- David Julen
What Happens to You, Makes a Difference to Me
The link below takes you to an article about the healing of the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19, and my hope is that it will give you ideas you can use in a Bible Study or sermon. The principles from Jesus’ encounter with the lepers in Luke 17:11-19, their subsequent healing, and the return of the one Samaritan, speak to the ways Christ and the church can respond to the needs of our world. We see that the very presence of Jesus conveys to people his compassion for them. His teachings, the healing acts and miracles performed by him were a love note to the world, as John Claypool noted, proclaiming, what happens to you makes a difference to me.
A good question to ask ourselves is, do we convey that to the people around us? Does our church convey that to the community? According to a recent article from the Rand Corporation (Synthetic Opioids Are an Everything Problem, June 9 , 2022), the death toll from substance abuse in the last twenty years is greater than all American combat deaths combined in all the wars the United States has fought. According to a Pew Research study (Oct. 26, 2017), 46% of Americans have a close family member or friend that is suffering from or has suffered from substance abuse. So, a person attending your church can look to the left, to the right, and likely see someone affected by substance abuse.
Using the content in the article below, you could tie in a sermon about how labels can dehumanize people and cause us to have less compassion toward others in need. Labels can cause people to be unwilling to admit they need help and unwilling to seek help. It also recognizes that we play a part in our healing whether in a rehab of a knee, healing of a marriage, or in a recovery from an addiction. We are responding to God’s grace, and several biblical texts show the role the individuals played in their healing. The article also illustrates that it is quite often a journey instead of a single encounter that leads to healing. This application can help the Christian suffering from addiction that feels despair that their commitment to Christ has not caused the struggle to cease. Another application can be that gratitude toward Christ can make us spiritually whole.