Are you saved? Do you know you have eternal life with God through Jesus Christ? Do you know that God is impartially extending himself to every person? The Lord says to us in Matthew 5:44–45 “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven, because he causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust”. In Luke 17:14 ten lepers were cleansed, they were healed, their bodies were restored whole. But only one was saved. Only one came into that right relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you know that Jesus Christ is here, right now, by the Holy Spirit of God, ready to receive you? Ask him, run to him, as a child to a loving father and nothing can stop you, nothing can separate you because he is calling you to come.
If You Have Faith Like a Mustard Seed
Your Faith Has Saved You
Jesus was, in Luke 17:11 “traveling toward Jerusalem” and likely began by taking the route he traveled with his parents as a child. But “a Samaritan village” had rejected him in Luke 9:53 so he altered his path and in Luke 13:22 “he was going throughout towns and villages, teaching and making his journey toward Jerusalem”. Now as he is, in Luke 17:11 “passing through the region between Samaria and Galilee”, in Luke 17:12 “he was entering into a certain village, ten men met him, lepers”. It isn’t clear what village this was and it isn’t clear if these where Samaritans or Jews or some mix. It seems that this village was a place of refuge for lepers and that nationality or religion wasn’t an issue, as lepers, they were in their own separate social group.
It is clear that they, in Like 17:12 “stood at a distance” which was required of them because they were unclean. It is also clear that these lepers knew who Jesus was. And it is clear that together, in Luke 17:13 “they raised their voices, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’” Jesus didn’t lay hands on them or anoint them with oil or tell them to go and wash as “in 2 Kgs 5:1–14. At Elisha’s instruction, Naaman is cleansed by a ritual washing in the Jordan River (dipping seven times)”.1
Jesus simply said to them, in Luke 17:14 “Go and show yourselves to the priests” and “According to the law, people with a skin disease had to be examined by a priest, who would determine whether they were clean or unclean (see Lev 13:1–59 and note; Lev 14:1–32 and note)”2.
It says in Luke 17:14 “as they were going, they were cleansed” so they were healed, before they got to the priest. The word cleansed here is “2751 καθαρίζω (katharizō): … make clean, cleanse (Mt 23:25, 26; Lk 11:39) … purify, ceremonially cleanse by washing (Ac 10:15; Lk 11:2 v.r.) … heal, and so make it possible to be ritually cleansed (Mt 8:2, 3)”3. We can get natural physical relief and be cleansed as all of these lepers were. They could now go on with their natural lives which were restored.
But one returned in Luke 17:16 “giving thanks to him (Jesus)”. And it is only of this one that Jesus says in Luke 17:19 “Get up and go your way. Your faith has saved you”. It is a different word here, “5392 σῴζω (sōzō): … rescue from danger (Mt 14:30) … save, deliver in to divine salvation (1Co 1:21; 9:22; Mt 18:11 v.r.; Mk 16:16 v.r.; Lk 9:56 v.r. NA26; Ac 8:37 v.r.) … heal, to make healthy from an illness (Mk 6:56)3. For this one who returned with thanksgiving, Jesus responds, “Your faith has ‘delivered you into divine salvation’”.
The Kingdom of God is in Your Midst
The Pharisee had many questions for Jesus, but these were not usually asked in innocent because they were seeking to understand. Many of their questions were to catch Jesus or expose Jesus or to accuse Jesus. So in
Luke 17:20 “Now when he was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come”
The Pharisees are demonstrating their blindness, and they don’t have any idea that they are not understanding what is right in front of them. They may have been blinded by two thoughts:
- Overthrow of the natural government: “The Pharisees (see note on 5:17) likely are envisioning a political and military kingdom that would be established by overthrowing Judaea’s Roman overlords.”4
- The cosmic signs often associated with the kingdom’s coming in the Jewish view (1 En. 91, 93; 2 Bar. 53–74). See D. L. Bock, Luke (BECNT), 2:1412–14, also H. Riesenfeld, TDNT 8:150.5
Jesus responds in
Luke 17:20-21 “The kingdom of God does not come with things that can be observed, 21 nor will they say, ‘Behold, here it is!’ or ‘There!’ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
Jesus first response is that “The coming of the kingdom is not accompanied by ratifying or premonitory signs that men can observe. To look for such is to misunderstand the character of the kingdom”.6
The kingdom was not as they expected, it was coming to them in Jesus Christ, who was right in front of them. Their blindness in part was because, “The kingdom in its outward form, as covenanted to David (2 Sam. 7:8–17) and described by the prophets (Zech. 12:8, note), had been rejected by the Jews; so that, during this present age, it would not “come with observation” (lit. “outward show”) but in the hearts of men (cf. Lk. 19:11, 12; Acts 1:6–8, note; Rom. 14:17). Meantime, the kingdom was actually “in the midst” of the Pharisees in the persons of the King and His disciples. Ultimately the kingdom of heaven will come, with outward show. (See v. 24.)”7
As the Lightning Shines Forth
They Must Always Pray and Not be Discouraged
This Man Went to His House Justified
Allow The Children to Come
We adults have our rules. And in a public meeting, in a Church service, in the presence of a dignitary, we are held back by our social grace or today, by body guards or security or police. Jesus disciples were acting as any person handling a crowd might, they in Luke 18:15 “rebuked them”. But they didn’t understand that Jesus was not operating the way the world operates. The world is fallen in sin. The world separates, and judges, and stratifies. Children occupy a low position. They should not be allowed to interrupt and their parents should know better than to disturb the master, Jesus. Jesus, in Luke 18:16 “called them (the children) to himself saying … to such belongs the kingdom of God”. And what is it about children that Jesus wants us to emulate? It isn’t that we need to be uneducated or undisciplined. It is though, that we be without guile, that we run with whole hearted joy into our fathers arms. What Jesus wanted us to emulate is in
Luke 18:17 “welcome the kingdom of God like a young child”
- Luke 17:11-19 Your Faith Has Saved You
- Luke 17:20-21 The Kingdom of God is in Your Midst
- Luke 18:15-17 Allow The Children to Come
- Luke 17:1-37
- Luke 18:1-17
- 1. Grafton, T. (2016). Disease. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 2. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 17:14). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 3. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains: Greek (New Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
- 4. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 17:20). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 5. Biblical Studies Press. (2006). The NET Bible First Edition Notes (Lk 17:20). Biblical Studies Press.
- 6. Marshall, I. H. (1978). The Gospel of Luke: a commentary on the Greek text (p. 655). Exeter: Paternoster Press.
- 7. Scofield, C. I. (Ed.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (p. 1100). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.