11 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, 13 they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”
14 When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” 19 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
1 When the LORD changed Zion’s circumstances for the better,
it was like we had been dreaming.
2 Our mouths were suddenly filled with laughter;
our tongues were filled with joyful shouts.
It was even said, at that time, among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them!”
3 Yes, the LORD has done great things for us,
and we are overjoyed.
4 LORD, change our circumstances for the better,
like dry streams in the desert waste!
5 Let those who plant with tears
reap the harvest with joyful shouts.
6 Let those who go out,
crying and carrying their seed,
come home with joyful shouts,
carrying bales of grain!
Jesus healed a group of ten lepers—men with visible skin diseases, shunned and outcast. Of the ten, only a Samaritan came back to say “thank you.” This real-life experience echoed Jesus' parable of the good Samaritan. Israel’s long history included incredibly low times of misery at the hands of tyrants (notably exile in Babylon—cf. 2 Kings 24:13-14, 25:11). It also included their joyous gratitude for God’s action to deliver them from exile. Psalm 126 poetically recalled the gladness of the times when God lifted Israel up from their lowly status, and prayed that God would again allow them to live in the joy of divine deliverance.
Lord, it’s easy for me to celebrate the raise, the new job, the healthy new baby. I wish it weren’t so easy for me to forget my gratitude every time things don’t turn out as I’d wished. Make me more and more like the Samaritan who remembered to express gratitude. Amen.
As a family, discuss your response to each of these scenarios:
Talk together about ways to respond and serve in each of these situations. This week ask each other, “How did you serve someone today? Was there a time you chose not to serve or decided you were too busy? How can you do better tomorrow?” Pray together and ask God to help you serve others.
This passage in Luke 17 teaches us a lesson about the importance of gratitude--recognizing and acknowledging God’s gifts. But it also has an important message about faith. In verse 19, Jesus tells the Samaritan “Your faith has healed you.”
This simple phrase reminds us that no matter what we are going through, no matter how much pain we are in, we can hold on to our faith, looking to God with gratitude and confidence that God is with us and will bless us.
This week the communication team has been busy preparing materials and videos for the weekend’s sermon on suicide. The stories have been gut-wrenching--individuals and families in such pain that it’s hard to imagine they will every experience joy again.
Yet, the message from Psalm 126 is that God will change our circumstances. Verse 5 says: “Let those who plant with tears reap the harvest with joyful shouts.” What powerful imagery! From our tears will come a harvest--a good and wonderful gift from God.
If you are at a place where you are planting with tears, hang on. The harvest will come. To use Pastor Adam’s phrase, “The worst thing is never the last thing.” Jesus brought hope to the world.
The Church of the Resurrection is filled with amazing people and resources. Reach out and let us share your pain and walk with you. God loves you and will heal you.
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