Disobeying Jesus to Praise God: Luke 17:11-19

Focus Passage: Luke 17:11-19 (NASB)

Have you ever been given a set of instructions to do a task you have struggled with for a while, and became excited when the task that was formerly difficult becomes easy?

Perhaps this has happened when trying to understand some other language (or programming language), or perhaps even when trying to get a simple crochet stitch figured out.

Well, in this passage, it appears as though a similar event occurs, though with some key differences.

In our passage, we read about ten lepers, and these men had little to no hope of ever being healed – until Jesus shows up in history. Leprosy at the time was not known or understood all that well as a disease – except to say that it was highly contagious and incurable. Our passage finds these ten men seeking Jesus out to be healed.

Other places in the gospels, Jesus uses touch to heal, but in this case, He sends them somewhere.

It is worth noting that all ten believe Jesus, and leave to go see the priest. What is really interesting in my mind about what Jesus tells them to do is that it is something they would have needed to do after being healed. Only an on duty priest could declare someone who previously had leprosy as clean, and all ten believed. Since Jesus told them to go, they will go – immediately, and without deviating from the mission since they all believed Jesus could/would heal them.

As they were heading to see the priest, they all realize they were healed. The mission was working. Jesus’ words were coming true. Here’s where we see a dilemma: continue on and finish the mission, making the healing permanent, or stop the mission and risk the leprosy returning. This is likely the question running through the minds of all ten men.

For nine, there was no question, because the answer was so obvious: finish the mission. But one man has a different thought: thank the healer. He knows that Jesus prompted the healing, even though Jesus never said anything to indicate that a miraculous healing would happen.

This one man intentionally breaks from the mission – risking the leprosy returning – because he wants God, and Jesus specifically, to be the first One to be thanked for his healing.

This brings us to our key point for this passage: Never forget to thank God and Jesus for the things that He has blessed you with, the things He has saved you from, and the things that He has promised for your future. Thank Jesus first when His blessings come into your life.

God’s blessings are not based on you being 100% obedient. Instead, what matters most is that you are intentionally growing closer to Him each and every day.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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