Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Road Named Consensus

In a region between Samaria and Galilee, Jesus encountered ten lepers.  Custom required them to keep a respectful distance from the healthy community so the Word speaks of them "keeping their distance" and calling out to Jesus, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."  (Luke 17:13)  Their common illness not only separated them from the larger community, but it also gave them membership in the community of the suffering.  No one called out to Jesus for himself, but for all of them.  "...have mercy on us."
It is easy to imagine their collective disappointment.  Undoubtedly, they had heard that Jesus had healed others with leprosy.  They had even heard that He had touched the lepers before speaking healing words over them. (Luke 5:12)  But, He hardly broke stride as He walked along their part of the road.  Instead of touching them or saying healing words over them, He simply said, "Go and show yourselves to the priests" and then He was gone leaving them alone and wondering what had just happened.  Fortunately, their desperation was greater than their disappointment and the started to walk the road of obedience.

The surprising thing which happened next was not the healing of each one, but the way nine of them responded to their healing.  Even as they called out as a group to Jesus for healing, now as a group they embraced the spirit of an ungrateful heart.  One decided it was too much trouble to re-trace their steps to find and thank Jesus and the rest decided to go along with what was obviously a wrong choice.  Like to many people of our day, the nine men let consensus of opinion define what was the right thing to do.  In this case, as is often the case today, consensus of opinion led them down the wrong road.  

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