Vignettes: Things that Aren’t Always What they Seem

Scene 1: Where are the Other Nine?

Luke 17:11-19 “On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, ‘‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.’’ When he saw them he said to them, ‘‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’’And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, ‘‘Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’’ And he said to him, ‘‘Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.’’

Leviticus 13:2, 4-6 “‘‘When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests, and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body… the priest shall shut up the diseased person for seven days. And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up for another seven days. And the priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the diseased area has faded and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.”

The Jews could not return to Jesus… Jesus was commenting on how the Law was actually preventing praise and worship and relationship… It kept people at a distance from God.

Scene 2: The Rich Young Ruler

Mark 10:17-27 And as he was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, ‘‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’’ And Jesus said to him, ‘‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’’ And he said to him, ‘‘Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.’’ And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, ‘‘You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’’ Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, ‘‘How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!’’ And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, ‘‘Children, how difficult it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.’’ And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him, ‘‘Then who can be saved?’’ Jesus looked at them and said, ‘‘With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.’’

What Commandment Did Jesus Leave Out? Thou Shall Not Covet:
By revealing his inability to control his greed, Jesus showed him his NEED for forgiveness and mercy. IOW, he can’t trust in his own good deeds and his ability to keep the Law, for he could not. He could not trust in the Law or his actions, only in God for mercy.
Why were the disciples astonished? Because the rich are the blessed ones! According to Deuteronomy 28. Poverty is a curse. If they rich can’t be saved, who can?

Scene 3: Who is My Neighbor?

Luke 10:25-37 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, ‘‘Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?’’ He said to him, ‘‘What is written in the Law? How do you read it?’’ And he answered, ‘‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.’’ And he said to him, ‘‘You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.’’ But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, ‘‘And who is my neighbor?’’ Jesus replied, ‘‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii {A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer} and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?’’ He said, ‘‘The one who showed him mercy.’’And Jesus said to him, ‘‘You go, and do likewise.’’

Why did the priest and the Levite pass him by?

Numbers 19:11, 12 ‘‘Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days. He shall cleanse himself with the water on the third day and on the seventh day, and so be clean. But if he does not cleanse himself on the third day and on the seventh day, he will not become clean. Numbers 19:21, 22 “And it shall be a statute forever for them. The one who sprinkles the water for impurity shall wash his clothes, and the one who touches the water for impurity shall be unclean until evening. And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.’’

The Priest and the Levite were on the way to the temple to “serve God” so they could not touch an unclean person, dead or alive, or else they could not perform their religious duties! Keeping the Law of cleanliness was more important than helping someone in need. Religion was more important to them than compassion. Jesus was pointing out again how trust in doing deeds and religiously obeying the Law was working against the “weightier matters” of the Law: Loving your neighbor.

Scene 4: The Woman Caught in Adultery..

John 8:2-11 Early in the morning he came again to the temple. All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, ‘‘Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?’’ This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, ‘‘Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.’’ And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, ‘‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’’ She said, ‘‘No one, Lord.’’And Jesus said, ‘‘Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.’’

What did Jesus write in the sand? It might have been the Law:
Leviticus 20:10 If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.
Where was the MAN? First of all, Jesus was pointing their hypocrisy, for even they were not quoting the Law correctly. If they had, they should have brought both the man and the woman. Secondly, if he instead was writing the sins of each person in the sand as they approached him, then they saw their own hearts and sins revealed and left without being able to say a word.

Bonus Scene: What are These?

Matthew 26:33-35 “Peter declared to him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, “Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And so said all the disciples.”

And at Jesus’ trial, Peter denies him three times.
After the crucifixion and resurrection, Peter feels like a failure and goes back to his home and his fishing boats.
What do we do now? … Heck with this stuff, I’m going fishing.

John 21:1-3 “After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. Simon Peter said to them, ‘‘I am going fishing.’’They said to him, ‘‘We will go with you.’’They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.”
John 21:15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’’He said to him, ‘‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’’He said to him, ‘‘Feed my lambs.’’
John 21:18, 19 “truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.’’ (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, ‘‘Follow me.’’

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