A man, blind from birth.
A woman, lame for years.
A child, sick with a fever that the parents knew would take his life.
The towns in Jesus time were filled with people like this. The lame, the blind, the sick. It’s safe to say that there was a lot of hopelessness, wondering if there will ever be relief from this oppression. Wondering if there is a cure, a way to find healing and hope.
The gospels are filled with stories of people facing brokenness in their lives. There are many instances of brokenness due to sin or lifestyle choices, but the brokenness that stands out in these stories is the physical brokenness that many were facing. Some of them had lived their entire lives stricken with physical illness, while some had contracted diseases that had no cure. Many were hopeless...beggars sitting at the edges of pools, marketplaces and wealthy homes, hoping that today would be the day that brings a reprieve from their symptoms and pains.
And then along comes Jesus. Walking from town to town, bringing with him a strange group of people, filled with parables and preaching. Most likely, his reputation preceded him and as the townspeople heard he was coming, they waited for him to walk into their towns. Were the rumors really true? Did he really say such strange things? Did he really talk back to Pharisees and Sadducees and religious leaders? Did he really do all those things he said he did? What is this Jesus guy really all about? And, really, when it all comes down to it- is there anything in his message for me? What can he provide me with?
it’s not just about us and the solutions we crave. Instead, it’s about gOD and using our testimony to bring glory to Him.
So, from town to town Jesus and his strange band of men stroll. Jesus brings messages that the people haven’t heard before, he stands up to the religious leaders and often makes spectacles of them. He reprimands the rich young man and tax collectors. I imagine most of the “commoners” standing in the crowd, enjoying the scene. At the same time, the words coming from Jesus’ mouth probably made many uncomfortable. How could it be possible to choose to stay married when divorce was an option? How could one worker be paid the same amount as another worker who did half the work? And really, Jesus, those words are so nice and entertaining, but- what is in it for me?
Throughout the gospels, there is a division of people after Jesus has finished preaching and teaching. There are those who scoff and walk away, there are those who listen and believe, and there are those who listen, believe and obey. Each group seems to answer “What is in it for me?” in a different way. The first group decides that there is nothing in it for them- and walks away. The second group decides that it could be rather beneficial for them to follow this man with the strange words of wisdom. And the third group? They also decide that there is nothing in it for them- that instead of it being about them, it is all about HIM.
Let’s take a closer look at Luke 17:11-19. As Jesus entered a village, ten men with leprosy approached him (vs. 12). They raised their voices, asking Jesus to bring healing to them (vs. 13). They knew who Jesus was and they knew that his reputation- he brought healing to those who were stricken with sickness and disease. They knew that there was a chance that just asking could bring relief from years of pain and living like social outcasts. Jesus’ response to them was simple- “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (vs. 14). All ten men heard what Jesus said and decided that it would be beneficial for them to go and do what Jesus said. All ten men were healed on their way to see the priests! But only one man fully understood the weight of what had happened. Only one of the ten understood that it wasn’t all about him or what was in it for him. He understood that it was about Jesus and giving glory to God (vs. 15-16). He fell face down before Jesus and thanked him, giving glory to God.
Let us also remember this lesson: that when we ask God, we can expect him to bring healing and answers to our problems. But it’s not just about us and the solutions we crave. Instead, it’s about HIM and using our testimony to bring glory to Him. How can we do that today?
Suzanne Hines wants to live in a world where sunflowers bloom in eternal summer, where her children play instead of argue and where her family has an endless budget for travel. When she's not loving her husband, training and teaching her three children, and spreading education on the foster care system, you can find her writing, reading or running outside!
Her favorite Scripture is Romans 12:12 "...be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer..." (NIV)