Sunday, October 6, 2019

Proper 23 Series C

Proper 23 Series C 
(October 9 -15)
Ruth 1:1–19a
2 Timothy 2:1–13
Luke 17:11–19

Faith Returns Thanks to God and Worships Him in the Person of Christ Jesus

Collect for Proper 23O God, our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness, by Your grace hear the prayers of Your Church. Grant that those things which we ask in faith we may receive through Your bountiful mercy; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

A quick outline based on the collect:

A proper perspective 
1. God is our refuge and strength, the author of all godliness.
2. He hears the prayers of His people. 
3. As dear children ask their dear Father we always ask in faith.
4. The Lord always responds from His bountiful mercy.  

Jesus comes in mercy and, by His Word, heals you in body and soul. “Go and show yourselves to the priests,” for you are cleansed (Luke 17:14), and you are granted access to the Lord’s Temple. It is “at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks” (Luke 17:16) that you worship God, for Christ Jesus is your great High Priest; His body is the true Temple. In Him, you “find rest, each of you in the house of her husband” (Ruth 1:9), for the Lord has “visited his people and given them food” (Ruth 1:6). The person of Jesus Christ lodges Himself in holy food — bread and wine for believers to eat and drink. You lodge where Jesus lodges; His Father is your God, His people are your people. Death cannot part you from Him because His death and resurrection are eternally yours through Holy Baptism. 

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). As surely as death could not hold Him, so surely “the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9). His Gospel is entrusted “to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2), so that you “may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 2:10). Such is the confession of faith for all the saints, who believe, teach and confess the one Lord and Savior — Jesus Christ.

There was no love lost between Jews and Samaritans. Had they been healthy, the nine Jewish lepers would have had had nothing to do with this person whom they considered a half-breed, little better than a heathen. But leprosy had made them all outcasts from society, depending on the kindness of strangers in for daily sustenance.

On the way to Jerusalem, on the road that would ultimately lead to His death, Jesus encountered these ten pitiable men. He had mercy on them, and, foreshadowing the restoration of all creation at the Last Day, healed them of their dread disease. Only one returned to Jesus to give thanks—a foreigner, the Samaritan.

Christ came into the world to save all people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, or other outward characteristics. We Gentiles, too, ought to fall at Jesus’ feet and give thanks for having rescued us from the far more dread disease of sin and its consequences of eternal, and not just temporal, death. This Descendant of a foreign, Moabite woman has made us clean. He Himself is the High Priest who declares us clean to His Father, and gives us a place in His kingdom. This Gospel lesson will be read on Thanksgiving Day.

Hinting at His Deity (Luke 17:11-19)
Rev. Dr. Daniel J Brege

Of course every time Jesus performed an out-of-this-world miracle—like calming the stormy sea or speaking the dead to life—such miracles hinted at his deity.  Similarly every time Jesus was named the Son of God, or when He declared Himself to be the Son of the Father, these hinted at His deity (The Jews understood this to be more than a hint; see e.g. John 5:18; 10:33.).

In Sunday’s gospel when Jesus healed the ten lepers, one returned “praising God with a loud voice.  He fell facedown at Jesus’ feet in thanksgiving to Him.”  This in itself seems to indicate Jesus is God, as the healed leper praises God by giving thanks to Jesus.  Jesus then confirms this understanding as He asks, “Was no one found except this foreigner to return and give glory to God?”  The Samaritan, cured of his leprosy, returned to Jesus and at His feet he gave glory to God—to Jesus.  Another apparent hint at the deity of Jesus occurs in the command of Jesus that the lepers go to the temple—God’s unique dwelling place on earth.  But as this former-leper returns to Jesus, Jesus is not critical of his failure to go to the Temple, for the man is indeed going to the Temple, the place where God dwells among men—in the person of Jesus Christ.   The following are a few other hints of the deity of Jesus peppered throughout the Gospel of Luke.

When Saint Luke explains the identity of John the Baptist in Luke 3, the evangelist is inspired to point to him as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy that describes the way-preparer as “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way of the Lord…’”  Though “Lord” as a title for Jesus may not always be speaking of His deity, it must here be speaking of His deity, because in Isaiah’s prediction the Hebrew word for Lord is the unique name for God—Yahweh.  John the Baptist was preparing the way of Yahweh, the way of Jesus; Jesus is God (Yahweh).

In Luke 7:16, after Jesus had raised to life the dead youth from the town of Nain, the people exclaim, “God has visited His people.”  One might understand this to mean that God, through a great prophet, has visited His people.  But one can also take it as a confession by the people that Jesus is God, because God as a man was literally visiting His people—for who except God can speak the dead to life?

We find the record in Luke 8:26ff of another merciful, miraculous deliverance as Jesus cast the legion of demons out of the cemetery-residing man of the Gerasenes.  The man then begs to go with Jesus, but the Lord responds to him, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” What does the exorcised man do?  “So the man went away and proclaimed all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.”  These are in back-to-back sentences in which the parallel is obvious:  “…tell how much GOD has done for you…[he] proclaimed how much JESUS had done for him.”   Hint:  Jesus is God.

In Luke 18:18ff the rich young ruler petitions Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus replies, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.”   There is here a hint that if Jesus is the Good Teacher, and because only God is good, then Jesus must be God.

Thanks be to God that in Jesus the fullness of deity dwells bodily, for only God’s death could redeem mankind out of sin, death and the devil’s domain.   Truly, as proleptically prophesied by Zechariah, “…the God of Israel….has visited and redeemed His people.” (Luke 1:68)

A hint of trivia - The Armadillo has an antibody for leprosy. - The bacteria that causes leprosy, a chronic disease that can lead to disfigurement and nerve damage, is known to be transmitted to humans from nine-banded armadillos. A new study in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases reports that 62% of the armadillos in the western part of Pará state in the Brazilian Amazon are positive for the leprosy bacteria. June 28, 2018 See Science Daily 

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

Luke 17:11 
Καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ [a]πορεύεσθαι εἰς Ἰερουσαλὴμ καὶ αὐτὸς διήρχετο διὰ [b]μέσον Σαμαρείας καὶ Γαλιλαίας.
On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee.

The disease is what unites them. Jesus is going to Jerusalem. He will only stop for them.

Luke 17:12 
καὶ εἰσερχομένου αὐτοῦ εἴς τινα κώμην [c]ἀπήντησαν δέκα λεπροὶ ἄνδρες, οἳ [d]ἔστησαν πόρρωθεν,
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,[a] who stood at a distance 

Going into a village, ten men, lepers met him standing afar off. Whole cities would come out to meet ἀπήντησαν a conquering King. This is a leper colony. Jesus is going into the leper's village. They come out to greet them.

Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

"Ten" is a perfect number. All together. They cry out for mercy but at a distance. They have nothing left to lose. 

Luke 17:13 
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες• Ἰησοῦ ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς.  
and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

They” (plural) lifted up “their” (singular) united voice saying, "Jesus, Master have mercy/pity!" ἐλέησον

Luke 17:14 
 καὶ ἰδὼν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς• Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς ἐκαθαρίσθησαν.
When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed.

And seeing as they saw (being there present with them) he said "go, show yourselves to the priests. 

(To go back to your family. Uncleanness separated them. Cut off from community. The OT statement of original sin.) . Sin is unbelief given flesh and bones. 

Sent to the priests think Judas 

As they went they were healed. 

Luke 17:15
εἷς δὲ ἐξ αὐτῶν, ἰδὼν ὅτι ἰάθη, ὑπέστρεψεν μετὰ φωνῆς μεγάλης δοξάζων τὸν θεόν,
Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice

One from them, seeing right here and now, seeing he was healed, returned with a great voice glorifying God. 

He goes to the priests. (Because Jesus sent him. He had to. He went, was examined, then returned.) 

Both he and Jesus knew the drill.  

Luke 17:16
καὶ ἔπεσεν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον παρὰ τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ εὐχαριστῶν αὐτῷ• καὶ αὐτὸς ἦν Σαμαρίτης
and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.

He threw himself at Jesus' feet.  See Ruth 4:7, Christ is the kinsman redeemer. John the Baptist, "I am unworthy to untie his sandals."

The Greek word used to describe his giving thanks εὐχαριστῶ is the word that is translated as Eucharist.

Luke 17:17 
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ Ἰησοῦς εἶπεν• [e]Οὐχὶ οἱ δέκα ἐκαθαρίσθησαν; οἱ δὲ ἐννέα ποῦ
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine

Ten were cleansed, were there not? Expecting a positive answer. Ten were cleansed, 

Luke 17:18
 οὐχ εὑρέθησαν ὑποστρέψαντες δοῦναι δόξαν τῷ θεῷ εἰ μὴ ὁ ἀλλογενὴς οὗτος;
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 

Luke 17:19 
καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ• Ἀναστὰς πορεύου• ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε.
And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.

has made you well” - has saved you.

Rise up, go and keep going, your faith has and continues to save you. Faith is busy and active.

ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition. Copyright © 2010 by Society of Biblical Literature and Logos Bible Software
Photo © Greg Gallmeyer

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