Luke 17:11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.”
It’s interesting to me that Jesus didn’t heal the lepers immediately. He simply told them to show themselves to a priest who would declare them clean. We’re not told how far away a priest may have been, so we don’t know if it would have taken a few minutes or a few days to see a priest. Nevertheless, there was an element of faith needed to receive healing.
I’m in the middle of a sermon series on the theme of Sabbath rest. This is the practice of setting aside normal work patterns and resting every seventh day of the week. Since we live in a 24/7 work culture, keeping the Sabbath can sound nearly impossible. But our story this morning gives me hope that as we lean into keeping the Sabbath we too might receive healing – healing from our need to be productive, healing from the illusion that our welfare depends on our own efforts, healing from fear and doubt.
Lord Jesus, give us grace to trust you will meet us on the journey toward healing and wholeness. Amen.