73 To respond that blessing

Luke 17:11-19
Lamentations 3:22-24
Ⅰ The ten leprosy patients

"And it came about while He was on the way to Jerusalem, that He was passing between Samaria and Galilee." (11) When we watch Bible map, the place of foreigner, Decapolis, is to the north of Perea. Decapolis projects to the west partly across the Jordan. The place where Jesus went over the Jordan river might be around that. Probably, at the such place from Perea to Decapolis, Pharisees and the people of the sympathizers would have backed to home. When we walk into the territory Decapolis extending to the west of the river, it appears on the boundary of Samaria and Galilee, the Jezreel plains. Jesus seemed to have traced such a course. They entered Jerusalem through the way of the mountain from there, but would it have been the event in that small village in the Jezreel plains? "And as He entered a certain village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!'. And when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go and show yourselves to the priests.'. And it came about the as they were going, they were cleansed." (12-14) One of them was a Samaritan, but perhaps, the remaining people were Jews (of Galilee). Jews and Samaritans was notoriously bad terms, but they were affected by the same illness. Surely, there would have been colonies of the same disease people, beyond ethnic huddle, near there.

Zone around its area was the place where Jesus has been back and forth frequently a little bit before. Even if there have been people who know Jesus in them, it is no wonder. When they turned out that is Jesus, they stood far away and began to cry and say, "Please have mercy on us". Jesus had been healed a leprosy person before (5:12-15), and they would have remembered it. Why was it from far away? Because there was a provision of the law to the people who had this disease, they could not get close to ordinary people. He said to them without touching "Go and show yourselves to the priest."; because will it be because He asked their faith? They understood a said meaning. "Show to the priest", it was law provisions; in Judea, the priest authorized the person who was attacked by leprosy and the person who recovered again. The comings and goings to the shrine and the synagogue are prohibited, when he is known as a leprosy patient; and the priest, not a doctor, performs it because it is the authorization. It means a stop of the Jewish citizenship, and he is treated as a dead person, before God. When he was recovered, his citizenship revives. The priest had both authority. Because the priest was not a doctor, the misdiagnosis was possible, but it did not become the problem at all. The important was not that he became ill or was healed, but it was that the priest declared it. Therefore, they did not have gotten His touch, but, they hurried to the place of the priest with expectation of the recovery (priest have declared its recovery). Along the way, they realized that the disease had been healed.


Jews and Samaritans

Surely, this will be the testimony of the disciples. Luke recognized it as being scrutinized in the eyes of a doctor, "He was certainly leprosy patients, but was healed", and wrote this article. "They were cleaned. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan." (14-16) From this Jewish phraseology of "they were cleaned", we can understand that remaining nine people were Jews. It is thought that probably it is from the testimony of this Samaritans; nine Jews were glad only that the disease has been healed (now), but they were the silence against that it was ​​done by Jesus. Probably they would have heard that Jesus was the Messiah, but they would have eyes of the doubt in somewhere, and they would have ignored Jesus as the Messiah. It is thought that they would just have gone to the priest, but would it not be the same way as a legalism of Pharisees without God?

However, this Samaritan came back to Jesus. It seems to be his own testimony that have happened in his body, but it is said here, "he had been healed". We should not hear that he was not necessary to show it to the priest like a Jew. Because, they ( Samaritans) had also had a canon law of Moses (the Pentateuch ), and since had defended its teachings. However, first of all, he wanted to give thanks to Jesus who healed it. It is not too late to go to the priest after that. "He turned back glorifying God with a loud voice", and "He fell on his face at His feet"; these were same things. Would not those have been his confession of faith?


Ⅲ To respond that blessing

Please listen to the last words of Jesus which is completed this point. "Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine - where are they? Was no one found who turned back to give glory to God, except this foreigner?" (17-18) "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well." (19)

It might not be the main subject to say nine Jews this and that from here. However, in this case anyway, I feel a stern eye of Jesus that is directed to them. Their disease would not recur even if because they did not come back to Jesus. Miracle that took place was not canceled. Because, the word of "healed" is contained a deterministic nuances in there, it is nothing more than the grace of the Lord. It had been given to the Jews and Samaritan equally. There was not any distinction there, but this Samaritan took it as a blessing of God, and nine of Jews have passed by the blessing there. "Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well". Is not this a blessing from the Lord to this Samaritan? When we hear so, we must learn that there is something more important than the disease be healed. We want to remember that it is to reply to a blessing of God and our faith is asked in front of the Lord, don't we?

Please remember that Jesus is now in the final stage of the way to Jerusalem. Nine Jews went away from Jesus, it meant that He was abandoned by people of Himself. Anymore in here, the cross has been noticed as a symbol! And this Samaritan responded to the grace of God, would it be a message to the Gentile church which had to potential consciousness of Luke? The text of this morning lets us imagine the matter that happened in the foreigner church. Because, probably at there, it is assumed that (some kind of) ranking had been done by the Jews who came into the church. Jews have thought that they were high quality as a Christian than Gentiles, because they were Jews; and Gentiles also considered that their own existence is far away from God than Jews and have been deprecating themselves unwittingly. If we spread the frame further more, shall we be able to say that this have the risk to be related to one of our problem / our privilege of Christian consciousness? Would the cross of Jesus be for good people? Would it not be for the people who beat his breast and said "God, be merciful to me, the sinner", or would it not be for people who humbled himself before the Lord? We do not need to say which people had been in Luke's conscious. We can hear the encouragement message for those who grieve that they are far away from God, here. In order to answer the blessing which we received, there is no other thing than to dedicate a humble faith. We want to continue to be a person to respond that blessing, don't we?


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