Where Are the Other Nine?
“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!’ When he saw them, he said, ‘Go, show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him -- and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well.’” (Luke 17:12-19, NIV)
We read that Jesus healed all 10 lepers from their physical disease, but only one (a Samaritan who was hanging out with a group of lepers who were Jews) was healed from his spiritual sickness and death. The other nine (Jews who were God’s chosen people) failed to return and give praise and thanksgiving for their physical healing. Their hardened hearts caused them to miss the precious gift of salvation and eternal life. While their bodies were healed, their souls remained sick and lost. The one who returned and fell at Jesus’ feet to give Him praise received a greater gift – the gift of salvation. He was well, whole in body and spirit.
As I grow spiritually, the more I am dismayed at man’s hardened hearts especially in the body of Christ. Why is it that: (1) only 20% of Christians tithe, while 80% refuse to honor God with tithes and offerings? (2) many come to church every Sunday, but remain “pew sitters” for years without ever stepping up to serve? (3) many volunteers only want to serve when it is convenient or insist on doing “what they want to do” instead of filling a need?
Child of God, are you, like the Samaritan, pursuing God with joy and a thankful heart? Do you serve Him faithfully with your time and your money? Ask God to speak and reveal any area of your life where your heart is hardened and you are broken. Cry out and surrender it to Jesus. Listen for His voice as He speaks, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Don’t forget to return and with a loud voice give Him praise and thanksgiving.
Lord, thank you for this lesson on praise and thanksgiving. Jesus, soften my heart and help me remember each day that all I have comes from you. Jesus, you are the cure for every area of sickness and brokenness in my life. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.