FROM HOPELESSNESS TO FREEDOM | Bible Study | Mike Prah
Luke 17:11-19—Ten Healed of Leprosy
From the miracle of the 10 lepers, this Bible study teaches how God transforms hopelessness into freedom when we pray, obey His commands, and continuously praise Him.
"As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As He entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. 15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” Luke 17:11-19 (NLT)
1. The Hopeless Situation – Luke 17:11-13
"As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, He reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As He entered a village there, ten men with leprosy stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Luke 17:11-13 (NLT)
WISDOM KEY#1: PRAYER AND CONFESSION TO GOD IS THE DOORWAY TO HEALING AND TRANSFORMATION
"You will never succeed in life if you try to hide your sins. Confess them and give them up; then God will show mercy to you." Proverbs 28:13 (GN)
"Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
2. The Hopeful Response – Luke 17:14
“Jesus looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy” Luke 17:14 (NLT)
The Condition of Lepers in Biblical Times
- Leprosy was incurable.
- Many believed God inflicted the curse of leprosy upon people because of their sins.
- Those suffering from leprosy were so despised that they were forbidden from living in any community with their own people.
“Command the people of Israel that they put out of the camp everyone who is leprous[a] or has a discharge and everyone who is unclean through contact with the dead.” (Numbers 5:2, ESV).
- In terms of seriousness, leprosy was second only to a dead body among the 61 defilements of ancient Jewish law.
- A leper was not permitted to be within 6 feet of another human being, including his own family
- Lepers lived in a community with other lepers until they recovered or died. This was the only way the people knew to stop the spread of contagious forms of leprosy.
DISCUSSION: Describe a time in your life when God restored something to you (e.g. relationship, career, finances, health etc.) that you could not restore for yourself. How did it feel to experience a restoration that was outside of your means/skill/ability?
WISDOM KEY#2: NO MATTER HOW HOPELESS THE SITUATION, GOD IS CAPABLE OF BRINGING RESTORATION OUT OF CHALLENGES AND CHAOS.
"I will restore my people. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and gardens and eat their fruit." Amos 9:14 (GW)
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but He will bind up our wounds" Hosea 6:1 (NIV)
"Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours" Isaiah 61:7 (NIV)
"Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)
3. Their Health Restored - Luke 17:14b
As a result of their faith and obedience, they were healed
"And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy” Luke 17:14 (NLT)
In the Bible, God links faith and obedience over and over again. The promises of God are conditioned on you following the directions He gives you.
WISDOM KEY #3: OBEDIENCE IS THE GATEWAY TO BREAKTHROUGH! OBEDIENCE TO GOD BEGINS WITH A SMALL STEP OF FAITH.
DISCUSSION: God typically works His will in us through the ordinary, everyday activities of life. How have you found this to be true in your life? Describe an ordinary activity where you have found God showing up in your life.
“Follow all the directions the LORD your God has given you. Life will go well for you.” Deuteronomy 5:33 (GW)
“God blesses those who obey him” (Proverbs 16:20 TLB).
“He saves those who obey him” (Psalm 7:10 GNT).
“The Lord watches over those who obey him” (Psalm 33:18 GNT)
“The Lord takes care of those who obey him” (Psalm 37:18 GNT)
“God gives us what we ask for because we obey God’s commands” (1 John 3:22 NCV)
“Always obey the Lord and you will be happy” (Proverbs 28:14 GNT).
“Keep God’s laws and you will live longer” (Proverbs 19:16 GNT).
“Those who obey him have all they need . . . Those who obey the Lord lack nothing good” (Psalm 34:9-10 GNT).
WISDOM KEY #3b: SMALL STEPS OF FAITH CAN LEAD TO GREAT WORKS OF GOD IN OUR LIVES
“Faith led Moses to leave Egypt without being afraid of the king's anger. Moses didn't give up but continued as if he could actually see the invisible God” Hebrews 11:27 (GW)
4. The Happy Return – Luke 17:15-16
“One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what He had done. This man was a Samaritan” Luke 17:15-16 (NLT)
When the leper returns, he does two things:
A. He worships Jesus.
B. He thanks Jesus.
“Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)
WISDOM KEY #4: GOD DESERVES OUR CONTINUOUS PRAISE AND THANKSGIVING FOR THOSE DAILY WORKS HE DOES IN AND THROUGH OUR LIVES.
BENEFITS OF PRAISING GOD
Praise lifts your spirit
“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God! Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you” Psalm 42:5-6 (NLT).
Praise helps you sense God’s presence
“Surely the righteous will praise your name, and the upright will live in your presence” Psalm 140:13 (NIV)
Praise enlarges your perception of God
“I will praise the name of God with song And magnify Him with thanksgiving” Psalm 69:30 (AMP)
Praise reveals solutions we can’t see
“I tried to understand all this, but it was too hard for me to see until I went to the Temple of God. Then I understood what will happen to them” Psalm 73:16-17(NCV).
Praise helps us remember God’s blessing
“Thank God! Pray to him by name! Tell everyone you meet what he has done! Sing him songs, belt out hymns, translate his wonders into music! … Remember the world of wonders he has made, his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered” Psalm 105:1, 5 (MSG)
When you have problems, you tend to focus on the negative. Praise helps you remember who you are and who God is.
Praise breaks chains and opens doors
Paul did this in Acts 16 while he was in prison with Silas. In the middle of the night, the two decided to have a praise session. As they praised God, the Bible says,
“The prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off!” (Acts 16:26 NLT).
5. The Healing Completed – Luke 17:17-19
There is a difference between being healed and being free.
“Jesus spoke up, “There were ten who were healed; where are the other nine? 18 Why is this foreigner the only one who came back to give thanks to God?” 19 And Jesus said to him, “Get up and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:17-19 (GN)