JonahYesterday, I was listening to the podcast Jonah from Issues, Etc. and was awed by God's mercy and grace throughout the short book. Think about it:
1. Jonah runs from his duty and God forces the issue with a storm. Not only did the Lord withhold immediate punishment from Jonah, but he ends up witnessing of the Lord's greatness and sovereignty to the sailors, who end up worshiping and making vows.
2. After being thrown overboard, God sends a great fish to swallow Jonah, saving his life and giving him time to repent of his actions, who delivered him to dry ground.
3. Jonah preaches throughout Nineveh, capital city of one of the most bloodthirsty, ruthless nations ever to have existed. Every person from the greatest to least, seeing they deserved God's wrath, repented and fasted from food and water for three days along with their animals, turning away God's wrath.
4. Sullen Jonah was still pouting and complained that the Lord was gracious and merciful, and the Lord took care of him anyway by providing shade, then after removing the shed, teaching Jonah that he is even more merciful and gracious than Jonah understood.
Ten LepersNow if this was not enough, I later listened to Luke 17:11-19, Jesus Heals Ten Lepers. Now, I understood the action of the Samaritan at the end (or so I thought), when the guest explained the full import of Jesus statement, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." This was the prescribed action (Lev 14:2-4), but there is a catch. Only the nine Jews would be allowed before the priest: Samaritans were outcasts and unwelcome in Jerusalem. There would be no approach for examination or to offer the sacrifice for cleansing. The only recourse for this man was to go to God in person:
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.”The Samaritan had faith in the right person, and because of this, he was made complete. It was faith in the Lord Jesus that healed him boday and soul.