It is no mere coincidence that the man who turns is a Samaritan living in the borderlands. For it is those on the margins who most need Jesus’s mercy.

How the mercy of Jesus to the foreigner, outcast and sick is inclusive love
Proper 23C |  Luke 17:11-19

I’m going to guess that nobody here was thinking about that parable from two weeks ago about the rich guy suffering in Hades, wanting a drink of water. Just a little something to wet his lips, they must’ve been so dry in that place of torment. He tries to get Abraham to send Lazarus over to get him some water. What a weird parable. None of us were thinking about that this morning. Why would we; that was two weeks ago. But it was only a handful of verses ago in Luke.

It’s a weird story. I don’t expect you’d give it much mind today. But there’s this thing that keeps nagging at me as we move on and we hit the road toward Jerusalem again. And it’s that strange story of suffering and how this man still expected other people to do his bidding, even when he is desperate.

It’s such a contrast with this morning’s gospel of these ten people with leprosy who come to Jesus. And they stand away from him. Respecting his ritual purity. Respecting him enough not to get too close. They stand…like over there. And shout at him. Asking for mercy.

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