“Ten Lepers, One Leaper”

Luke 17:11-19

Jesus is headed to Jerusalem but still in northern Israel on the border between Galilee and Samaria.  It’s kinda like that childhood joke, “Ten men died crossing the Rio Grande River between Mexico and the USA.  Where were the survivors buried?”  Ten lepers, or we might say ten Covid positive refugees, or we might say ten untouchables, or ten outcasts approach Jesus.  Their cry, “Master, have pity on us!”  Jesus healed them and told them to report to the authorities to get the “all clean” documentation.  They raced off but one person returned and fell at Jesus’ feet and said, “Thank you!”  He was a foreigner, a Samaritan, not even a Jew.  The non-believer, the outsider, realized that what had happened to him was by the power of God.  Jesus responds, “Your faith has made you well.”

         Relationship is not like citizenship that does not demand respect or loyalty.  Relationship is not like a contract that can be broken and abused.  Relationship is something that speaks in faith, trust, love, and appreciation.  When relationships are broken or violated, there is personal pain.  Something that was one, becomes two.  The nine by not having an attitude of gratitude, objectified Jesus and diminished the gift.  No relationship grew from the exchange.  The men appealed to the heart of God for pity and received healing but did not seize the moment to grow friendship.

         Perhaps there are people in your life that you take for granted.  Perhaps you were not raised to be the mushy, gushy type.  It is never too late to learn to smile or to say thank you.  It is possible to be healed but it requires gratitude to be made whole.  Thank someone today for his or her role in your life to make you a better person and thank God for giving you life abundant.  Blessings.

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