Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” Luke 17:11-13
I wrote yesterday in this space that Jesus healed those suffering ten lepers “along the way” as he sent them out. Just some additional thoughts on that.
Those ten lepers were a mix of Samaritans and Jews. Now we know that Samaritans and Jews hated one another and had serious religious and cultural differences that separated them. Yet, their common plight of leprosy seemed to level the playing field. Suffering can do that. Things that once seemed important, pale in comparison to a devastating event which somehow levels the ground we hold. Suffering can be a common crisis that over-arches mere religious, class, economic status, and cultural differences.
In the end, human beings suffer, and they need one another intensely at those times. Stuff like race and religion take a back seat to the need for common understanding and compassion for our brothers and sisters. So, these Jews and Samaritans traveled together, the common bond being the outcast status that leprosy handed them.
Jesus was not a discerner of race, religion, gender or status. He came to heal all who asked for his hand of healing. Sad that it takes cataclysmic events for people to determine that artificial distinctions between human beings need not get in the way of our common need for one another, regardless of superficial differences.
Prayer: Lord, help us always keep in mind that we hold in common, as a human race, our need for you, Amen