Pastor’s Word

Luke 17:11-19
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
 
Our Gospel from Sunday is a tale of healing, on many levels. There is the physical healing of the bodies of the men with leprosy. They are made clean. And then, as there always is in one way or another, there is the restoration to community that Jesus brings alongside the physical healing. The men are sent to the priests, because the priests can lift the order that made the men outcasts, forcing them to keep distance and call “unclean” to warn others away. The priests can open the door for the men to be part of community again. And the one who returned to thank Jesus, being a foreigner, feels this restoration more profoundly than the rest. He has the experience of being an outcast, of being invisible, not only because of his illness, but because he is “not one of us.” He is inherently “other.” The healing Jesus provides touches the skin, but goes much deeper than that, and brings healing to the soul and community as well.
 
Questions for Reflection
1. Have you asked for physical healing in your life? Did that healing come, as you hoped for? What
was the experience of needing physical healing like?
2. Have you ever felt alone and cast out, and needed restoration to community? Did that restoration
come, as you hoped for? What was the experience of needing restoration to community like?
3. What healing or restoration are you grateful for today? What healing or restoration do you ask for
today?