For while we were yet weak, in due season Christ died for the ungodly. Rom. 5,6


Luke 17:11-19

   11 While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; 13 and they raised their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 When He saw them, He said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they were going, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, 16 and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine--where are they? 18 "Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well."

   Faith and faith is two things, Luther said - and here we get a pretty clear demonstration of the truth in that.
   First we will stop and see where Jesus were - in the land between (in Norw. transl.: border district) Samaria and Galilee! Was that really a place to be for a "teacher that comes from God," would the pharisees and the scholars said. And they probably did as well. We can also remember Nathanael's speech when Philip called him to Jesus - to Jesus from Nazareth: "Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (Joh. 1:46). That's the way a "true Israelite" viewed that area and the people who lived there.
   "Galilee of the gentiles, the people who were sitting in darkness, and those who were sitting in the land and shadow of death.." Not exactly a place that was highly esteemed, we can truly say. But that's where He came! Not only wandering eventually, but He was born there by parents from Nazareth and grew up there.

   What about Samaria then - it was a little better there wasn't it? When Jesus meets the Samaritan woman by Jacob's well in Sykar, Jesus puts the people there straight. The woman says: "Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. "You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews." (Joh.4:20-22).
   "You worship what you do not know!" In other words is Jesus really saying: "You are false teachers, when it comes to salvation!" And then He teaches about the true way: "- salvation is from the Jews." What "salvation is from the Jews," really means becomes clear at the end of this conversation with this woman - not only a Samaritan, but also a prostitute, after the law of God: "I am this salvation that is (comes) from the Jews! I am a Jew!"

   Galilee - a mixture of people of Jews and heathens, with a very low status in Israel, and Samaria - a people of false teaching, which means, a people in opposition and riots towards God's true way! There - in the land between these two areas is where Jesus were right now! And this is where he also met these unclean! These lepers and therefore excluded! My friend, notice by all means where Jesus walks! It is a very widespread tendency today to think as the orthodox Jews - and especially the pharisees and the scholars - that Jesus if He truly was sent by God, sought the true and good Israelite and only them! What in the world did He do amongst the excluded and unclean - He who was clean Himself?
   It sounds so nice in the song "There were no one like Jesus on earth": "So compassionate, loving and mild! There are no one as great as Jesus, especially for the lamb's that went astray."
   Yes, we can see how great Jesus becomes for those, through this cleansed Samaritan!

   Jesus is the only human being from the day of the fall till this day as we sit here gathered together, that has been clean in the eyes of God - which is without sin! And the Scripture also teaches us why He was dressed with this clean body - because it talks about a dressing. It was of God! Listen!: "For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when He comes into the world, He says, "SACRIFICE AND OFFERING YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, BUT A BODY YOU HAVE PREPARED FOR ME; IN WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE TAKEN NO PLEASURE. "THEN I SAID, 'BEHOLD, I HAVE COME (IN THE SCROLL OF THE BOOK IT IS WRITTEN OF ME) TO DO YOUR WILL, O GOD.'After saying above, "SACRIFICES AND OFFERINGS AND WHOLE BURNT OFFERINGS AND sacrifices FOR SIN YOU HAVE NOT DESIRED, NOR HAVE YOU TAKEN PLEASURE in them" (which are offered according to the Law),then He said, "BEHOLD, I HAVE COME TO DO YOUR WILL." He takes away the first in order to establish the second. By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebr.10:4-10).

   Here - in these verses - you have all you need to know to salvation! What is said here is pretty simple: God couldn't receive the sinful man on the foundation of the sacrifices they brought to God! It could not take away sins! Nothing else could either! It is a true confession and experience Fredrik Wisloff describes in the song: "I was lost and did not see any way." And: "When no power could save me." No road to salvation! No power could help! But then he sees what Jesus describes here and can sing it out: "Then i saw the blood, yes the blood!" And: "Then the blood saved!"

   "A body you have prepared for Me, says the Savior. An act of God! And why? Yes, to do what you could never do because of your sin, and your lust - to do the will of God! And hear the word of the evangelist: "By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
   By this will, and not by all these things that you are busy with!

   We mentioned how great Jesus became for this cleansed Samaritan. That is something to carefully notice - he wasn't just cleansed from his leprosy, but also from his false teaching and faith! He was still - and throughout his life - a Samaritan by birth and race, but not spiritually! This Samaritan did now become - in God's eyes - a true Israelite! That was also the will of God with him, as it is also the will of God for you! Jesus says something powerful to him here: "Your faith has saved you." (V.19).
   There are those who says: To believe to salvation is caused by acting upon the word of God! In that case all 10 was saved, because all 10 acted upon the word of Jesus - and it happened to them as He had said. They experienced healing by acting upon His word, but still we hear Him seek after them with a hurt cry.
   These 10 people probably testified a lot about Jesus - what He had done in his mercy towards them, healed them from this terrible disease, led them back to society and a completely new existence - but only one of them got saved! This grateful Samaritan also had the revelation by the Spirit of God so he saw who Jesus really was!
   We don't know how it went with these 9 later on - Scripture doesn't say anything about that, but if we shall stick to what we read about them here, you will not meet them in heaven one day - despite their faith! But one man you'll meet there - this Samaritan! He who received a saving faith! A faith that brought him back to the feet of Jesus! Back to a worship of God revealed in the flesh! (1 Tim. 3:16).

   So what about you who are here right now? Has Jesus helped you in any way? Maybe delivered you from a disease - physical or psychological? Maybe delivered you from a criminal record, drugs, alcohol or other addictions? So that you could return to a normal condition in society. What a great mercy to experience something like that! But I must still be allowed to ask you - at least on the foundation of passages like the one we have stopped for now - has Jesus been revealed to you as who He really is, so that you lie by His feet and praise and worship Him? "He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor. 5:21).
   Do you recognize yourself in this Samaritan we meet here? He who had a saving faith!

   When you hear about saving faith - do you start to look at your faith then? Whether it is good enough, the right kind etc? That's not what we're talking about - but how is your relationship with Jesus? It is shaped and controlled by you seeing His relationship to you?


Holy Bible, New American Standard Version
Translator: Benedicte Holtan Smart