SERMON SUMMARY. Sunday’s sermon was addressed to the times that we are in. People are suffering inside the church and people are suffering outside the church. Many are carrying heavy burdens; we and they often feel like its too much to bear alone. We have to be reminded that sharing our hurts and pains, our burdens and our shames with God will liberate us to become all that God has for us to be. And we have to be courageous in sharing this with those who don’t have a relationship with The Lord.
In these times, it is important for the church and for the body of Christ to act with courage. We must have the courage to share the gospel, the courage to share our pain, the courage to obey God, and the courage to praise him. That is what we see from those who had leprosy in this text.
COURAGE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL. Christ was and is the living gospel. Jesus stayed on the move. Wherever he went, the gospel was shared. In these verses, Christ was on the move. The men knew of his works of power and his works of mercy. The knew to call on his name.
• How will people know of God’s healing power and his mercy? • In 2013, what does it mean for the church to be courageous in sharing Christ with others? • What would it mean for you individually to be courageous in sharing Christ with others?
COURAGE TO SHARE OUR SHAME/PAIN. These men had a disease that evoked personal and societal shame and scorn. They could have stood silent – devastated by the shame. But, they had the courage to share their pain, sorrow and baggage. They broke the silence.
• What do we see in the text that shows us these men still carry the shame of their disease?
• Despite the heavy weight of their disease and shame, what did they do and how did they do it? How did they cry out?
• How might their lives have been different if they had not had the courage to share?
• What does it mean for you/us to have the courage to share our hurts? What might that look like?
COURAGE TO FOLLOW GOD’S DIRECTION. Christ gave a curious command in this text. He did not heal on the spot (like Matthew 8) but he told them to go to the priests. This was a curious and possibly unsettling command. Thankfully, they obeyed and were healed.
• Do we sometimes see the direction of God or the word of God advise us to do “unusual” things? [E.g. “Pray for those that despitefully use you.”]
• Have you ever received advice or direction from a pastor or spiritual mentor that you resisted but later found to be accurate?
• We want to have the answers. We sometimes miss or resist the direction of God because we want to “figure it out for ourselves” but, if we could figure it out for ourselves, wouldn’t we have done that already?
Consider Proverbs 3:5-6. These men had the courage to share, to reach beyond themselves and to God . . . and the courage to obey God and move. They were healed. We must be able to trust God and to take everything to God in prayer.
COURAGE TO PRAISE. Ten men were healed from shameful circumstances. We thank God. However, only one came back to give Christ the thanks and the praise. We don’t want to be like that. When we have the opportunity we to have the courage to thank and praise God for what he has done in our lives.
• Was the healed Samaritan timid about honoring God for what God had done? How do we know, what are the various acts that the text says he did?
• Does it sometimes take courage for us to praise God? Why or why not?
• The Samaritan came back praising in a loud voice. But there are many ways to praise God. What are some other ways?
• Are there any ways of praise that are special or unique to you?
In this text, we see some men who once carried shame but were now healed. The church is a place of healing. We need to share that with others and to know that for ourselves. We bring our burdens to God – to the place of healing and leave them there. We must trust how God walks us through our healing process and we must have the courage to go back and to thank and praise him for all he has done in our lives.