Thought I'd photograph my little stickman drawing of the passage today: The healing of the 10 lepers.
(Luke 17 v11-19)
It may be a familiar event to you already, but did anything strike you fresh today?
I roped my husband into my bible study over breakfast.
Thought I might quickly clarify some details. Lepers were suffering from a disease which ultimately made their skin look funny, and they were pronounced 'unclean' and not allowed to live among other people, even their families. They were also prevented from joining in with worship in the jewish community. Theirs was a lonely life and they would have heard about Jesus healing others and in desperation waited to see if he would heal them so they could live normal lives again! While reading it this morning we were struck by how the actions of the 10 lepers look so much like faith.
Faith has been one of the major topics do far, and there's more today to get our heads around!
Why does it seem like faith? They waited for Jesus so they were clearly pinning hope for healing on him, they called him Master (Lord) which means they attribute great authority to him, they obeyed his instructions to show themselves to the priests. (Showing theirselves to the priests and having themselves pronounced clean was the only way they were allowed back into their communities, to reunite them with loved ones and get back their jobs!)
Jesus tells them to show themselves to the priests. On the way there, one of the ten realises he is healed and begins shouting about God and runs back to thank Jesus. He is the only one. While the others go ahead to the priests, eager to get their lives back, he falls at Jesus feet praising God. Jesus says that his faith has saved him (see footnote for alternative translation: your faith has made you well; your faith has saved you could equally apply- which fits the context?)- defining faith as worship, humility and thanksgiving to God for his saving work. Jesus asks ' was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'
In terms of applying this truth, I wonder if I am more like the 9 who did not return. I cry out to God in a tight spot, but when I analyse my heart am I longing to get back in control of my life again? Or do I give God the praise due his name? I think this passage is great because it highlights the dangers of living to look well amongst men and encourages us to slow down and thank God for everything he has done and all that he is. It's once again a call to humility, to a face-down recognition that God is God and I am unworthy. Is my life permeated with thanksgiving or am I grumbling away with my little problems, unsatisfied and entitled?
What did you think about today's passage? How is faith portrayed here?
Prayer: thanksgiving and praise to you oh Lord! You have done marvellous things.