Miracles in the Margins

Bible Text:  Luke 17:11-19

So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (vv. 17-18)

Place:  City of Refuge (under the umbrella of the Idaho Falls Rescue Mission) in Downtown Idaho Falls, 5:30 pm, Sunday evenings

1.We all need mercy.

** have mercy on us! – Cf. 16:24;18:38,39; Mt. 9:27; 15:22;17:15;20:31; Mk 10:47,48.  This was a common plea from those desiring healing. – MacArthur Study Bible

And thankfully, His mercies are new every morning.  Great is his faithfulness

2. Ten percent of those receiving mercy in this story express thanks.

Where were the nine?  Could it be?  (1) They felt their healings were deserved, or (2) make sure with their priests that everything was good, or (3) preferring law before love, or (4) not wanting to mingle again with the Samaritan, or (5) the decision that they would express their thankfulness only in their hearts?

This sin of ingratitude seems to be a common sin.  And ingratitude can quickly turn a generation of people into heathens (Romans 1:21).

** “giving Him thanks” (v. 16) – Elsewhere in the NT such giving of thanks (Gk. eucharisteo) is always directed to God (in every one of 37 other occurrences of this verb) – ESV Study Bible

3.The real miracle comes to the one living in the margins.

** The Greek word for foreigner is allogeneis, (allos plus genos), “man of another nation” (or race), foreigner.  In the temple at Jerusalem this word was included in a warning, addressed to non-Israelites, to proceed no farther toward the interior than the Court of the Gentiles.  The inscription in Greek and Latin reads: “Let no man of another nation enter inside the barrier and the fence around the temple.  Whoever is caught will have himself to blame that his death follows.” – Hendriksen

Jesus can easily turn things upside down and reveal that some of the greatest expressions of thankfulness can come from the most unlikely people, the outsiders of the organized religion. See also Luke 4:25-27, 7:9, 11:30-32.

The Jews snatched up the lesser, but the Samaritan received the greater.

Notable quotes:

  • “Who are we, that we should draw near to him that is infinitely pure?” – Matthew Henry
  • “Jesus has mercy on social outcasts” – Walter Liefeld
  • “The only who exhibited gratitude was a despised schismatic” – Alfred Plummer
  • “He fell on his face and thanked Jesus, for in the Master he recognized God’s Representative, God’s power and love operating through Jesus.” – William Hendriksen
  • “The first and greatest response to the gospel of grace is thankful worship” – Gospel Transformation Bible (ESV)
  • “He who has received only blessings from His hand and does not come close to Him in humble but heartfelt gratitude will always forgo what is the highest and most glorious in life.  But he who, on receiving gifts out of His hand, turns to the Giver Himself in real gratitude, will partake of fullness of life and happiness.  There is nothing that can bind one more closely to Him than sincere gratitude–“we love him because he first loved us.” – Norval Geldenhuys
  • “He had been loud in prayer (ver. 13), so now he is loud in praise.  His impurity had kept him at a distance from Christ, but now that he is cleansed he falls at the Saviour’s feet.” – J. Willcock



About Todd Wood

I am a servant of Jesus in Idaho Falls, Idaho. Join me in seeking Jesus in this city.
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