Ten men are asked to act in faith and go, as if they are healed, to the priests for the ritual that will change their status in society from outcast and leper to full member and clean. All ten go.
Is it just worth a try? Or do they believe in God’s power in Jesus whom they call “master”? All ten are made clean (katharizo in v.14) and are healed (iaomai in v.15) but only one returns to praise God and say “thank you”.
For Jesus this “thank you” is very important it seems almost more important than the obedience (and faith?) of the going. As a complete surprise Jesus tells the one grateful one who is a ‘foreigner’ (literally: born elsewhere): “Rise up, go forth, your faith has preserved you”. He was already healed and now something else is added: sozo in Greek. It means to heal, to preserve, to save.
In this story it seems as if faith is not obedience to Jesus’ word but gratitude for his work. It seems as if healing is more than only physically getting well. As we journey in obedience we need to remember to also turn back in praise and thanksgiving. That is when the real miracle might happen.
9 October 2016
This weekly blog on one of the lectionary readings is by Anne Claar Thomasson-Rosingh, Programme Leader for Lifelong Learning at Sarum College.