Just a reminder that last week, if it wasn’t clear to you, it became clear to me that sometimes, as Christians, we don’t truly see God’s hand in the giving of all we’ve received. The story of the ten lepers made that abundantly obvious. Who turned back? The Samaritan! The foreigner! Where were the “religious” ones? The temple-goers? The God-fearers? The ones who should have seen God in the miracle of the moment? They were on their way to the priest, excited to be lawful again. Maybe they were thankful, but they were not deeply grateful. There’s a difference.
...And there’s more to this story. As the Samaritan recognized his healing had to have come from the God of the Universe, he offered a sacrament...an outward and visible sign of his inner blessing. That’s the Oxford dictionary’s meaning for the word Eucharist. “Eucharisteo” is the Greek word for giving thanks. I love that. It says when we express deep gratitude to the Father of Lights from whom every good gift originates, we are offering to him a sacrament of love (read James 1:17).
...And there’s even more to the story. When this foreigner turned back to offer his eucharisteo to Jesus, God-in-flesh extended his great gift. And (Jesus) said to him, “Rise, and go your way; your faith has made you well (Luke 17:19).” Wait a minute, wasn’t the man already well? Hadn’t he already been healed? Outwardly, yes. But again, we must look at the deeper Greek meaning (can you tell I love word studies?). This word means to be made safe, to protect, to deliver, to heal, or to make whole. It is used specifically of salvation from eternal death, sin, punishment and the misery that follows the sin. The other nine were healed to die again. The one who returned to give thanks recognized Jesus as God. This belief healed him unto salvation. He not only had a healed body, but his spirit and soul (mind, will, emotions) were made whole, as well. He was no longer leprous in skin, and he was no longer leprous of heart. He was a new creation inside and out.
When the Samaritan walked away from Jesus, he was no longer a foreigner. This man was in, no longer did the dividing wall separate him from God, for, now, he was a child of the promise. No longer an outcast, he was brought near (read Ephesians 2).
Then with an exclamation mark, Jesus turned back to the Pharisees in the midst saying, “Behold...the Kingdom of God is in your midst (vs. 21)....because they missed it! They didn’t see that before their eyes the Kingdom was being made of grateful lepers saved to wholeness and eternal life.
Lessons to take away:
There’s so much more to Christianity than just being lawful...has your faith made you well -emotionally, mentally, where your decision-making is concerned, but more importantly - spiritually?
We can’t out-thank Jesus. The more we offer him true eucharisteo, the more he gives (and we can't out-give him either)...
As we give him thanks, the Kingdom of God enters our midst... Can you see it? Do you see HIM? He's amazing!