Thanksgiving Lesson-November 17, 2018
Lesson: “Giving Thanks”
Lesson Goal: To return to Him with thankful hearts that express themselves in worship to Him.
Scripture: Luke 17: 11-19
Introduction: Charles Swindoll from “My Journal”
When I served on the island of Okinawa, I was a member of the Third division Marine Core band. On one occasion, we were invited to a leprosarium on the north end of Okinawa to play a concert and the memory of those women will never leave me.
There we sat in precise rows, decked out in our dress blues, our instruments polished and gleaming. And there they sat, slumped under the weight of pain and fatigue. Mangled bodies bearing the remnants of human faces. Their limbs wrapped in strips of cloth, some of them oozing blood. Many of them tried to cover their deformed faces with their stumps in a pathetic attempt to cover their shame with unworthiness. It broke my heart to see them feeling so unworthy because of a condition they neither caused nor deserved.
While we played, the desperately ill men and women listened in rapt attention. I could barely play my instrument through the sadness weighing on my heart, seeing bodies horrifically distorted by the disease we now call Hansen’s. I’ll never forget the sound of their applause, which they offered by banging stumps of limbs together or tapping crutches on the floor or against their chairs I would have given almost anything to have the power of healing that day. What a joy it must have been for Jesus to reach down into the sea of human depravity and snatch a soul from the clutches of disease. One day soon, Jesus will empty the hospitals, the leper colonies, and even the graveyards of the world. Then we will live in a world without darkness, sin, suffering, disease and death. We have His promise on that.
(v11) Jesus was traveling toward Jerusalem along the borders of Samaria and Galilee.
(v12) “a certain village” the name of the village is unimportant; it is irrelevant. Luke helps us to understand it is not the “where” that is important but the “what” that is important.
Question: Have you ever noticed how we can become consumed and obsessed with the quest for the unim-portant and often miss the important?
(v12) “There met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.”
Ten men become a band of brothers because of a horrible disease. They had been given the death sentence by society. Only in their own company could they find help and support.
Together they meet Jesus, but they dare not cross the invisible line of exclusion that has been placed upon them by society, religion, and the law. They “stood afar off.”
(v13) “And they lifted up their voices and said, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” Together they formed a chorus pleading for mercy. The lepers did not use the title teacher, but rather the title master, epistate. In their desperation, they cried out to Jesus.
Question: Can you remember a time when in your desperation you cried out to God? We see page after page in the Bible-people crying out in their desperation.
(v14) “He saw them.”Not only did He hear their cry for mercy, “He saw then.” He responds to their cry for mercy, but He saw their need.
Question: Today, can you take refuge and find strength in the fact that, “He” sees you? What does this won-derful truth mean to you?
(v14) “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”
According to the law, anyone cured of leprosy must be declared clean by the priests (Leviticus 14:2). The priests could only declare that healing had occurred. They could pronounce the healing, but had no power to heal.
“And so it was as they went, they were cleanses.”
Obedient to the words of Jesus, the lepers (still lepers) begin the journey to the priests. On this occasion, their healing happened as they faithfully obeyed the words of Jesus.
Please describe what it must have been like on the road that day once they realized they had been healed.
(v15) “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned and with a loud voice glorified God.”
Without my commentary in explaining this verse, please offer your own commentary to this portion of the verse, praying and meditating on the words that are highlighted.
This is truly a great picture of real Thanksgiving!
(v16) “and feel down on his face at His feet giving Him thanks”
Question: Have you received the blessings of Jesus during your lifetime? Has He shown you mercy? Has Jesus looked upon your life and met you at the point of your greatest need?
Question: Have you ever worshipped Jesus on your face before Him?
(vv17-19) “Where are the nine?”
Are you numbered with the nine?
I do not want my Lord to ask, “Where is Mickey? Where is Cindy? Where are Arleigh, McClane, Tifton, and Keegan? Where are Daniel, Gwen, Sofia, Liam, and Ema?
I declare to you this day, it is not too late to return and give Him thanks. Today, let us worship Him through-out these buildings by offering to Him our worship in thanksgiving.
Sing to the Lord:
Shout to the Lord
My Jesus, my Savior
Lord, there is none like You
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love
My comfort, my shelter
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You
Shout to the Lord, all the earth, let us sing
Power and majesty, praise to the King
Mountains bow down and the seas will roar
At the sound of Your name
I sing for joy at the works of Your hands
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You
Now stop worrying about how it sounds to others; lift your worship to the Lord for He is the one to whom we sing. Hear the words. Let them flow from the fountain of your grateful heart. Notice how this wonderful song begins: “My Jesus, My Savior.” Sing to Him.
Repeat for His glory: “Today, we return to give thanks.”