WHERE ARE THE NINE?
LUKE 17:12-18 NKJ
12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
17 So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?”
Jesus asked a great question. Ten men had asked Him for mercy. Lepers were not allowed to come close to the public due to the contagious nature of their disease. Jesus gave them instructions, go present yourself to the priest. This was an Old Testament law that priests were the ones who could declare a leper cleansed. As these ten men obeyed Jesus' words, they were healed. It is very significant that as they went, acted, they were healed. If they had waited to be healed first, the outcome would not have been the same.
What is also significant is that only one came back to give thanks - one out of ten. We don't know why the others did not return, but Jesus was looking for them, thus His question where are the nine.
I don't think we can make a case for only 10% of the population being grateful. But I do wonder what that percentage is. How easy it is to be so caught up with the things of day-to-day life that we forget to give thanks. And yet, of all people, we should be most grateful. Grateful for our salvation. Grateful for God's help and His mercy. Grateful for the blessings we encounter every day.
Being grateful and expressing thanks may not come naturally, so we need to be intentional about turning around in our busyness to stop and express thanks. I want to be the one who turns back, not the nine Jesus is asking about.
Thank you, Lord, for Your mercy, grace, help, and the blessings that come my way every day. I am eternally and consistently grateful.