Today’s lectionary reading from the Gospel of Luke is the well-known healing of the ten lepers. “Jesus, Master, have pity on us” say the ten lepers in verse 13, as Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem. In this they are acknowledging Jesus’ authority. Were they asking for healing? Attention? Cleansing? Cure? Jesus sends them, quite rightly according to Mosaic law, to show themselves to the Priest, and they are cleaned. But was the purpose of the cleansing mere cleansing? It seems perhaps not. When the one returns, a Samaritan, foreigner, enemy of Israel “loudly giving thanks to God” it is this, and the lack of thanks to God from others, that Jesus remarks upon. We can almost here his shoulders being shrugged as he notes that none of the lepers who may have been Jewish have acknowledged God’s part in their cure. As they are restored to the potential of inclusion in community and life itself, it seems that Jesus intervenes in compassion, but also to draw those who have been cured into a living relationship with God.
A pause for thought: Are we seeking an intervention or an interaction with God just to get past a problem or issue, or are we seeking an ongoing living relationship with God? Are we seeking just to be made how we want to be, using the power of God for our own ends, or are we willing to worship God primarily with our lives?
Jesus can heal or cure anyone who asks if it is the right moment for their healing. Ultimate healing is salvation. We all have weaknesses and sicknesses, most of which we would like to see removed. However this is not all of life, or the whole point of meeting with Jesus. The good that can result from meeting with Jesus is to come into the relationship with God that we were made for.