*NEW TESTAMENT: LUKE 17
Poetry: Psalm 117
Old Testament: Ruth Intro below
(and I forgot to include Judges 21 yesterday, so you can finish that up today)
The story of the ten lepers is familiar to many of us. Luke 17:11-21 is often included in youth Sunday School lessons as a powerful tale of healing and to give thanksgiving. In the parable, we read about the ten men who were cleansed but learn that only one returned to give thanks to Jesus. Often, we use this parable to teach young children about the importance of giving thanks.
Though like many, I learned this tale in my youth, it wasn’t until my adulthood that I more fully understood the need for thanksgiving. Verses 15-16 of this parable are what jump out at me as an adult. “Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.”
It’s interesting to me that it’s specifically pointed out that the man who returned to give thanks was a Samaritan. This man had a double whammy in society! First, he had leprosy and would have been kept apart from others. Secondly, he was a Samaritan, considered less than desirable among people of Jesus’ time. In that simple phrase at the end of verse 16, we see yet again that Jesus’ ministry sought out and served the marginalized people. Healing and grace was for all people, not just an elite few.
That phrase jumps out to me, because at heart, I am a Samaritan. I’m one of the less desirable that Jesus came to save. As a youth, I didn’t have life experience to fully appreciate and understand the gift of God’s grace or the need for thanksgiving. As an adult, I have both the education of life and Bible study to have a full awareness of God’s grace and mercy. Just like the marginalized people that Jesus served in His day, I am in great need of healing and grace due to my sin.
Verses 15-16 also strike a chord in me because of the manner in which the leper gave thanks. Look at the way he praised Jesus! He used a loud voice and he fell on his face before Christ. He did not shrink in giving praise and thanksgiving because he understood the power of the healing bestowed upon him. He had a true gratitude to Jesus. Do we have a true gratitude for the way in which we have also been saved?
Oh, how I want to praise Jesus just like the leper who fell at his feet! He has given me much, so let me praise him much! In our lives, can we live out Psalm 117? “Praise the Lord, all nations; Laud Him, all peoples! For his lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!”
Today, can you offer true gratitude for the mercy and loving kindness that God has offered to us through the gift of Jesus’ life on the cross? Can you share that mercy with others? As a church, can we seek out the marginalized people of our society and offer them the same love that Jesus lived in His ministry?
- How can you (will you) offer true gratitude for the mercy and loving kindness that God has offered to us through the gift of Jesus’ life on the cross?
- How can you (will you) share that mercy with others?
- As a church, how can we (will we) seek out the marginalized people of our society and offer them the same love that Jesus lived in His ministry?
- In our Bible reading today what do we learn about God? What do we learn about Jesus? Why do you think it says that as the cleansed leper was throwing himself at Jesus’ feet he was praising God?
The Book of Ruth is one of only two books of the Bible named after a woman. It takes place during the time of the Judges in Israel. It is named after the main character in the story, a Moabite woman by the name of Ruth, who became a believer in God, and followed her mother-in-law back to Israel. Because it mentions Ruth’s great-grandson, King David, the book of Ruth must have been written after David became King.
One of the most familiar passages is Ruth 1:16-17, which says, “…Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.”
The Book tells about a woman, Ruth, a foreigner, born to a people with no relationship to God, who became a believer, and was richly blessed by God. Ultimately, she was listed in Matthew 1:5 in the ancestry of Jesus.
The Book of Ruth shows the incredible loyalty of Ruth to Naomi. It also shows the kindness of Ruth to her mother-in-law, Naomi, as well as the kindness of Boaz to Ruth. These remind us of God’s kindness toward us. We are also introduced to the concept of a “kinsman redeemer” – a relative who will redeem someone when they can’t pay their own way. This reminds us of Jesus, our relative, who paid for our sins, because we couldn’t pay for them ourselves.
As you read the Book of Ruth, consider how God watches over and blesses those who follow Him.