November 29th, 2016
Samaritans play an interesting role in Luke’s Gospel. In 9:51-56, Jesus and His disciples were on their way to Jerusalem when they found themselves unwelcome in a Samaritan village. The disciples wanted “to call fire down from heaven” to destroy the village (v. 54). Jesus, however, rebuked their harsh reaction and detoured them to a more welcoming village.
The roots of this animosity are ancient. The Jews regarded themselves as the true descendants of Abraham. The Samaritans saw themselves as faithful preservers of a hallowed faith. Each despised the other.
Likely, few were surprised when Jesus compassionately responded to 10 lepers’ call for healing mercy (17:11-19). It would have been no surprise when Jesus instructed them to “go, show yourselves to the priests” (v. 14). What was surprising was that one returned to throw himself at Jesus’ feet and thank Him, for “he was a Samaritan” (v. 16).
Jesus lavish grace still elicits surprising praise. Where will we see it today?
Author: Duane Brush