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Your Faith Makes You Well
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Your Faith Makes You Well
William M. Howard
October 8, 2010

Luke 17:11-19 (NRSV, The Revised Common Lectionary)
17:11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee.
17:12 As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance,
17:13 they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!"
17:14 When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean.
17:15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.
17:16 He prostrated himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan.
17:17 Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they?
17:18 Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
17:19 Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."

Everyday God blesses us all but only few come to believe enough to worship.  Or maybe we often seek God with supplication then once cured, we carry on complacently to the next thing in life in which we want help from above.

There are other stories of people, common everyday folks, who are afflicted with heart rendering ailments.  I mean by heart rendering ailments are those unceasing, never ending, constant pain and discomfort that keeps them from having a settled existence. 

In these Bible stories, they were blessed to be born in the time and place where Jesus walked so that they could look upon Him and maybe touch Him, or be touched.  And what does He say: “Your faith has made you well.”

Here is the major point: Jesus does not say: “I have made you well.”  He says: “Your faith has made you well.”  YOUR FAITH has made you well.

Your faith, your belief that Jesus Christ is the true messenger from God.  Well, Jesus died on the cross and went to heaven.  He is not physically here for us to go to Him and be touched by him.  But His words still ring true.  “Your faith makes you well.” 

A friend of mine professed “Faith” but he admitted not being spiritually connected with God and His Son. 

So, faith comes in different degrees and functions and relations.  What is your faith?  That the sun will come up tomorrow?  Are you sure?  Oh, yes, no doubt the earth will rotate as it is doing right now and the sun will still shine, so the light will come over the horizon.  The question is, will you see it when sunrise occurs?  Will your sun come up tomorrow? Will you be here when it does?

That is a good adult faith.

What about child faith?  I don’t think children think in terms of faith as we do.  Their faith is more like expectation.  When they get hungry, there is the expectation that their mother will provide something to eat. 

We can apply the analogy to ourselves.  We can have expectations.  I don’t want to say we expect death and taxes but there, it is said.  We need to go beyond that.  Really, we need to go way beyond that.

The sparrow does not have faith.  But somehow it gets what it needs.

We are different. 

Our expectations are broad and at different levels and large varying degrees.  Some are self needs to exist.  Some are just plain selfish needs just because we want.  Some expectations have to do with others around us who are expected to do what is supposed to be done.

What do you expect Jesus to do for you?

I dare say you should not expect anything.  I bet you are questioning: “Why believe in Jesus Christ then?  Why bother if I can’t expect things to happen?”

Faith and expectations are different things.  We as humans may be able and should be able to differentiate the meanings and purpose. 

I am trying so hard not to befuddle your thoughts.  And, I would not be confusing you if you had the Faith Jesus was talking about with the man he cured.

We really do need to go beyond the miracle stuff and the selfish, self focused kinds of faith we seem to get acquainted with in the beginning of religions concepts. 

This faith Jesus is talking about is the faith for glorifying God and prostrating yourself before him in the realization that He is in control of all things. He is in control except for those of us who would reject Jesus.  He does not make us see Jesus Christ as the sacrificed Lord and savior.  But God does provide the opportunity to develop the faith and we can either accept it or reject it or just plain ignore it.

Our children are presented with such an extraordinary array of awesome titillation to the standard five senses in a near constant barrage.  And, I dare say it continues in their dreams when asleep.  So, whether conscious or asleep when do they take time to even think about what faith is?

When we can stop for awhile and cease the barrage when our own minds are given the opportunity to work and think of our relationship of our life and what it means and why we are here, then maybe, just maybe, the faith Jesus is talking about will occur.

That is why our church service needs a blend of sensory calmness. 
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on what we see.
Have mercy on what we hear.
Have mercy on what we touch.
Have mercy on us what we may smell.
Have mercy on us on what we may taste.
Keep us warm but not too.
Keep us upright so we may lift our hands in prayer.
Keep us from pain so we concentrate on You.
Have mercy on us and reveal Yourself in the Spirit so our faith will blossom.
Have mercy on us so we may keep the faith and it will be strong with us.
Have mercy on us so we may see you in everything.

When He came upon the leprous men
Jesus did not create a stark white light or flashing colors or fly around.
Jesus did not yell at them in deafening tones.
He did not grab them in a suffocating grip.
He did not create acrid smoke.
He did not put bitter medicine on their tongue.

He gently gave a directive: "Go and show yourselves to the priests."  And, when they followed the command, the leprosy cleared.  What did he say?  “Go to church.”
And the passage continues with, when you get there, praise God in your faith and there will be healing of your soul and spirit. 

And the final part of this passage is about who can do this.  You can.  For you are just a Samaritan, a foreigner.  You may have never known God.  You may have never praised God.  But now you have.

Come let us glorify His Holy Name and be blessed by our faith.  Our Faith that will make us well.  Amen.



Ivory Digits
William M. Howard
10 Fish Ave.
PO Box 316
Jefferson, ME 04348-0316
(207) 214-7912

Copyright 2016 William M. Howard