The Least, First

Monte Asbury's blog

Jesus and ten lepers

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The church I serve has watched Jesus as, during weeks of readings coming from the middle chapters of Luke’s gospel, he connected again and again and again with people excluded from power and respect in 1st century society.

Last Sunday, I was astonished to hit a pause: he spoke to his disciples about faith, and the epistle reading likewise was about hanging on, sticking with it. We needed it badly, having just come to a place where our determination had been challenged. It was a remarkable moment.

And now, this week, we’re back to where we were: Jesus ministry to excluded people. Strange, isn’t it, how these things happen just when we need them?

Read on – and thanks! Do help me out with music ideas or your own insights into the story.

Proper 23 (28) October 14, 2007
Luke 17:11-19; 2 Timothy 2:8-15; Jeremiah 29:1,4-7; Psalm 66:1-12

Luke 17:11-19

It happened that as he made his way toward Jerusalem, he crossed over the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten men, all lepers, met him. They kept their distance but raised their voices, calling out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”

Taking a good look at them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.”

They went, and while still on their way, became clean. One of them, when he realized that he was healed, turned around and came back, shouting his gratitude, glorifying God. He kneeled at Jesus’ feet, so grateful. He couldn’t thank him enough—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus said, “Were not ten healed? Where are the nine? Can none be found to come back and give glory to God except this outsider?” Then he said to him, “Get up. On your way. Your faith has healed and saved you.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

2 Timothy 2:8-15

Fix this picture firmly in your mind: Jesus, descended from the line of David, raised from the dead. It’s what you’ve heard from me all along. It’s what I’m sitting in jail for right now—but God’s Word isn’t in jail! That’s why I stick it out here—so that everyone God calls will get in on the salvation of Christ in all its glory. This is a sure thing:

If we die with him, we’ll live with him;

If we stick it out with him, we’ll rule with him;

If we turn our backs on him, he’ll turn his back on us;

If we give up on him, he does not give up—

for there’s no way he can be false to himself.

Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out. Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple. Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life, they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples, throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Jeremiah 29
Plans to Give You the Future You Hope For

This is the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to what was left of the elders among the exiles, to the priests and prophets and all the exiles whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon from Jerusalem …

This is the Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, Israel’s God, to all the exiles I’ve taken from Jerusalem to Babylon:

“Build houses and make yourselves at home. “Put in gardens and eat what grows in that country. “Marry and have children. Encourage your children to marry and have children so that you’ll thrive in that country and not waste away. “Make yourselves at home there and work for the country’s welfare. “Pray for Babylon’s well-being. If things go well for Babylon, things will go well for you.”

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

Psalm 66:1-12

All together now—applause for God! Sing songs to the tune of his glory,

set glory to the rhythms of his praise.

Say of God, “We’ve never seen anything like him!”

When your enemies see you in action,

they slink off like scolded dogs.

The whole earth falls to its knees—

it worships you, sings to you,

can’t stop enjoying your name and fame.

 

Take a good look at God’s wonders—

they’ll take your breath away.

He converted sea to dry land;

travelers crossed the river on foot.

Now isn’t that cause for a song?

 

Ever sovereign in his high tower, he keeps

his eye on the godless nations.

Rebels don’t dare

raise a finger against him.

 

Bless our God, O peoples!

Give him a thunderous welcome!

Didn’t he set us on the road to life?

Didn’t he keep us out of the ditch?

He trained us first,

passed us like silver through refining fires,

Brought us into hardscrabble country,

pushed us to our very limit,

Road-tested us inside and out,

took us to hell and back;

Finally he brought us

to this well-watered place.

The Message (MSG) Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

 


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Written by Monte

October 8, 2007 at 9:06 pm

One Response

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  1. Wow…I know what I’d do, read the scripture and walk away. That is some powerful stuff!

    -Derin-
    http://durkniblick.wordpress.com/

    Monte Says: Yes, isn’t it!

    thewienerdogblog

    October 9, 2007 at 10:34 am


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