Ten lepers cleansed (Lk 17:14-17:14)

“When Jesus

Saw them,

He said to them.

‘Go!

Show yourselves

To the priests.’

As they went,

They were made clean.”

 

καὶ ἰδὼν εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν. καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς ἐκαθαρίσθησαν.

 

Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers.  Luke indicated that Jesus saw the 10 lepers (καὶ ἰδὼν).  He said to them (εἶπεν αὐτοῖς) that they should go and show themselves to the priests (Πορευθέντες ἐπιδείξατε ἑαυτοὺς τοῖς ἱερεῦσιν).  Thus, they did so.  As they went on their way (καὶ ἐγένετο ἐν τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτοὺς), they were made clean (ἐκαθαρίσθησαν).  Luke indicated that Jesus cured the 10 lepers without any special saying or touching.  He simply told them to go to the Jewish priests for the leper cleansing ritual.  The presumption was that they would be cleansed of their leprosy that actually took place as they were on their way to the Jewish priests in Jerusalem.  However, there was no dramatic cure here.  Has something wonderful happened to you that did not seem miraculous?

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The sudden birth of a nation (Isa 66:7-66:9)

“‘Before she was in labor,

She gave birth.

Before her pain came upon her,

She delivered a son.

Who has heard of such a thing?

Who has seen such things?

Shall a land be born in one day?

Shall a nation be delivered in one moment?

Yet as soon as Zion was in labor

She delivered her children.

Shall I open the womb?

Shall I not deliver?’

Says Yahweh.

‘Shall I,

The one who delivers,

Shut the womb?’

Says your God.”

The birth or rebirth of Jerusalem will be miraculous. It will be like a woman who gives birth to a son before she has labor pains. Has anyone heard or seen such a thing? Can a country or nation come into existence in a moment? Yet Zion will deliver her children. Who would open her womb? Who would try to shut her womb? Yahweh, the great deliverer, will not shut the womb, but deliver Jerusalem and Israel in a new birth.

The sign of the sundial (Isa 38:7-38:8)

“Isaiah said.

‘This is the sign to you

From Yahweh.

Yahweh will do this thing

That he has promised.

See!

I will make the shadow

Cast by the declining sun

On the dial of Ahaz

Turn back ten steps.’

So the sun turned back

On the dial

The ten steps

By which it had declined.”

This passage seems out of place here, since the healing of King Hezekiah is at the end of this chapter. This backwards moving of the sundial is the sign that Isaiah was to give to King Hezekiah. Instead of Isaiah crying out, this is an abbreviated version of what appeared to 2 Kings, chapter 20, with just the simple statement of Isaiah. This sundial had been installed by King Hezekiah’s father, King Ahaz (736-716 BCE). Since moving forward would not be difficult and was normal. However, if the shadow moved backward, that would be a strange. Thus the sundial moved back 10 intervals, indicating that the sun had moved backwards, which would have been miraculous. If they only knew that the earth was moving and not the sun, they would have been even more astonished.