Location, Location, Location!
Lord God, keep me faithful to You today. Whatever comes, I will trust You and Your Word in all things.
Read Luke 17:11-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Let this, then, be the first step; to abandon ourselves and devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God” (John Calvin).
As a historian, Luke understands the importance of context and location, and he deliberately tells us where this miracle takes place: on the border between Galilee and Samaria (11). This no-man’s-land has become a gathering place for misfits and rejects; a safe space for those shunned by their own cultures; a place where no one who matters wants to live. Men with leprosy gather here (12), and ten of them are healed by Jesus (14).
Luke’s concern is to show us the Gospel of Jesus at work among the poor. On the very margins of society, among the most rejected and dejected of people, the Kingdom brings healing. The ministry of Jesus is not temple-based. It does not require pomp and ceremony. It comes to those who will humbly listen and receive. Still, Luke is also a realist, and he does not hide the fact that, of the ten, only one returns to say “thank you” (15). He even notes that the one who does come back is the one least expected to do so: a Samaritan, not a Jew (16). The Kingdom seed takes root among unlikely people.
These few verses cry out as an encouragement to the early church, Luke’s intended audience. Luke has traveled with Paul. He has seen the Gospel bearing fruit in different cultures and he wants the church to know that their call is to take the ministry of Jesus to the last, the least and the lost. Even in the deadbeat places, even among unlikely people, even against the indifference and ingratitude of the majority, the seed will take root, and fruit will grow. Never hold back from sharing the healing life of Jesus; you never know who the one-in-ten might be.
Pray that God will give you a faith-sharing opportunity today. Be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and follow it.
Father, open my eyes to see those around me who need Your healing touch. Show me how best to share it.
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