Sunday, September 05, 2021

How the mountain comes to Jesus

Ten lepers, all healed, but only one thanks Jesus in worship.

Why should it matter if this tenth leper - the one who returned to thank Our Lord - was a Samaritan?


Of course, the Jews and the Samaritans have been fighting since the time that they were released from captivity in Babylon. The Jews believe that Jerusalem is the place where God is to be honoured on Mount Moriah. The Samaritans believe that it should be Mount Gerizim. This may sound petty, but it's all to do with where the patriarch Joshua begins building the Jewish nation starting with the most important thought about where to worship God.

Once you have a division as to where your people should worship based on your treasured history and treasured relationship with God, then you can see how much this changes things. It not only means that the Jews and Samaritans worship in different places, but they have different scriptures and practices. In each others eyes, the other becomes unclean and to be avoided at all costs.

If Samaritans are to be avoided, and lepers are to be avoided, what must be the life of a Samaritan leper?


If the grateful leper is a Samaritan then what we see is something important about Jesus.

The first clue is in His Holy Name. Jesus is the Greek version of Joshua. It is the conquest of Joshua that leads to the establishment of the Hebrew Nation and it is the disagreement about Joshua's conquest that causes the Jewish-Samaritan schism.

And it is Jesus Who presents an end to that schism by making things whole. Notice that the nine lepers are all healed, but the Samaritan leper is made whole by Faith in Jesus. Jesus is the fulfillment of what Joshua started. Jesus is the King of God's Kingdom and it is Faith in Him that makes the Kingdom whole. It is Faith in Jesus Christ that makes us whole.


We, like the leper, are full of incompleteness, brokenness, and divisions. Our flesh wars against our spirit and so we cannot do the good that we should do. The divisions with our society and within ourselves are like disagreements in where to worship God. What matters is that we do worship Him in spirit and in truth.

The divisions in the Church will be healed by the Lord at His Coming Again, and we have to have faith in that. It means that we should show generosity to Christians who have different interpretations of Holy Scripture and end all point-scoring exercises which are designed to hurt, belittle and divide.

It does mean, however, that only Jesus completes the Faith. This is not a fake Jesus on a mountain of our own making, but the real Jesus Who does not sit in agreement with our society's ideas of good and bad, Who does not change His mind about what constitutes sin and Who demands our perfection in Him. It is Jesus Who makes the mountain not we who put Him on it.

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