Monday, May 2, 2016

“Grateful Faith” Adult Sunday School Lesson

International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday May 8, 2016

Purpose: To learn to live a life of gratitude to God

Bible Lesson: Luke 17:11-19

Key Verse: One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. (Luke 17:15-16a)

Luke 17:11-19 (CEB)
(11) On the way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. (12) As he entered a village, ten men with skin diseases approached him. Keeping their distance from him, (13) they raised their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, show us mercy!” (14) When Jesus saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” As they left, they were cleansed. (15) One of them, when he saw that he had been healed, returned and praised God with a loud voice. (16) He fell on his face at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. (17) Jesus replied, “Weren’t ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? (18) No one returned to praise God except this foreigner?” (19) Then Jesus said to him, “Get up and go. Your faith has healed you.”

Some Thoughts by Burgess Walter

I think the background history of Samaria would be a good place to start for this lesson. The area of Samaria was originally captured by Joshua, and given to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. In addition, many from the Tribe of Levi also settled in the area. The separation of this area from the rest of the original settlements came much later, originally Eli (the priest that taught Samuel) was the High Priest of Shiloh. The separation started with Eli but came to fruition after the death of Solomon and the Northern Kingdom (called Israel) wanted Shiloh or Mount Gerizim to be the center of worship, while the Southern Kingdom (Judah) wanted Jerusalem to be the center of the Jewish religion. After the Assyrians captured the Northern Kingdom and carried away the professional people they sent other nations they had captured into that area to settle and they procreated with the rural residents that remained in the original area. Meanwhile the Samaritans considered themselves the purer and had their own version of the Pentateuch or first five books of the Old Testament. Originally Mt. Gerizim was considered the original Holy Place of Israel. The Samaritans thought those Judeans that came back and settled Judah and Jerusalem were not true Israelites and fought the reconstruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Samaritans were considered foreigners and were unable to worship in the Temple in Jerusalem.

For today’s lesson, Jesus is walking that fine line between Samaria and Galilee when he is approached by ten men with a skin disease, although it is called leprosy in many translations it may have been something more akin to psoriasis, or boils. They yell out they are unclean and ask for Jesus’ help.

The only one who could pronounce them clean and return them into the community was a Priest. Hence, Jesus told them to present themselves to a Priest and show that they were clean. As they turned to go and find a priest they were healed or made clean. The only one to return and thank Jesus was a Samaritan, someone that was completely cut off from worshipping God in the Temple.

There are a couple of theological quirks in the language used by Jesus in the original Greek. Falling prostrate at Jesus feet the Samaritan acknowledges Jesus as Master. Jesus uses the Greek word resurrect when he advises the Samaritan to get up. The word translated as healed is the same word often translated as saved elsewhere. When the Samaritan thanked Jesus, the Greek word for that is Eucharist, also called Holy Communion. (“It is right, and a good and joyful thing, always and everywhere to give thanks”)

When this is all put together we see a (foreigner) who accepts Jesus as Master, gives thanks (Eucharist) is healed (saved) and (resurrected) given a new life.
I think Jesus point is clear, His love, and a new life, is available to all that confess him as Lord and Master and obediently obey Him.

My hymn for this week is an old standard Trust and Obey.

No comments: