Monday Reverb – 10October2022



1.  Benefitting from all the material we cover

  • We cover a lot in these Bible studies … So, once again … I’m taking this opportunity to, once again, direct you to our website (, where you can access these notes via a link on the right sidebar on the homepage.
  • All you have to do is …
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      • look on the right sidebar for RECENT POSTS
      • and click on the hyperlink for the “Monday Reverb” of your choice.

2.  Dealing with contrary views and opinions

  • We accommodate, and welcome, opposing views on this platform.
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  • RESPECT (mutual) is the word.









Jesus in the Middle

Luke 17:11-19 (NRSV)

Our message today comes from a section of Scripture known as the “Travel Narrative,” which is made up of events and stories that take place as Jesus is on his way toward Jerusalem and the cross.  This section runs from Luke 9:51 to Luke 19:27.  Luke also uses this section to present God’s special care and concern for the marginalized and the poor.  Many stories highlight the outcast in society and lead to a theme of reversal.  Jesus is seen to reverse and redeem that which is considered lost and broken.  Often, it is the humble and the outsider who receives Jesus’ commendation over the prideful insiders who receive correction.  Our story today, which focuses on a Samaritan who is suffering from leprosy, will carry this theme.  As we see Jesus enact a reversal in the story, we do so knowing that Jesus is on a journey to the cross where he will bring about the great reversal of exchanging our sin and death for his righteousness and life.

The story begins with an odd description of the setting:


On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. (Luke 17:11 NRSV)

First, our story begins with the language fitting the “Travel Narrative.” Jesus is “on the way.”  It will be good to keep in mind in this story where Jesus is “on the way” to.  What we see take place in this story, and the many others in this long section, is a foreshadowing of what Jesus will ultimately do for us in his crucifixion and death.

Second, Luke tells us that this story takes place in “the region between Samaria and Galilee.”  What’s odd about Luke’s description here is the fact that there is no region between these neighboring areas.  Either Luke is a bad geographer, or he is trying to make a deeper point.  So, let’s take the opportunity Luke has created for us to think of who Jesus is and what this “region between” could mean for us today.  As the story is introduced, we are aware that there is a great divide between these neighboring regions of Samaria and Galilee.  These two groups of people should be brothers, but because of some historical bad blood, they view each other more as enemies.  Is this not the case with many of our conflicts today?  Whether on a global or national scale, so often brothers and sisters are made into enemies over some offense, great and small, that has gone unforgiven.  This is also true and more prevalent on a personal level.  How many of our personal relationships end up being twisted by offenses, real and perceived, that are never reconciled, leaving us with enemies next door instead of neighbors?  This is an engrained condition that Jesus has come to reverse.  He comes to be our great High Priest who not only mediates our relationship with God, but by extension, our relationships with one another.

We can rightly say that Jesus is our reconciliation.  In this way, we can picture that Jesus stands in the middle of all our relationships.  He is the “region between.”  He is in the middle of our relationship with his Father by the Spirit, and he is in the middle of all our relationships with one another.  No matter how severed or damaged our relationship is with God, or with our “neighbors,” we can trust that Jesus is “going through the region between.”  He is always working by his Spirit to reconcile and restore what has been lost.  So, as we consider the broken relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews in Galilee, we can see an image of Jesus standing in the middle — in this hidden “region between” — to create space for healing and reconciliation.

As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:12-13 NRSV)

The healing and reconciliation Jesus brings as our mediator is reflected through the healing of these ten lepers.  They are introduced as approaching Jesus, but at the same time keeping their distance.  The condition of leprosy carried many social implications.

  • First, lepers were considered unclean.  Beneath this label was the assumption that leprosy was connected to sin.  Surely these people were worse sinners in some way that “earned them” their condition.
  • Second, to have leprosy was to be a social outcast.  People with leprosy were not permitted to be near others.  We see this restriction working in the efforts of the ten lepers “keeping their distance…”  They were keeping their distance from Jesus.

There are times we may feel that our sinful condition requires that we keep our distance from God.  Surely God doesn’t want to be around a sinner like me.  But Jesus draws near to us in order to heal us of our sinful condition.  If you feel like a leper, like someone who is so broken and diseased by sin that you need to keep your distance, you can be assured that Jesus sets no restrictions on coming to him.  There are no legalistic hoops to jump through to be face to face with Jesus.  He is the one who brings healing and restoration.

In addition, lepers were not to come into contact with the general public.  They were to keep their distance from everyone.  However, the story leaves the impression that these ten lepers are made up of Samaritans and Galileans.  They were not keeping their distance from one another.  We might say, “misery loves company.”  We see in their suffering and exclusion that the barriers that once separated them are now removed.  This can serve as a picture of the reconciling work Jesus was on his way to accomplish through suffering and death on the cross.  This work of reconciliation would not only bring us back into right relationship with God, but it would provide right relationship with one another.  We find that we are reconciled as brothers and sisters, regardless of past offenses, in our union with the Lord who suffered and died for us.

Let’s look at how Jesus responds as the lepers approach him, calling out for mercy.

When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. (Luke 17:14 NRSV)

Do you ever feel no one sees you?  Perhaps you even wonder if God really sees you.  It is comforting in this story that Jesus’ first response to the lepers is that he “saw them…”  He doesn’t turn his eyes from their suffering.  He doesn’t frown or roll his eyes.  He simply sees them.   And he sees far more than we see.  He looks beyond the leprosyHe sees beyond our disease of sin and sees who God created us to be.  And with that perfect vision he sets in motion to redeem us to be who God created us to be.

In this story, it is interesting that when Jesus “saw them” he did not pronounce them clean or touch them or give any other indication of healing.   All we read is that he gave them the command to present themselves to the priest.  The first thing they were given was Jesus’ words.  In their case, it was a word of command to abide by the ritual required when someone was cured of leprosy.  The priest would have to confirm that they were clean before admitting them back into the community.

The lepers obeyed and were healed “as they went.”  Often, we experience the healing and reconciling work of Jesus as we walk in faith and obedience.  We may prefer the stories when Jesus would heal immediately either by a dramatic pronouncement or by a tender touch.   We love the experience of Jesus’ miracles in our lives.  But this story stands in Scripture as a reminder that we do not always receive immediate healings or conversions accompanied by dramatic experiences or touching moments.  Often, we are given the command to follow the mundane routine God has provided.

The first thing we need to receive is Jesus’ words to usGod’s word to us in Christ is also written for us in the Scriptures.  Some of these words to us seem to be routine in nature.  We are commanded to obey, but we will come to see that there is healing in the journey of obedience.  Hearing and obeying Jesus’ words work a healing and freedom in us that we may not fully see in the moment.  But along the journey we will come to see that Jesus’ word to us is not empty.  His words have effect, and a very good effect at that. (Cf. Isaiah 55)

Like the ten lepers, we too are healed as we go according to his word spoken to us.

Let’s take a few basic commands we see in the scripture.  What are some words Jesus may be speaking to you today that will be the first step of healing in your journey with him?

  • How about simply gathering together at church to worship?
  • What healing may Jesus have for us in following that week-in and week-out routine?
  • What about the practice of prayer and study? Is that too mundane for our healing? Does Jesus really tell us to engage in such daily habits for our healing?

And let’s not leave out the prohibitions.  There are many things the Lord commands us to not include in our journey with him.  We may bristle at a command that denies something we think we want.  But, if we truly come to Jesus while calling him “Master” and asking for mercy, do we turn a deaf ear to him when he says “stop” to something we are doing?  We may not see the connection in the moment we hear Jesus’ words, especially his words of “no,” but Jesus’ words set us on a path of healing and reconciliation.  He is not trying to be a killjoy or rob us of the “good life.”  He has more for us than we could possibly dream.  We could list many commands we see in the scriptures that Jesus speaks to us.  These commands are not burdens.  They are the first steps into the healing we are seeking from Jesus.

Now, let’s look a little further into the story:

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.  Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?  Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:15-16 NRSV)

We are told that one of the lepers “saw that he was healed.”  All the lepers were healed but only one “saw” it.  It’s after seeing that he was healed that another change took place.  The leper “turned back, praising God” and ultimately ends up at Jesus’ feet thanking him.  We are not told about the other nine, but it seems they are content to take their healing and move on with their life.  We may be tempted at this point to pat this one leper on the back for having good social graces.  Good on him for coming back to say, “thank you.”  But there is more for us here than a lesson on proper etiquette for being healed.  This leper came back to the source of his healingHe realized not only that he was healed of leprosy, but that Jesus was his healer, or more pointedly, his SaviorWhen he comes back with praises and gratitude, he is actually coming back to receive even more than a healing.  He is coming back to receive the healer himself.

This is what happens in praise and worship.  Worship is the fitting response of seeing who God is.  And in worship, we see more of who God is.  Or, as C.S. Lewis once wrote, “it is in the process of being worshipped that God communicates His presence to men” (Reflections on the Psalms, p. 93).  God reveals himself to be a generous giver.  Even when we come to offer praise and worship to him, it is he who is giving us something more.  This one leper received far more than the other nine as he “turned back.”  We too, have more to receive from the Lord as we continue to “turn back” to him.  We are not told how far the leper went before he turned back, but it’s interesting that when he returned, Jesus was still there.  Jesus questions why the other nine did not return.  Maybe that’s a good question we should put forth for ourselves.

What keeps us at times from returning and giving praise to God?

  • Could it be that we don’t think our healing is all that significant?
  • Maybe we have forgotten the seriousness of our disease.
  • Perhaps we convinced ourselves on the journey to the “priests” that we are, on our own, quite presentable.

Whatever our answers, we can be assured that no matter how far we journey, when we turn back to the Lord, he is always to be found.  He will never turn away from our turning to him.  And, he always has more to give.   As we turn to praise and worship him, we can experience even more of his healing and reconciling work in our lives.

But maybe there’s another answer to why we don’t turn back to him.  The story tells us that the one who returned “was a Samaritan.”  A Samaritan who had leprosy would have been an outcast of an outcast.  Perhaps we do not return to the Lord because we feel we are too much of an outcast?

However, this story makes the outcast the one who shows faith.  Jesus tells him that his “faith has made [him] well.”  As we see our healing in Jesus, we can place our trust in him, no matter how much of an outcast we think we are.  This trust or faith is characterized by the leper as a relationship that has moved from “keeping distant” to being atJesus’ feet.”  His loud plea has been transformed into loud praise.  Instead of holding back his approach to Jesus, he now lies prostrate at his feet.  Jesus is the “region between” all our borders and walls that seem insurmountable.  He is in the very middle, healing and reconciling.  In faith, we can rest at Jesus’ feet knowing that he is the one who makes us well.   



When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. (Luke 17:14 NRSV)

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.  Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?  Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”  Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:15-16 NRSV)

  1. made clean / cleansed” … iaomai …  heal, generally of the physical, sometimes of spiritual, disease.
  2. healed” … katharizo … cleanse, make clean, literally, ceremonially, or spiritually, according to context.
  3. well”  … sesoken; sozo4982 sṓzō (from sōs, “safe, rescued”) – properly, deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing believers from the penalty and power of sin – and into His provisions (safety).

The Samaritan leper SAW that he was HEALED, whereas the other nine only saw that they were CLEANSED.

Because the Samaritan leper saw that he had been healed (not just cleansed) … he was moved to worship — by giving thanks to Christ, having been made “well” (or “whole”, in some translations) .

Could it be that the Samaritan leper is a type of Christians, who have come to see that they have been healed (as well as cleansed) … whereas the other nine lepers represent other people, who have been healed (in Christ) BUT who have not realized it as yet???


Thank You, Lord


Creator King




More on PLACE-SHARING … as we focus on developing our LOVE AVENUE

Last week, we watched a video in which GCI President Greg Williams discussed our participation in the Great Commission and how we can share the love and light of Christ with our neighbors.

This evening, I want us to look at two videos that shed light on the concept of place-sharing.  The first one features an interview of Cara Garity, who will be coordinating the project.










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