This Is The Word Of The Lord
Sunday October 13th, 2013
Luke the Evangelist, author of one of the four Gospels of Jesus Christ, was a Greco-Syrian who lived in the Greek city of Antioch, Syria. He is believed to have authored the “Gospel according to Luke” and the book of “Acts of the Apostles”.
He was a physician and a companion of Paul on some of his missionary journeys.
Luke focused on the human love Christ held for all people, especially sinners and outcasts among the general population such as tax collectors, shepherds and lepers! Luke also holds a more profound place for women in his writings than did Matthew, Mark and John!
He was precise in his writings and in his descriptions of local customs and events, and he even listed the names of two centurions in Acts (Cornelius and Julius), which indicates he was an expert historical writer.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Luke 17:11-19 NIV
Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
What Does Luke Mean?
This story demonstrates Christ’s ability to not just break down barriers that exist but to also teach us why such a thing in inherent on each of us to do! Consider for a moment the two types of barriers that exist in this story.
Firstly, there was no more feared person than the one who suffered from the disease of leprosy. It was so common and severe among ancient peoples that God went so far as to give Moses specific instructions regarding how to deal with it should it arise. Although easily cured today, in Luke’s day it was easily spread through excretions and it disfigured the body horribly!
Secondly, the cultural barrier presented by the Samaritans was another issue of the day. Their very existence was considered to be beneath not just the Pharisees, but other ethnic Jews of the day.
The “moral” of this passage is that there is no impediment any one can suffer…not race or ethnicity or disease….that is a barrier to being included in this new movement (religion) that was being formed!
2 Kings 5:14-17 NIV
So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.
Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.”
The prophet answered, “As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.” And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.
“If you will not,” said Naaman, “please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord. 18 But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.”
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