Christ is the Object of Thanksgiving (Rebroadcast)


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Rev. Sam Wirgau, pastor at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ossian, IN joins host Rev. Timothy Appel to study Luke 17:11-19.

Samaria was not a place where many Jews of Jesus’ day ventured, but that is exactly the route Jesus took to Jerusalem and His cross. There Jesus encountered ten lepers. These men not only suffered greatly physically from this terrible illness. Even more than that, they were separated from their community and worship life through the ceremonial uncleanness they endured. This served as a picture of the sin that infects all people. That’s why these ten lepers cry out to Jesus for mercy, His grace and compassion that alone can heal and save. Jesus sends them to show themselves to the priest, and as they go, His Word effects healing. One recognizes what has happened and believes. He returns to Jesus as the true Temple, the place where God dwells in human flesh. He returns to Jesus as the true Priest, the one who makes the final sacrifice for sin. He praises God by giving praise and thanks to Jesus. The Lord marvels at the faith of this Samaritan. Though he had been a foreigner, by faith, he is now a citizen of Jesus’ heavenly kingdom. Jesus calls him to join Him on the journey of discipleship with Him, holding onto the faith that has made him well. This text invites us to do far more than simply make sure we go back to Jesus to tell Him, “Thank you,” as some sort of formality. Instead, this text calls us to the same faith as that one leper, recognizing that Jesus is the one true God in our human flesh to whom belongs all our praise and thanks for His gift of cleansing from sin.

This is a rebroadcast from November 29, 2019.

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