One Returned


Series: Holidays and Special Events / Thanksgiving

Title: One Returned The Ten Lepers #thanksgiving


  • 2005-11-19: Marshall
  • 2005-11-26: Linden
  • 2008-11-22: Linden
  • 2008-11-29: Atlanta
  • 2017-11-25: White Rock Lake


  1. 560: “Let All Things Now Living”
  2. 557: “Come, Ye Thankful People”
  3. 559: “Now Thank We All Our God”

Scripture: Psalm 100

  1. Introduction
    1. Thanksgiving is a somewhat neglected holiday.
    2. I asked my students what they knew about Thanksgiving. They all replied, “Black Friday.”
      • (By the way, Black Friday has traveled around the world, thanks to global commerce; Thanksgiving hasn’t.)
    3. But Thanksgiving is more than a prelude to Christmas.
  2. The Healing—Luke 17:11–19 (p. 1014)
    1. Condition of lepers—See Leviticus 13:2, 3, 45, 46 (pp. 103, 105)
    2. Luke 17:11, 12 (p. 1014)—Ten gathered together—knew something about Jesus, and asked for help
      1. Throughout Scripture, we find examples of God’s involvement in our lives—of God helping us in times of trouble
      2. Matthew 7:7–11 (p. 940)—Keep asking, and God will give
      3. Mark 10:13–16 (p. 979)—God wants to give blessings so badly that when someone gets in the way, He’s indignant! He did what it took to bless those kids
      4. All good things begin with God.
    3. Luke 17:14 (p. 1014)—Jesus told them to take the steps to be certified as healed
      1. None of them was healed until he set off for the priests
      2. All ten of the lepers had faith
      3. Faith was usually—though not always—a prerequisite for healing—Hebrews 11:6 (p. 1155): “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”
    4. Luke 17:15–19 (p. 1014)—One returned
      1. This is what makes this story distinct—one person returned to thank Jesus
      2. He was a Samaritan—an outsider
        1. Jews had a special status:
          1. John 4:22 (p. 1028) (Jesus speaking to the woman at the well)—“You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.”
          2. Romans 3:1, 2 (p. 1086): “What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? Much in every way! First of all, they have been entrusted with the very words of God.”
          3. So: Salvation comes from the Jews (Jesus), and the Bible comes from the Jews.
        2. The Jews had an embarrassment of riches.
        3. Too often, we forget the source of our blessings and take them for granted—only the outsider was truly grateful
      3. We need to cultivate a habit of thankfulness for the gifts that God gives to us
        1. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (p. 1137): In everything give thanks, not for everything.
          1. There’s nothing here about feeling thankful.
        2. Thankfulness is the natural result of conversion, of understanding the enormity of what God has done for us.
      4. E.G. White, Signs of the Times, July 2, 1896:

        The leper that returned to give glory to God was rewarded for his faith and gratitude. But how sad it is that only one of the ten appreciated the blessing that was bestowed upon him! In every age God has poured out His blessings upon men. . . . But how often the proportion of those who recognize and appreciate God’s mercies are even less than one to ten! The nine did not report themselves, but went on their way, satisfied that they were restored. They did not give honor to God, and to Jesus Christ, whom he had sent to be their healer. The Lord works continually to benefit mankind. He is continually imparting his bounties. He raises up the sick from beds of languishing, he delivers men from peril which they do not see, . . . but their hearts are unimpressed. They do not rejoice in his love. They center all their thoughts upon themselves. . . . Only a few discern that their blessings are the result of the never-failing mercies of God through Jesus Christ; but those who do discern this fact make melody in their hearts to God, and, as did the cleansed leper, they offer to him a tribute of praise and thanksgiving.

  3. Appeal
    1. Decide to be thankful, regardless of how you feel.
    2. Be a beacon of gratitude to others
    3. Help others to understand how they can find true thankfulness in relationship with Jesus.