Posted by: Jo | August 24, 2012

Healed Both Body and Soul

Face to Face with Jesus Part 9 of 10

“Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19)

imageBeing different from those around us can sometimes build up barriers, but can also break down barriers, as having a common affliction can draw people together. This is apparent in our story today as a group of ten come face to face with Jesus. Their common affliction is the dreaded disease, leprosy, and the custom of the day was to ban all lepers from mixing in any way with those free of the disease. This group is unusual because one of them is a Samaritan, a race despised by the Jews, and normally the other nine lepers would never have dreamt of associating with him. As we witness this incredible story, we get a glimpse of how wide and deep are the Saviour’s love for mankind.

Their story is found in Luke 17:11 -19

We are immediately aware of the horror these men are living with, as even though they long to come into Jesus’ presence, by law they must stay a distance away from him. Sadly today many of our society are also made to feel that they too are unworthy to be counted as Jesus’ friends for all sorts of different reasons. We have to be very careful that we do not make that assumption about others who are different from us in their need for our Saviour. As they are forced to stay far away, the men in our story need to cry out in loud voices, begging Jesus to have pity upon them. Jesus surprises us, as he often does, by his answer. Instead of immediately healing them he tells them to go and show themselves to the priests. Jewish law was very strict about diseases and the men would have been seen as unclean until the priests declared them free of this painful skin disease so, as these desperate men are willing to try anything, the ten of them obey Jesus and set off to see the priests. Imagine their surprise that as they are walking away their skin is restored; the dreaded disease has disappeared! Then the story takes a startling turn; only one of them stops in his tracks, runs back to Jesus and with a loud voice praises God and falls at Jesus’image feet thanking him. What a beautiful picture is captured in this moment. The gracious Saviour and the grateful man healed, restored and made whole again. This is the very essence of this story and an everlasting reminder of what true salvation represents. We suddenly grasp the difference between this man and the other nine. The other nine were only interested in the actual healing, not bothering to discover who the healer was. A sobering thought for us to remember in our own lives, so that we do not get caught up in concentrating on what the Lord can do for us instead of spending more time with him thanking him, absorbing his beautiful nature and getting to know him more intimately. Jesus acknowledges the man’s gratitude and reminds those around him that this man is a foreigner, a wonderful glimpse of how far and wide is the Saviour’s love, and then speaks these words,

“And he said unto him, “Arise, go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole.”” (Luke 17:19) (KJV)

imageI like the KJV’s version of this verse as it uses the word “whole”. We too are incomplete until we too kneel before the Lord and accept his forgiveness and his healing and hear him whisper to us those same life giving words,

You have been made whole by my love and forgiveness.

Personal Reflection

How can we be more tolerant of those who may be different from us, but who are earnestly seeking Jesus?

Next week is the last in this series and features probably the most dramatic face to face story in the New Testament as a dead man emerges from the grave and comes face to face with Jesus.

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Responses

  1. Very good thoughts, Jo. And it does bring a sobering thought that we have so much (especially our salvation) to continually be thankful to our Savior for.

    Like


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