political accusations. Christianity is innocent of any offense against Roman law.�
And so Luke is writing so that you become aware, educated, and you would understand the object of your faith so that you would believe that you,
Gentile, that you, Samaritan, that you, Jew, that you, human being, that you, man or woman, old or young, tax collector or president, would have your faith placed in Christ Jesus.
And so that's the prologue of Luke. So it tells us up front that this is going to be something about Jesus, not necessarily about me.
And Luke paints this picture. In chapters 1 and 2, he talks about Jesus, the infant.
In chapter 3 and 4, up to 4 .13, Jesus is becoming prepared for public ministry.
Chapter 4, verse 14 to 9 .50, Jesus is doing his ministry in Galilee.
And then in chapter 9, verse 51, Jesus sets his face toward Jerusalem, and there is a progression to Jerusalem and the cross.
This is the purpose for which Jesus had come to earth, and nothing would stop him.
Saving sinners is his mission, and he's on his way to Jerusalem.
He is the king. He is the prophet. He is the priest. And we have 10 lepers that are going to be cleansed by Jesus, and that we will respond with, oh, now the point is
Thanksgiving? I think you'll see there's a different response. So now we move forward to Luke 17.
In Luke 17, verses 11 through 19, we see the 10 lepers cleansed, and one says, thank you.
But earlier, we see some more context. And so think about it.
When it comes to hermeneutics and Bible interpretation, you think of large context and small context.
You think of far context, you think of close context. In other words, what's the context around Luke 17, and what's the context of the whole book?
So we've seen the whole book context in Luke 1. Now we see the closer context. Far is in Luke 1, close is in Luke 17.
And one of the Bible principles we have here at the church, and that you have, we have a no -compromise radio, is keep reading.
If you don't know what the passage says, keep reading. That's assuming you've been reading the passage, and now you get up to a verse, and you're like,
I don't get it. You keep reading more. Now if you just go to a verse of the Bible, read what's before and read what's after.
But if you've been reading through a passage, and you don't understand something, you keep reading because you've just read what was before, you just read that verse, and now you want to read what's after, because there's close context.
And the close context found in Luke 17, verses 7 through 10, the verses prior to our passage, is also helpful.
Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, come at once and recline at table?
Will he not rather say to him, prepare supper for me and dress properly and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterward you will eat and drink?
Does he thank? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded?
So you also, when you have done all that you are commanded, say, we are unworthy servants.
We have only done what was our duty. God is owing sinners what?
What good does God owe a sinner? What besides judgment does
God owe a sinner? And now we move to verse 11, our passage.
It's taken us a long time to get there. I hope when I preach this sermon, my introduction isn't this long.
On the way to Jerusalem, he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. So remember the context.
He is progressing. He is on his way. He is moving to Jerusalem, setting his face toward Jerusalem, where the cross will certainly be there.
And as he's going there, there are things that Jesus does. So this is the third time on his way to Jerusalem.
Luke 9 .51, set his face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 13 .22, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem.
And when these three times, and our third one is found in Luke 17, are given, these three situations given, it's usually a new section.
9 .51, 13 .22, and now 17 .11. And Jesus is along the border of Samaria and Galilee.
It's a long between is the way it would be in Greek.
And people are arguing here, this particular DMZ -like zone, how do you go east to west or north to south?
What's the geography here? Why Samaria listed between Samaria and Galilee? There's a kind of a little argument regarding this geographically, but I think
Samaria is mentioned first because we're going to have a Samaritan healed. We're going to have a
Samaritan healed. The leper, the Samaritan leper is a key player in this narrative.
And so what's going on with Samaria? Remember these half -breeds? They're not really Jews, half -breeds.
And when you go to Samaria, there can be some conflict there. There can be some trouble earlier in Luke.
Luke 9, listen to this account. When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.
And he sent messengers ahead of him who went and entered a village of the Samaritans to make preparations for him.
But the people did not receive him because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples,
James and John, saw it, they said, Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?
But he turned and rebuked them and they went on to another village.
Rejection in Samaria, trouble in Samaria, conflict in Samaria.
So now we go to verse 12 of Luke 17. And as he entered a village, he was met by 10 lepers who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices saying,
Jesus, master, have mercy on us. Doesn't matter what village he went to.
That's not the point. The point is Jesus. And by the way, when you look at this passage, you're going to forget that the disciples are around.
And when you see passages before this and after this, you'll realize the disciples were with him.
But the writer Luke has the spotlight on Jesus. The spotlight is on Jesus because Luke puts a spotlight on Jesus and that's the purpose of his entire account, the gospel of Jesus Christ, according to St.
Luke. And you've got these lepers. We know that there are some lepers who are
Jews and some are Samaritans, because we'll find that out later.
And so you get these guys grouped together because they had this affliction. They had this commonality and it was leprosy and they stand at a distance that was required by Mosaic law in Leviticus 13 and 14.
And some leprosy was contagious, some wasn't, but ritually unclean always.
And so they'd have to stand back and they lift up their voice to Jesus. Well, what is leprosy?
Really the root word is scaly and it could be all kinds of serious skin diseases.
We don't know exactly what it was. Some think it was similar to today's Hansen disease.
It doesn't necessarily have to be, but it doesn't have a good cure rate and it leads to other diseases.
Most people are just immune from it, but you can get leprosy back in those days and even now.
And it would make you defiled. It would make you unclean.
Now there's all kinds of stuff that you can read about leprosy. Let me just say this, you would have, depending on what kind of leprosy, some would have numbness in their skin.
You lose color in your skin. You could get some sores on your skin.
You could have some ulcers because the blood supply isn't as good as it used to be. One account says in Hughes Zenga's Unclean and Clean, Grand Rapids, page 149, cited in Hendrickson, it said, as the sickness progresses, the thickened spots become dirty sores and ulcers due to poor blood supply.
The skin, especially around the eyes and ears, begins to bunch with deep furrows between the swelling, so that the face of the afflicted individual begins to resemble that of a lion.
Fingers drop off or are absorbed. Toes are affected similarly.
Eyebrows and eyelashes drop out. By this time, one can see the person in the pitiable condition is a leper.
By a touch of a finger, one can also feel it. One can even smell it, for the leper emits a very unpleasant odor.
Moreover, in view of the fact that the disease -producing agent frequently also attacks the larynx, the leper's voice acquires a grating quality.
And so you've got these lepers, and together, maybe with gurgling, raspy voices, they shout out.
They make an appeal to Jesus. So what's happening here?
These people's bodies, Numbers 12 is a good description, it's like their flesh is half -eaten.
This painless hell, as one modern -day leperologist said, yeah, that's actually a word.
The stigma socially, religiously, physically, they've got trouble, and they know
Jesus can help. So we're going to look next time on how Jesus helped and what the moral of the story is.
And the moral of the story is not going to be, you ought to be thankful like the leper. If you want to teach that as Subpoint 46B, maybe.
But the theme is going to be, Jesus Christ can heal even leprosy. He is the Son of God, and you should believe in Him.
My name is Mike Abendroth, this is No Compromise Radio. No Compromise Radio, with Pastor Mike Abendroth, is a production of Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
Bethlehem Bible Church is a Bible -teaching church, firmly committed to unleashing the life -transforming power of God's Word through verse -by -verse exposition of the sacred text.
Please come and join us. Our service times are Sunday morning at 1015 and in the evening at 6. We're right on Route 110 in West Boylston.
You can check us out online at bbchurch .org or by phone at 508 -835 -3400.
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