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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Such Faith – (Luke 7)

After He finished the “Sermon on the Plain,” Jesus went back into Capernaum and was met by Jewish elders. They had been asked to come by a Roman Centurion. Originally, a Centurion commanded 80 men, but some estimates are that their command – a centuria or “century,” could contain up to 1000 soldiers. That number would likely be closer to the makeup of a “cohort,” which would be under the command of a senior Centurion. The average Roman soldier during this time earned about 225 denarii per year.  But the cost of the soldier’s food and his arms were both deducted from his pay!

English: Centurion (Roman army) historical ree...

English: Centurion (Roman army) historical reenactment Boulogne sur mer (France). Français : Centurion (armée Romaine) Reconstitution historique à Boulogne sur Mer en France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, estimates are that the most junior of Centurions was paid about 3,700 denarii per year, while a senior Centurion could earn as much as 15,000! This wide disparity meant that these officers would be considered quite wealthy by most Jews, among whom the Centurions lived. The reason for the Centurion sending the Jewish elders to Jesus was because he had heard of Jesus’ healings, and he had a “highly valued” servant that was dying from some illness. The elders pleaded with Jesus to help this Gentile soldier in this matter because he had built their synagogue, confirming that this Centurion was indeed wealthy.

But as Jesus and the elders approached their destination, they were met by people with a message from the Centurion, saying both that he was not worthy and that it was not necessary for Jesus to actually come to his home. Instead, he expressed his belief that Jesus could heal his servant just by saying that it was so – without even seeing his servant. And of course, he was right about that. Jesus’ statement that “even in Israel” he had not seen such faith serves as one more example that indicates the intentions the Lord had of including the Gentiles in His plan of salvation.

(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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The Rejected Servant

Not surprisingly, the rejection of Jesus in Luke 4 (beginning in verse 16) is often mistaken as being the same event as the one written about in Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6. Both the Luke event and the one in Matthew and Mark took place in His home town of Nazareth. But the one in Luke took place at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

Recall that the rejection written about by Matthew and Mark occurred after Jesus had explained the parables to his disciples (Matthew 13:36-52). It should not be surprising to us that Jesus would go back there, much less that he would be trying to teach them when he did. That second rejection was fairly uneventful, relatively speaking. This first rejection in Nazareth, however, resulted in a mob attempting to kill him.

After his temptations in the wilderness, Jesus returned  to Galilee, and the word was spreading about him. He taught in the synagogues, and verse 15 says He was “being glorified by all.”  Then we find Jesus in Nazareth in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke says that this was His custom, which is, of course, what we would expect.  He stood up to read, and the scroll of Isaiah was given to Him.  He quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2, which is part of what is known as the fifth “servant song” in Isaiah. This one would seem to speak to those returning from exile at the time Isaiah wrote it. And at first (although all eyes were on Him after reading it), many of those in the synagogue appeared not to “get it” at first.

Then, as understanding began to come to them, some reminded others that He was Joseph’s son. Jesus perceived the way they were headed, telling them that “no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.” He then cites 1 Kings 17:9, where Elijah (during the famine) was sent to the Gentile widow in Sidon. Next, He refers to 2 Kings 5:1-14, where (though there were plenty of lepers in Israel in Elisha’s time), only Naaman of Syria was cleansed.  The point of referring to these incidents was to underscore the unbelief that was widespread in Israel at the time, and the contrasting faith shown by these Gentiles.

Filled with rage, the people drove Him out to the edge of the hill on which the town was built, intending to throw Him down. It was the same murderous rage that nearly got Paul killed in Acts 22:17-22, as he also referred to Gentiles. But this was not the time for Jesus to be murdered, and so verse 30 says that He went away, “passing through their midst.”

(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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Psalm 67- Let All the Peoples Praise You!

harvestThis song is only 7 verses long, and it includes thanksgiving for what appears to have been a good harvest (verse 6).  But the psalm also does what many other passages in the Old Testament do, which is to affirm what the apostles found to be true in the Book of Acts, and what they (especially Paul) proclaim to be true – that God always intended for the Gentiles to be included in His plan for salvation. This evident first in verse 2: “that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations,” and then again in verse 4:

Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/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.  

Acts 22 – Paul and the Roman Tribune

Paul bound with chains

Paul, having been arrested and beaten, had at the close of chapter 22 convinced the Roman tribune to allow him to speak to the mob.  When he spoke in Hebrew, it settled them down and they listened.  He then gave them a history of himself as a Jew, “educated at the feet of Gamaliel” (a Pharisee and renowned teacher, who was also a member of the Sanhedrin council – see Acts 5:34).  He also recounted his own persecution of Christians and the “Way ” (see previous post here for more information on “the Way”); and then told of his encounter with the Lord in Acts 9:3-8, in which he was blinded.   The re-telling of that event here in verses 6-11 is not contradictory at all, despite what some say.  Those who were with Paul on that road could hear what was said, but were not made to understand.

Paul then turns to Ananias restoring his sight and his subsequent baptism in verses 12-16.  But when he told them of his encounter with the Lord, and how He had told Paul that He was sending him to the Gentiles (verses 17-21), the crowd became wild with anger again.  The tribune ordered him to be flogged in order to find out why they were shouting out against him.  But as he was stretched out, Paul told the tribune that he was a Roman citizen by birth (verses 25-28); and the Roman tribune became fearful (Roman law forbade flogging a Roman citizen without a hearing or a formal condemnation).  So in verse 30, the chapter ends with the tribune having Paul brought before the Sanhedrin, since scourging was not an option.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/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.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.