Words of Wisdom
RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION Read Luke 17: 11-19
Among the ten lepers who are cleansed, is a Samaritan. It is the Samaritan who receives resurrection and ascension, when Jesus speaks this personal word to him.
"Rise and go; your faith has made you whole." ( verse 19b)
Where is the Samaritan? He is at the feet of the Jew called Jesus, thanking Him, overwhelmed by the goodness, mercy, love and kindness that have been shown to him, a Samaritan. Here is a Samaritan who publicly defies all that he has lived, learned and experienced, because of one encounter with a Jew named Jesus.
Samaritans and Jews do not get on. They will not be seen socializing in the streets. But the scene before us is that of a Samaritan at the feet of a Jew, talking to this Jew. Why is this?
This Jew called Jesus, has given him favour. He is not just a leper, but a Samaritan leper and Jesus shows him absolutely no kind of discrimination.
This Jew includes him with all the others who are healed. This Jew treats him like a person, and does not exclude him because he is different. Jesus gives him inclusion. Samaritan or Jew, Jesus includes all.
This Jew also has compassion on him and shows him much pity. The gift of healing is given to him also. Jesus heals Jews and non - Jews alike. His compassion is for all.
Jesus defies all history, all tradition, all discrimination and heals a Samaritan leper. Now, this Samaritan dares also to defy all history, all that the Jews have done to him and his people, and throw himself at the feet of a Jew.
It is from this position that Jesus says to the Samaritan, Rise, Go, your faith has made you whole. Remember that Jesus is talking to a healed man.
Rise! This is the lifting and rising of a life from the bondage of his past. All the things that oppress him, all that make him think of himself as inferior, he now must rise above them.
Go! He must go back to an unchanged community, but he will be different. He will be a catalyst for change.
You are whole! A Samaritan is told that his faith has made him whole. True, he is now cleansed from his outward disease, but only with the wholeness, is he cleansed from all his inner offenses and defenses. He now knows healing of mind and heart. It is this healing that brings freedom, the freedom that only Jesus gives. It is the freedom that lets this Samaritan return to the same discrimination, ostracism and exclusion and not be apart of it any more. It is the freedom that lets him now see himself as Jesus sees him.
You too can know this same freedom. It means not being defined anymore, by your past. It is that you are now defined by your Jesus. You are defined by love. It is to know resurrection and ascension, to be lifted out of your bondage and rise above it. You are now bold to live in this Risen, Ascended freedom which Christ Jesus gives through His Holy Spirit.