Where Is the Gratitude? – Luke 17

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea Province that I created using Illustrator CS2. I traced this image for the general geographic features. I then manually input data from maps found in a couple of sources. Robert W. Funk and the Jesus Seminar. The Acts of Jesus. HarperSanFrancisco: 1998. p. xxiv. Michael Grant. Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels. Charles Scribner’s Sons: 1977. p. 65-67. John P. Meier. A Marginal Jew. Doubleday: 1991. p. 1:434. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In verse 7, Luke tells us that Jesus passed through Samaria on His way to Jerusalem from Galilee. Unless one took a very long route around and out of the way, and crossed the Jordan from the east, it was the only way. Not that Jesus would have wanted to avoid it, but some Jews hated Samaritans enough that they might.

He was met there by ten lepers who were standing far off. Under levitical law, they would be accustomed to doing so (Leviticus 14:1-8). They called to Him, saying Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” Jesus told them to go and show themselves to the priests, and they were healed on the way. The text says that the one that turned back, fell on his face, and gave thanks to Jesus was a Samaritan.  And Jesus said “Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

It could be that the others were Jews. Or it could be the case that some or all of the others were “foreigners” as well. Jesus was passing “between Samaria and Galilee,” verse 11 says. I don’t think it really matters, actually. But I think the fact that the one that came back and thanked Him was not a Jew did matter. And I believe that when Jesus said Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well,” He did not mean simply that the leper was healed. All of them had been cleansed. But this one, because of his faith, had been forgiven for his sins – just like the paralyzed man of Luke 5:17-26. This is just one more example of Jesus showing us grace for the gentiles that would be remembered after He was gone.

The second thing to take away from this is concerning the nine who did not return to give thanks. How loudly had they cried out to Him for mercy? I keep being reminded of a T-shirt I once saw that said something like “Did you cry out ‘Thank you, Lord’ as loudly as you cried ‘Help me Lord?'” How often do we lack gratitude to the Lord in the same way as those nine?

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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