This Sunday, we’re going to read the account of Jesus healing 10 lepers, and the one who came back to thank him. It’s found in Luke 17:11-19.
The word “saw” occurs twice in this story. To me, it emerges as a subtle theme concerning perspective. There are also some strong contrasts that emerge in the text, encouraged by Jesus himself. He asks the question “where are the other nine?”. The similarities and differences between the 9 and the 1 are intriguing to me. What similarities in plight, positioning, plea and cure do you see in the 10 as a whole…but what differences occur with the ONE who “…saw that he was healed”? What contrast do you see from his original plight, positioning, plea and even pronounced cure?
Crud…this is too heady, isn’t it? How about this…. All ten lepers stood at a distance pleading for mercy in the opening of the story. Where does the one Samaritan end up positionally at the end of this story? Jesus tells the 10 to GO to the priests….what does he tell the one to do at the end of the story? We’re told that the 10 were cleansed (original word), but he told the one who returned that he was made well (original word)…what distinction, if any, do you see in this? A cure that leads to healing…that sounds strange, doesn’t it? If we think about our own lives and encounters with Christ, do we see similarities between our own experiences and that of the 10 and then the 1? What does this tell us about goals for our spiritual journey?
Well…those are some interesting questions about a passage that always seemed so straight forward to me before. This will be fun to explore together this Sunday!