Our scripture for the week is Luke 17:11-19.
As Jesus is traveling toward Jerusalem, ten lepers call on Him for mercy. He takes time to offer them healing, and tells them to show themselves to the priests, according to the law. As they go, the healing occurs. One of them, a Samaritan, returns to offer thanks and praise.
Were the other nine not thankful to God for the blessing they had received? The scripture doesn’t tell us that, only that they did not return as did the Samaritan. Many scholars think that the other nine were Jewish and were intent on fulfilling the law, which required them to appear before the priests in order to rejoin society after being healed. Perhaps their focus was on going back home, perhaps they offered thanks to God when the priests ruled they could come back, we really don’t know.
We do know that the Samaritan man recognized the gift he had received and returned to show his thankfulness. Jesus is showing us that our connection to God is more important than our connection to ceremony and organization. When we get wrapped up in the form, we sometimes forget the faith. This is what Jesus says to the man in verse 19, “Your faith has made you well”. We need to remember that our love of God and each other is the basis for all our other connections.
Heavenly Father, we sometimes let our concern for structure override our caring, making our order of worship the worship of order. Help us to see that our relationships are more important than our organizations. Amen.