Reading: Luke 17: 11-19
Our story begins today with Jesus travelling along the border between Samaria and Galilee. There is long-standing tension between the peoples of these two regions. We see this tension revealed in several stories in the New Testament. Some on both sides of this tension would travel many miles out of the way simply to avoid crossing the other’s territory.
Ten lepers called out to Jesus. Ten call out in faith. Jesus sees ten children of God calling out in faith to be healed. Jesus brings healing to all ten. He saw ten lepers. Jesus did not see one Samaritan and nine Jews. He saw ten lepers in need of healing.
Healing comes to all ten. Jesus sees only the condition that has kept them isolated from society. Jesus does not see ethnicity or age or gender or any other differentiating characteristic. He only sees their faith that has led them to call out for healing. Their faith is what Jesus responds to.
Through this story, Jesus is calling us to love in the same way. He is calling us to love all people. All people are God’s children, all need God’s love. Jesus is calling us to look past ethnicity and age and gender and religion and socio-economic status and … “Love one another as I have first loved you”. Fully, completely, without filter or limit or hesitation.
One came back to thank Jesus for His healing touch. The one who came back was a Samaritan. The one who most in Jesus’ audience would see as an outsider came back to fall at Jesus’ feet and to thank Him. We too will encounter others who feel like outsiders, who feel unworthy of Jesus’ presence. We too can reach out and offer hope and love and healing in the name of Jesus. To all in need, may we offer Jesus Christ, the only one who can heal all. To all in need, may we offer Jesus and His love.