Term 2 – Week 7
Big Idea – We must respond with praise and thankfulness for the salvation that Jesus has given us.
- Show our faith by being thankful to Jesus
- Belief – see how amazing the salvation is that Jesus has won for us – more than the healing of a leper
- Behaviour – worship God and express our faith through thankfulness
At the start of this passage, we are reminded about the trajectory we have been in in Luke’s Gospel since chapter 9. We are on our way to Jerusalem, where Jesus’s ministry will culminate in his death and resurrection. Notice the important geographical markers given, he is on the edge of Jewish and Samarian land. He was met by ten men with leprosy, who Jesus very undramatically healed after they begged him for pity. This is such a simple reminder of the compassionate heart of Christ towards those who have been cast out. Also we are shown his power. Jesus heals with his word. They are healed. The simplicity is powerful, but suggest that the key detail here is not in the miracle itself.
We haven’t spent any time examining the miracles Jesus performs in Luke’s Gospel, but they serve throughout as a sign to us of the identity of Christ and the coming Kingdom he is saving people for. This miracle therefore achieves something of that aim. But its featuring in this part of the gospel is out of the ordinary. Luke was occupied at the start with his identity and his deeds, but we have since moved on to focus on his words, a pattern Mark shares in his gospel. So why do we have this miracle?
We must look at the surrounding passages to help us out. Luke places this miracle within a group of teachings and parables addressing the coming kingdom. We have seen the need to enter the door, the lost state we find ourselves in, but how do we respond to this salvation on offer? What does faith look like? This miracle is focused on the response of the lepers to their healing. If we equate healing as God’s word often does as a synonym of ‘salvation’, we can see that this miracle gives us a commentary on the different responses to the message of salvation.
This miracle, as does much of the section, addressed the two groups set up earlier on, the Pharisees and the sinners. The Pharisees in this case are in the majority, who hear, who see, who even experience the wonder of the message of salvation. But they don’t respond with acceptance and worship. There is no faith. Meanwhile, the sinners are represented by the one who returns, understanding the depths of what has been done and praising God accordingly. The ‘loud voice’ begging for salvation is now a ‘loud voice’ praising God. Agony turned to praise. Thanking Jesus for salvation. He is commended by Jesus for responding in faith. Faith looks like responding in thankfulness.
We must not fail to notice how Jesus identifies this man as a foreigner. Jesus’ salvation is open, especially open, to those on the outside. This lines up with Luke’s big emphasis on the salvation of Christ open to all. So will we respond like this leper in praise and thankfulness, or hear and carry on like nothing happened?
‘my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you have prepared in the sight of all nations,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel’
Lift Up Your Voices – Awesome Cutlery
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