Eternal Life – God’s Mystery

12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. 14 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. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. 17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? 18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. 19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Lk 17:12-19


“strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat. 7:14)

Only one man saw something different. One man out of ten. That is how difficult it is to see the things of the Spirit.

But first…

It is not written, but the sight of the lepers  standing “afar off” must have shattered Jesus’ heart into a thousand pieces. The compassion that this Man had knew no bounds. And when they begged Him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”, knowing He had the power to do what they asked Him to, He couldn’t have been more glad to oblige.

“Go shew yourselves unto the priests.” He spoke casually; but He was excited, for He knew the profound miracle that would befall them along the way.

“And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.” (v.14)

Jesus was happy at their cleansing; yet nothing could send Jesus’s heart pounding harder than what happened next. Scripture tells us:

“15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.”

The fact that scripture states that this man “turned back” indicates that he did not wait to arrive at the priests’ office. He had no more need of that. He had met God! And having met God, he became alive in his spirit.

The other men went rejoicing, of course. Not that they were thankless, no. They were very happy and thankful. But where, pray, do you think they went? To the priests, of course. They were going to show the physical miracle that had been done for them. These men saw nothing besides the miracle that was done for their bodies.

But their compatriot turned back and came and worshiped the living God. Bye, bye priests!

This man saw something the others did not. As they say, what you see is what you get. For that reason, therefore, Jesus told the man,

“… thy faith hath made thee whole.” (v.19)

We can finally perceive what true faith is. It is seeing into the Spirit. Jesus was now not talking about physical wholeness. That had already been accomplished. Here Jesus was talking about spiritual wholeness. This is the greatest gift a man can receive from God.

When we see God, we get done with the law! Our spirits become alive!! We are free men and women. That means we can worship God in truth and in the Spirit, for the life of God resides in us.

We ought to endeavour to go for the life of God. Christ’s life in us. The Apostle Paul wrote,

“22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 23 But we preach Christ crucified… 24 Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (1 Cor. 1:22-24)

Paul and those who worked with him did miracles, but they distanced themselves from the miracle ‘ministry’ and the wisdom seekers. They sought after the life of God in them instead.


“… and he was a Samaritan.”

Wow. This man was not a Jew. Jesus called him a “stranger”.

The people in greatest danger of not receiving the life of Christ are, sadly, those of us who claim to be saved.  The problem is, we tend to think in terms of entitlement. For this reason we take the grace of God in vain. But forget about all the rights you think you have in Christ. God’s Kingdom is for those who do not think anything of themselves. That is why Jesus told the Jews:

“If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” (Jn. 9:41)

Imagine that. Jesus told them it were far better if they had been blind!

The Apostle Paul said,

“I be nothing” (2 Cor. 12:11)

That was Paul’s perspective of himself.

Recently, I was drawn to read about an American preacher who wears $4,000 shoes. Y’know, just shoes. In America they call them celebrity preachers. I wondered what a man who wears $4,000 shoes thinks of himself.

But what does the healing of our spirits do for us?

We become men and women of grace, for the life of Christ works in us. In 1 Cor. 15:45, the Bible says:

“… the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”

The last Adam, Jesus, was a life-giving Spirit. That is what we become when our hearts are touched and changed by the Master.

[A mother and her child arriving home in the evening]


Human Prejudice vs God’s Will

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Mat. 16:13-19

We wonder at the prejudice that the Jews had in Jesus’ day, little realizing that we probably are more prejudiced than they, though in very subtle ways.

I don’t know what God saw in Peter, but it is clear from the scriptures that God chose to reveal something to Peter over the other apostles. In fact, what God revealed to Peter was the greatest revelation that will ever be revealed to mankind: that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

Notice it was God who gave that revelation to Peter. It was not Jesus who did it. But Jesus keenly observed what the Father did, and bent His will to do the Father’s will.

Peter was not Jesus’ favorite disciple; John was (John 21:20). And yet, when Jesus saw the favor that God had placed on Peter by revealing to him who He was, He obeyed God and He chose Peter to lead the church Jesus was leaving behind in Jerusalem (v.19).

God’s choice of Peter as the leader of the church in Jerusalem is also confirmed by the Apostle Paul. In Galatians 2:7-8 he says, “7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter; 8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:)”

But Peter was a man who had many weaknesses. In fact, right after receiving that momentous commendation from Jesus, he found himself being castigated by Jesus Himself for something foolish he had said! (John 16:22,23). And we know also that Peter carried a sword with him up till the day Jesus was arrested, and he used it to cut off the High Priest’s servant’s ear! (John 18:26)

He was a fire-breathing apostle, this Peter!

Can we discern what God has put in a man’s heart and respect him for it – in other words, respect the deposit that God has put in that man’s heart – rather than focusing on his weaknesses, however big they may be?

Jesus did exactly that with respect to Peter. He saw what God had deposited in Peter’s heart and since Jesus lived to do God’s will alone He chose to respect Peter for it, and He announced it as so in front of everybody. I am sure that Jesus deliberately chose to obey God in placing Peter as the leader of the church.

Jesus was no respecter of persons. I believe that Jesus made this decision solely based on what He had seen the Father do in revealing to Peter who Jesus was rather than to any other apostle. Jesus respected what His Father respected. Probably Jesus would have liked to choose John as the leader. But He perceived God’s choice, and Jesus lived only to do God’s will.

Much of the time God comes at us from center-left. He works in ways that are completely contrary to our human preferences. I am of the opinion that even the best among us has some prejudices against some type of persons. But God is God and He will remain God. And He always has a way of dealing with human arrogance.

The question here is: Do we have the grace to put aside our preferences, and our prejudices and respect God through respecting a man for what God has put in his heart? And sometimes, as we just saw, that person may not be our favorite person, or he may not be one who is worthy of our respect.

I believe that if we are seeing in the Spirit we will have no problem accepting it. But if we do not see in the Spirit, we will hold on to our prejudices, likes, and preferences.

In Acts chapter 10 we see that the Apostle Peter was also tempted in like manner. But God told him, “What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common” (v.15).

In Galatians 2:12 also we find, alas, that the apostles at Jerusalem, led by James, were also unable to overcome their prejudices! They could not stomach eating with Gentile believers – their fellow brethren!

We might be tempted to think that all this is history and that in our more enlightened times we are faring far much better. But I happen to know it is not true. Prejudice is still a big stumbling block to us obeying God.

That is why this generation needs a revelation of the cross in our hearts. We will know a brother for who he is in the Spirit and respect him for that alone.

The Apostle Paul, the man who would know nothing else apart from the cross, was led by the Holy Spirit to put it this way: “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more” (2 Cor. 5:16).

How so beautiful!

[Below: Dare we respect a man for who he is in the Spirit?]