- Sermon 39 -
Thirteenth Sunday After Trinity. The Healing of the Ten Lepers

t. Luke XVII, 5-19: "And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he 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, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at this 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."

(April 14, 1872)

These verses tell how I healed ten lepers through My will. Strengthened by their faith in My word, they went to present themselves to the priests, and their leprosy vanished as they entered the temple. As lepers they would have been barred from entering the temple. Also outside the temple, everyone kept well out of the way of people who suffered from such diseases, for reasons of health.
This act proved what a firm belief and unshakable faith can achieve if the soul is completely dominated by it. Through this example I wanted to demonstrate this power and said to My disciples, in verse 6 of this chapter: - "If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you."
What these words meant spiritually I demonstrated soon afterwards through the healing of the ten men. Thus theory was promptly followed by practice so that My disciples could observe the power of faith in others, as they themselves lacked it on so many occasions.
Since I am giving you this example of an unshakable faith as a Sunday sermon, let us have a closer look at the word "faith", so that you and many others may learn what "faith" actually is. For this, too, is one of the words that many carry in their mouths, but only few in their hearts.
This explanation must precede or you would not even understand the parable of the sycamine tree which I gave to the disciples, and even less what happened with the ten lepers. Only when you have comprehended what I mean by "faith", can we proceed to its reference to you and to the present and future conditions, remembering also the one Samaritan who returned to thank Me.
Everything has its natural sequence. He who builds a house does not start with the roof but with the foundations. Only when these are firm will the roof rest on a safe basis. This applies to material as well as spiritual life. That is the reason why I give you so many explanations. That is why so much light is thrown onto one and the same subject so that your spiritual ears and eyes may be opened and you do not fare like a man who is absorbed with something and does not realize how during that time thousands of wonders of My creation reflect on the retina of his eye because his preoccupied mind does not notice them.
In the previous sermon I explained self-love and the love of one's neighbour. In today's sermon, you are to learn the true sense of the word "faith", that word which is so often misued and is probably not comprehended spiritually in its highest significance even by one out of hundreds.
At that time My disciples did not know what "faith" actually was. I had to explain it to them through My visible and personal guidance and the performing of miracles. But they still did not understand the meaning of the word "faith". Do you, who daily receive from Me so much bread from Heaven, believe that you know what "faith" means? I must tell you that you do not understand this word either, and you prove it every day and every hour that you have very little faith, although you think that though you are weak in love you are strong in faith. This I intend to prove to you.
What does "faith" actually mean?
Well, most of you will have a ready answer and say: '"I have faith' means as much as 'I am convinced' that this or that is actually as I have been told or taught." - "Faith leans on the authority of the person who told me this or that." - "I believe it because the one who told it to me must be convinced of it."
You will get to hear such and similar answers, but they all point to the fact that this faith is standing on such weak feet that the slightest breeze would upset or destroy it.
I never thought of such a faith. For the faith of which I spoke to My disciples, a faith that will "move mountains", means something quite different from what is usually visualized in connection with the words: "Faith brings salvation!" That faith signifies quite a different state, one, as yet, never attained through a faith as taught by the priests. I very much doubt that with the indoctrinated faith anyone has ever attained everlasting beatitude, unless he interpreted it in My way and not in that of the priests.
The faith I taught My disciples and which I wanted to demonstrate and make comprehensible to them through the healing of the ten lepers, is a far greater power in the world of spirits than you can ever imagine. For this faith is the firm conviction that one or the other thing must irrevocably happen, as it did then through My Word. This faith is a participation in My might which I am happy to allow those children who really deserve that name and who - mind this - will never misuse this mighty power since they are fully aware of the greatness of this gift from the almighty Creator, one that only a loving child may receive from its father.
It was this faith which the ten lepers had embraced so firmly that they - while still suffering from the disease - calmly went to the priests firmly convinced that My Word, the Divine Word, could not deceive them and must be fulfilled because I wanted it so, and they believed and trusted it.
Which of you has this kind of faith? Ask yourselves honestly and you will fare as did My disciples. You will have to admit: "Such a faith we do not comprehend. Such a faith, such a firm, unshakable conviction and trust in Your divine promises we lack completely, we are incapable of possessing."
To which I reply: "Yes, I know that you are incapable of such a faith and still will be for quite a while yet, for if you were gods in human bodies equipped with the power of God, you would be feeling the bliss within you, since it says: Faith brings salvation! What a vast field of activity would then be opening up to you; how much good you could do and how superior you would be to the lowly bustle of the world, is inconceivable to you. Then that word would be fulfilled, for such a faith would make you happy and full of bliss. You would be aware of the gradual amalgamation of your self with Mine if you felt yourselves equipped with such power, a power the first men had possessed to a certain degree but lost through their own fault.
This faith, this firm conviction, was absent in My disciples and is also absent in you und all people. Therefore, I want to point out to you the importance of such a faith that is based on love for Me, so that you may strive after it. Although it is not easy to attain since it requires much self-control and moral purity, you could still acquire it partially and in moments of great exaltation, once you have comprehended the idea of this mighty tool of My divine might and love.
You have not yet comprehended the words "I will!", for these words are based on the faith that what one wills must also happen. This might of the willpower is the faith that moves mountains, forces nature to reveal its most secret laws and makes possible many a thing that so far is considered an impossibility.
But whatever you want must firstly be wanted only for spiritual purposes and, secondly, only through Me and My might; for without this you are helpless, and only with it are you almighty.
Thus with magnetism it is nothing else but the willpower or this faith which, trusting in Me firmly and unshakably, by the laying-on of hands, heals in a short time diseases that normally would take a much longer course.
To this kind of faith everything has to give in. Not as if this effect were outside the scope of the laws of nature. No, these laws which so far have evaded the human power, now serve and obey man as a spiritual being, as a descendant from Me, whilst they mock the materialist, his reasoning and exploring.
As soon as this faith has come to dwell in man's heart, also the second factor mentioned in the Gospel, namely, the thanking and acknowledging of the gift received from above, will take place.
In the Gospel it says in the 15th verse that one of the ten healed returned and thanked Me.
To particularly make it felt by the Jews what ingratitude for blessings obtained meant, the one who returned had to be a Samaritan; for the Jews despised this tribe of the Jewish people, which they credited with all the bad attributes, never with anything good.
Already in the previous Gospel it was a Samaritan who was given the priests and Pharisees as an example that no man must be despised to whatever nation he might belong. In this case again, one of that despised people had to shame the proud Jews who imagined themselves so much better, and to prove to them that no one, be he a publican or Samaritan, was so bad that he could not practise love of his neighbour and that one might not find him to possess good, often even better, qualities than some very conceited castes - an example for the present time when many a person looks down upon his fellow-men like that Pharisee on the publican and the Jews used to look down on the Samaritans.
That only one of the ten lepers returned, and at that the one of whom it would have been least expected, shows that in him alone the true faith had struck roots and that he, overwhelmed by the Lord's grace, could not help but praise Him, from Whom this grace had come forth.
Thus it will be with the gifts of grace in the lives of all men. Only those will be able to enjoy the fine results of their firm faith and trust in Me and their own willpower, who openly and honestly confess, as the text in the 10th verse reads: "When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say: We are unprofitable servants: We have done that which it was our duty to do!"
In this act of healing I conceded that besides the firm faith of the healed the greater quality, the gratitude for blessings received, was not forgotten. A favour received without the feeling of gratitude towards the giver makes it only half a favour, or sometimes none at all. Instead of making the recipient of a grace humble, the neglect of gratitude makes him proud. The first is the expression of love, the latter that of hate. The first is an honest admission of one's own impotence, whilst the latter calls forth regret that circumstances have made it necessary to owe gratitude to others. The first is of a celestial, the latter of a hellish nature.
Thus I wanted to remind the reader of this event, still after millennia, that the might of faith, fine as it may be in its climax, is equal to naught if before and after the act man does not realize first his own impotence and then the omnipotence of Him who can endow man, a tiny mite in creation, with such powerful means.
That man who, conscious of his divine origin, keeps looking upwards, placing all the graces received with a humble and grateful heart on the altar of love, is strengthened in his willpower through My will. In such a heart there lives the right faith as a fruit of conviction, giving man through the awareness of the strength a happiness which only a child can enjoy when it recognizes its loving father's power and feels worthy of it.
Strive for this worthiness! And where there is gratitude, accomplishment will be crowning your wishes.
Receive this Gospel as a guide through the labyrinth of life. Build on a solid, firm ground, and then the roof that is to protect the whole of the house will be My spirit world, under whose care, according to the measure of your faith, you will, from stage to stage, be set over higher beings and be able to teach them that which I let you experience often during your earth-life and period of trial, namely, the infinite love in the Father and the boundless might in the children, if you have learned to have a firm faith and trust. Amen.