11 On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, 13 they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!”
14 When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. 15 One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. 16 He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. 17 Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” 19 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”
Desperation. You can feel it in this story. The ten lepers are desperate to get Jesus’ attention. Torn from their families and suffering from the disease that has led to their marginalization as outcasts, the ten lepers are past all endurance. Prohibited by law from coming close to people, the lepers were feared and despised. So the ten lepers cry out to Jesus from afar, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”
They acknowledge Jesus as their Master and reach out to him in faith and hope. Jesus hears their cries and shows them mercy. Yet only the “foreigner,” the hated Samaritan, returns to praise God and thank Jesus. Jesus showed mercy by curing both a leper and a “foreigner,” two states – physical and cultural – that showed this man to be outside the salvation of God. The Samaritan’s response to Jesus’ act of mercy was to experience joyous worship of God and deep gratitude, for being saved by faith in Jesus.
by Jeneene Reduker
For Pondering & Prayer
Each of us, at some point in our lives, will experience times when we feel desperate due to certain life altering situations. We too, will cry out to God for mercy, and Jesus will hear us and will always be with us, comforting us through the hard times. God has shown each of us undeserved mercy, through salvation in Jesus, and our response is joy and worship of God and to thank Jesus for all that he has done for us, and continues to do each day.
Mercy is a divine attribute of God shown to God’s people. When God shows us mercy, we don’t get what we deserve, which is justice, we get blessed with unmerited mercy instead, because God loves us.
Jesus is God’s mercy incarnate in the world with us. Gratitude is our response to God’s mercy and this gratitude is at the center of discipleship. As disciples of Jesus, we are on a mission of mercy to show our deep gratitude to God, by following the example of Jesus, and showing mercy to others.
When was the last time you worshipped God with joy for the mercy that God has shown you in your life? As disciples of Jesus, how do you feel your gratitude helps you to be merciful to others? Look for ways to be on a ‘mission of mercy’ to others today.
Prayer: Holy God, you show us mercy everyday. Help us to receive it with grateful hearts so that we may show others mercy. Amen.
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