You’ve Received What You Came For, But Will You Return to the Presence?

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses seventeen through thirty-six of the sixth chapter. When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will find it taking place immediately after Jesus had gone out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. After spending the entire night before His Father in prayer Jesus came down from the mountain and while it was day He called unto Him His disciples, and of those disciples He chose twelve who would also name apostles and appointed to walk with Him faithfully for three and a half years of ministry within the land of Judaea. In verses fourteen through sixteen you will find those twelve whom Jesus chose and appointed to walk with and follow Him as apostles—namely, Simon (whom He also named Peter), and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew, Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaaeus, and Simon called Zelotes, and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which was also the traitor. As we come to and approach the seventeenth verse of this chapter we find the twelve apostles who were appointed by Jesus the Christ having been named, and Jesus coming down with the apostles and standing in the plain. What we find in the seventeenth verse of this chapter is Jesus coming down from the mountain with His twelve apostles, and His standing in the plain. There in the plain there came the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. As I sit here this morning I can’t help but be incredibly gripped and captivated by that which I find in verses seventeen through nineteen—before we even get into the teaching which is found in verses twenty onward within the chapter. In the seventeenth verse of this particular chapter you will find the great multitude of people which had come out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon coming unto Jesus to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases. I sit here this morning and I read those words within the seventeenth verse and I can’t help but be be absolutely and incredibly captivated and drawn in with and by them, for within it are two distinct realities and reasons why men and women will come into the presence of Jesus, and why men and women will come unto Jesus in order that they might seek Him. In all reality, I am convinced that what we have and what we find in this particular passage of Scripture is a wonderful and powerful picture of men and women who seek to enter into and come into the presence of Jesus, for more often than not anyone who comes into and seeks to enter into the presence of Jesus does so with and for a very specific reason and purpose.

Before I even attempt to get into that which is found within this particular portion of Scripture, I can’t help but wonder what brought you into the presence of Jesus the very first time you sought to enter into His presence. Do you remember that time when you very first sought to come unto Jesus? Do you remember what you were seeking when you made the decision to enter into the presence of Jesus? Do you remember what you were thinking and what you were feeling when you entered into the presence of Jesus? Do you remember how you felt when you entered into the house of the Lord—perhaps on a Sunday morning, or perhaps during a midweek service, or perhaps even during a tent meeting of some sort? What was it that drove you into the presence of Jesus and brought you to the place where you desired to seek Him and to see what He was all about? What reports did you hear concerning Jesus, and what did those reports tell you about this Jesus whom you were seeking? One thing we must recognize when reading the gospels is that that which drew multitudes of people out of the surrounding cities, towns and villages was the report and fame that spread like wild fire from those who had received something from Jesus. The gospel authors make no mistake about it when they wrote and spoke of a great fame concerning Jesus going out among the towns, villages and cities within the land of Judaea, as well as in the region of Tyre and Sidon, and even Samaria and Jerusalem. One thing that is absolutely unmistakeable about the gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ is that there was a report that began to be circulating concerning Jesus the Christ as men and women began to proclaim and exclaim all that He had taught, and all that He had done—perhaps within their own lives, or perhaps in the lives of another as they watched and witnessed what He was capable of doing. There is not a doubt in my mind that what brought this great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, as well as from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon was a report and fame that had been spread concerning Jesus the Christ as men and women began to circulate the manifestation of the power of God upon the earth in their midst. Even if Jesus instructed those whom He touched and ministered unto to not spread His fame abroad throughout the region, those whom He had touched could not help but spread the good news concerning this Messiah who had come among them and walked in the power and glory of God.

As I sit here and consider the opening verses of this portion of Scripture I can’t help but be struck and captivated with what is found in the seventeenth verse of this chapter, for it is within the seventeenth verse where we find the reason and motive for men and women coming out from all Judaea and. Jerusalem, and even from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon. In the seventeenth verse we find that all those whom came out from these regions did so in order that they might hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases. Consider if you will the words and language which is found in the seventeenth verse as it was written and recorded by the beloved physician Luke: “And He came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of His disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear Him, and to be healed of their diseases” (Luke 6:17). I have to admit that what we find and what we read in this particular passage of Scripture is truly remarkable and truly astonishing, for not only do we find a great multitude of men and women coming out from the surrounding regions to hear Jesus, but we also find them coming to be healed of their diseases. HEARING AND HEALING! Please do not miss the tremendous significance of what is found and contained within this particular verse, for it brings us face to face with something incredibly unique concerning those who come into the presence of Jesus and seek Him. Within this particular verse—not only do we find those who will come into the presence of Jesus to hear Him, but we also find those same individuals coming unto Jesus in order that they might be healed of their diseases. I have to admit that I absolutely love the fact that Luke not only includes the fact that this great multitude came unto Jesus to be healed of their diseases, but he also included the fact that this great multitude came unto Jesus in order that they might hear Him. This is actually something that is quite remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to think about and consider it, for there are those who will seek to enter into the presence of Jesus to be healed of their diseases, and yet they have absolutely no desire to hear Him, nor to hear the words which He desires to speak unto them. There are those who would seek to enter into and come into the presence of Jesus, and yet the only reason and purpose they desire to come into His presence is to be healed of their diseases, and to simply receive of His power, His virtue, and His glory. Such men and women have absolutely no desire or intention of hearing and listening to the words which Jesus the Christ has to speak and declare unto them for they are concerned with one thing and one thing alone—namely, their individual and personal need(s) which they brought before and unto Him.

Can I be bold and honest right now and declare that we do a wonderful job entering into the presence of Jesus in order that we might be healed of our diseases, and in order that we might receive from Him, but when it comes to actually hearing the words which Jesus desires to speak, we have the tendency to fall short. It is easy to be healed of our diseases, for more often than not within the gospels we don’t read of any requirements being placed upon those who received and experienced healing in the presence of Jesus. There were those specific times when certain individuals entered into the presence of Jesus, and immediately after He healed them He instructed them to go and sin no more, lest something worse come upon them within their lives. There are certain instances and certain cases within the gospels when Jesus would perform a miracle within the life of an individual, and yet immediately after He would heal them of that which plagued and oppressed them, He would give them specific instruction to go and sin no more, or even to go and offer that which was needed for their cleansing. There were specific times when Jesus would not only release and provide healing in the lives of those who came unto Him and entered into His presence. There were specific times when Jesus would release healing into the lives of certain individuals, and that healing would require of them an obedience and faithfulness to the commandments and statutes that were recorded within . This is actually quite interesting and intriguing, for more often than not we find men and women being able to come into the presence of Jesus and receiving healing without any type of requirement or ask of them following the healing. In all reality, I am convinced that there were men and women who entered into the presence of Jesus in order that they might be healed of their diseases, and cared absolutely nothing about that which Jesus would ask and require of them. I would dare say that for some it would be very easy to enter into the presence of the Lord and to receive healing for their specific needs, and as quickly as they entered into the presence of Jesus and received their healing, they would leave the presence of Jesus. I can’t help but wonder how many men and women entered into the presence of Jesus, received their healing, and yet He never saw or heard from them again. There is a particular instance that comes to my mind concerning this very reality, and is actually found in this very same gospel account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ as written and recorded by Luke. If you turn and direct your attention to the seventeenth chapter of this New Testament account of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ you will find the account of ten lepers who came unto Jesus in order that they might be cleansed of their leprosy. Consider if you will that which is found in this particular chapter beginning with the eleventh verse:

“And it came to pass, as He went to Jerusalem, that H\e passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, master, have mercy on us. And when He saw them, He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, which saw that He was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:11-19).

This particular passage of Scripture is a perfect and powerful example of ten men who were all lepers, and who came to where Jesus was in order that they might cry unto Him for their healing and cleansing. We find within this passage these ten lepers meeting Jesus when He passed through a certain village in the midst of Samaria and Galilee, and how they cried unto Jesus, saying, “Master, have mercy on us.” Upon hearing their cry for mercy, Jesus instructed them to go and shew themselves unto the priests—a word of instruction which is actually quite interesting, for there was no promise of cleansing, nor was there any promise of healing. The only words Jesus spoke unto those who cried unto Him for mercy upon their leprosy and state of being unclean was an instruction for them to shew themselves unto the priests. I can’t help but wonder and imagine what it was like as these ten lepers heard the command and instruction of Jesus the Christ, and as they each turned and looked at each other and made the decision to go and shew themselves unto the priests together. Without getting ahead of myself when I come to this particular passage of Scripture at a later time, it is worth noting that according to the law that was given unto Moses atop the mountain in the wilderness, if you were a leper among the children of Israel, and if you were cleansed of your leprosy, you were to go and shew yourself unto the priest in order that he might not only confirm your cleansing, but also pronounce you as clean and able to freely move among the children of Israel. The instruction which Jesus gave unto these ten lepers was actually one that instructed them to do what would be done after they had received their cleansing. How absolutely wonderful and incredible it is that Jesus instructed them to engage themselves in an activity that was usually designated after you were cleansed before they had even experienced their cleansing. So long as they stood there they would remain unclean and with the condition of their leprosy, and yet the minute they made the decision to go and shew themselves unto the priests they would be cleansed of their leprosy. It is so incredibly unique and powerful to think about and consider what is written and recorded in this particular passage, for within it we find Jesus instructing them to go and shew themselves unto the priests, and yet He offered them no promise of cleansing or healing. The only thing Jesus instructed them to do was “Go” and “Show.” All these lepers had to do was obey the word and command of Jesus and “go” their way, and “shew” themselves unto the priests. Luke writes and records how it came to pass, that as they went, they were each cleansed.

What I find to be so curious about this particular instance within the life and ministry of Jesus is at what point within their journey to the priests did they notice they were cleansed. How soon after they turned and went their way to shew themselves unto the priests did they begin to be cleansed of their leprosy? Luke writes and records how it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. Please do not miss the tremendous implication of this, for their cleansing took place “as they went.” If they had made the decision to remain where they were, and even to ignore and reject the word which Jesus had given unto them, they would have remained in their leprosy. It’s worth noting that it is only in their going, and it is only in their willingness to go and shew themselves unto the priests that they would in fact be cleansed of their leprosy—this despite the fact that they had absolutely no promise or assurance of being healed and cleansed. It wasn’t like the case of Naaman the Syrian general who was given an instruction by the prophet Elisha to go and dip himself seven times in the Jordan River, and upon doing so he would be cleansed. Naaman was given a specific instruction concerning what he needed to do, and he initially grew angry and offended with the instruction that was given unto him. Naaman had a preconceived expectation within his heart and mind concerning that which the prophet Elisha would do for him, and when he found himself being asked to do something that was contrary to his expectation, and even required him to do something that was neither attractive nor appealing, he initially balked at the idea and suggestion. It wasn’t until his servants declared unto him that if the prophet had instructed him to do some great thing, he would happily and gladly do what the prophet asked of him and commanded him to do. Ultimately Naaman agreed with his servants and obeyed the word of the prophet Elisha, and as he emerged from the waters of the Jordan River the seventh time, he was completely healed and cleansed of his leprosy, and his skin became as that of a child. A similar reality was true of these ten lepers, for these ten lepers were instructed to go and shew themselves unto the priests, and that was all they received from Jesus. There was no additional promise of healing, nor was there any promise of cleansing from Jesus—only that they were to go and shew themselves unto the priests. It was only as they went that they were cleansed of their leprosy, and yet what Luke writes and records concerning these ten lepers is actually quite astonishing, for only one of the ten lepers returned unto Jesus after he had been cleansed. Consider what is recorded in this passage once more:

“And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks: and He was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger? And He said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole” (Luke 17:14-19).

What Luke goes on to write within this particular portion of the gospel was that as the ten lepers turned to go their way, all ten of them were cleansed of their leprosy. Make no mistake about this, for it wasn’t simply the one who returned to Jesus who was cleansed, for all ten lepers who cried out unto Jesus were cleansed of their leprosy were cleansed. Of the ten lepers who went their way unto the priests and were cleansed in the process of going, only one turned back and returned unto Jesus after seeing that he was healed. What’s more, is that Jesus presents the question of whether or not there were ten who were cleansed, and where the other nine were who were cleansed. WERE THERE NOT TEN CLEANSED? WHERE ARE THE NINE? I happen to find a great indictment in Jesus’ second question, for Jesus’ question is an indictment of those who received healing and cleansing in the presence of Jesus, or even at the word and command of Jesus, and yet those nine—once they received that which they desired—have absolutely no desire to return unto Jesus. It is worth pointing out that when Jesus saw and observed this one who returned—this one whom He referred to as a stranger, and who Luke wrote was a Samaritan—that Jesus instructed him to arise and go his way, for his faith had made him whole. CLEANSED, HEALED AND NOW WHOLE! I can’t help but find something truly astonishing within the account of this single leper who was cleansed, for we initially find that as he went his way with the other nine lepers, he was cleansed of his leprosy along with the others. This man, however—when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving Him thanks. Please don’t move too quickly past this, for initially what we find and what we have is this Samaritan being cleansed with the others, and recognizing that he was healed, and yet the account of this Samaritan does not end simply with his being cleansed, but with his being made whole. This brings me to the place where I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t something drastically different between merely being cleansed, and even being healed, and actually be made whole. This wasn’t the first time when Scripture speaks of being healed first, and then Jesus’ declaration of being made whole. In other words, there appears to be a work beyond simply being healed, and even cleansed—a work that actually transcends merely being healed and cleansed, and touches a complete wholeness. This single leper who returned unto Jesus was not cleansed along with the other nine as he went, but upon returning and giving thanks unto Jesus, it was declared unto him that his faith made him whole.

I can’t help but think of the other nine who were cleansed and who had received healing within their physical bodies, and yet despite the fact that they had been cleansed and healed, they chose to continue along their way. The question that I can’t help but wonder is whether or not the other nine lepers even made the journey unto the priests in order to shew themselves unto them. When they saw that they had been cleansed and healed of their leprosy, did continue on with their healing, and yet didn’t fully and completely obey the word and command of Jesus? The interesting reality concerning this single leper was that he initially made his way with the others to shew himself unto the priests, yet when he saw he was cleansed, he had to return back to Jesus. I can’t help but wonder what it was like as this single leper who was a stranger and a Samaritan left the other nine in order that he might return back to Jesus. “I’m sorry guys. I have to go back. It’s great that we are all healed and cleansed, but I have to go back.” I can’t help but wonder if the other nine tried talking him out of going back to Jesus, and even tried telling him that they were given specific instruction to go and shew themselves unto the priests. I can almost see a reckless and careless abandon within the heart of this Samaritan as he needed to break away from the other nine in order that he might return to Jesus. “Guys, I know what Jesus said, but I have to go back and see Him. I have to go back and thank Him for what He has done in my life. I have to thank Him for my cleansing. I have to thank Him for my healing. The priests will always be there. I will make my way to the priests, but first I need to see Jesus. I need to let Him see what has happened in my body.” SHOWING JESUS THE PROOF OF HIS WORK! SHOWING JESUS THE MANIFESTATION OF HEALING! This single leper returned back to Jesus to give Him thanks for what He had done in his life, and Jesus marveled and was amazed at his faith—a faith that would leave the other nine behind in order to make his way back to Jesus who gave the instruction to shew themselves unto the priests. I have to admit that I absolutely love the account of this single leper, for although all ten were cleansed and healed of their leprosy—only he alone had the faith and the resolve to return to the presence of Jesus. The actions of this stranger who was a Samaritan is actually a rare picture of men and women who entered into the presence of Jesus, received their healing, received what they had come unto Jesus for, and yet once they got what they came for, they made no move to return to Jesus. They came and entered into His presence to be healed, to be cleansed, to be delivered, and to receive what they desired, and once they received that, they continued along their own way.

I am convinced that one of the main reasons why we enter into the presence of Jesus simply to be healed of our diseases, and even delivered from that which torments and oppresses us is because it is easy to be healed and then not have anything required or asked of us. The four gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus healing the multitudes, cleansing lepers, causing the lame to walk, causing the blind to see, causing the deaf to hear, causing the mute to speak, and casting out spirits of unclean devils. There are countless accounts when Jesus heals all those who come unto Him and enter into His presence to receive healing of their infirmity and disease. I would dare say that it is easy to enter into the presence of elf Jesus to be healed, for more often than not healing doesn’t require or demand anything from us. There were those specific examples and accounts when Jesus would declare unto those whom He healed and made whole that they should go and sin no more, but more often than not Jesus would offer healing unto those who came unto Him with their various illnesses, diseases, infirmities, sicknesses and the like. There is something to be said about not only coming into the presence of Jesus to be healed, but also to hear and to listen to the words which He desires and would speak unto you. There is something to be said about coming into the presence of Jesus—yes with a need to be healed and cleansed, but also with a desire to hear that which He desires to speak. There is something to be said about those who would enter into the presence of Jesus and desire that they might be healed of their disease, but even more than merely being healed of their diseases, they desired to hear and listen to the words which He had to speak and declare. Luke has already written and recorded how those in Nazareth and Capernaum were astonished at his doctrine, for His word was with power, and He did not teach as their scribes and teachers taught. Luke made it very clear that when Jesus taught and spoke, He did so with power and with authority, as He brought forth a message and gospel that was completely and altogether different from that which their teachers and scribes brought before and unto them. If we are being honest with ourselves, it is very easy to come unto Jesus to be healed of our diseases, but it is something else altogether to come unto Jesus and and hear and listen to the words which He desires to speak. This actually brings me to think about and consider something truly unique concerning our generation today—namely, how many men and women will hear of a move of God, and will hear of signs, wonders and miracles taking place, and yet men and women come solely to be healed of their diseases, and care absolutely nothing about actually hearing what Jesus desires to speak unto them.

Take a look at most of the “awakenings” and “revivals” that have taken place in recent years, I would all but guarantee that more often than not men and women flocked to these meetings to be healed of their disease, and to be delivered of that which torments and oppresses them, and have absolutely no desire to hear and listen to anything that Jesus desires to speak to them. What’s more, is that I would dare say that there are some who would even go unto these meetings as spectators, and care absolutely nothing about that which Jesus the Christ might ask and require of them. I absolutely love what the beloved physician Luke writes and records in this particular passage, for not only does he write and speak of those who came unto Jesus to hear Him, but those who came to be healed of their diseases. What’s more, is that as you continue to read this passage you will find that the whole multitude sought to touch Jesus, for there went virtue out of Him, and healed them all. I can’t quickly dismiss what is found within this passage, for it’s one thing to be healed of Jesus, but it’s something else to hear the words which He desires to speak, and even to touch Him. This concept of touching Jesus is found elsewhere in the gospels, as the woman with the issue of blood who had this condition for twelve years sought to but touch the hem of His garment in order that she might be healed. I find within this particular passage of Scripture a wonderful and incredible picture of those who, yes, desire to be healed of Jesus, but who also desire to hear Him and even to touch Him. There is something about hearing the words which Jesus speaks unto you, and something about touching Jesus that has the ability to radically transform and change your life. The ten lepers who turned and went their way to shew themselves unto the priests were all cleansed, and yet only one returned to give thanks and glory unto God for their healing and cleansing. It was in that act of returning and giving thanks that they were made completely whole—a wholeness that went beyond and transcended merely being healed and cleansed. It’s one thing to experience being healed in the presence of Jesus, but it is something else altogether to receive your healing, and not only return to give Him thanks, but also to walk with and follow Him. Oh, I can’t help but wonder how many men and women who were healed by Jesus went their way never to return into the presence of Jesus again. How many men and women received their healing and deliverance from Jesus, and were never again seen by Jesus? Much like the other nine lepers who chose not to return into the presence of Jesus, these men and women received what they came for, and that was enough for them. Where oh where are those who aren’t merely willing to receive what they came for and desired, but who are also willing to give what is asked and required of them? Where are those men and women who came to be healed, yes, but also desire to hear and listen to the words which Jesus desires to speak unto them? Where are those who will return and give thanks for their healing, and proceed to walk with and follow Jesus wherever He goes? SO YOU’VE RECEIVED WHAT YOU CAME FOR—NOW WHAT? WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? I am convinced that there is within this passage a wonderful and powerful invitation to not only come unto Jesus to receive that which we desperately desire, but also to remain in His presence once the healing has been performed, to give thanks for what we have received, and to not only hear the words He desires to speak to us, but also to to walk with and follow Him wherever He would lead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s