But Where Are The Nine?
“And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:15-16, NKJV)
Have you ever been there for someone who was in a desperate situation, only to find that when everything was all over, they didn’t come back to say, “Thank you?”
And so, it was in the case of the Ten Lepers. They frantically cried out to Jesus as He passed through a certain village. (Luke 17:11)
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Luke 17:13)
In response to these men, Jesus said, “God show yourselves to the Priests.” (Luke 17:14)
What an unusual response. You would think that Jesus would have spoken words of healing over these men. Isn’t it possible that the Priests already knew these men had leprosy and knew what they looked like? Also, why would these men show themselves when they knew the leprosy was not gone?
The Ten Lepers knew Jesus’s reputation. They knew His track record. They knew many had been healed by His words, gestures, and conventional and non-conventional actions. These men knew that Jesus could take the foolish things of the world to confound the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27, KJV). So, they started walking by faith based on what they knew about Him. And the scripture says, “…that as they went, they were cleansed.” (Luke 17:14)
In our focus scripture for today, Luke tells us that when one of the men saw he was healed, he returned to Jesus and thanked Him for what He had done. Then, from out of left field, Luke throws in that this man was a Samaritan.
Ugh? Really? Was this important? Was this something that we needed to know?
Evidently so, because if not, Luke would not have mentioned it. The importance is the Jew’s hatred for the Samaritans. For Jesus to go against the culture and heal, whom scripture referred to as a foreigner, was something that a traditional Jewish person would not do. However, Jesus’s response showed a lack of concern for the man’s ethnicity. Instead, Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? (Luke 17:17) How is it that the nine Jews, who are my people, would not come back to say, “Thank You,” and this outsider did?
All ten received their healing, but the one that returned received something more – a transformation of the heart – a heart filled with gratitude and thankfulness.
In this season of thanksgiving, let us not be like the nine Jewish lepers who did not come back to thank Christ. Let’s be intentional in our efforts and daily offer God thanksgiving for the things he does in our lives, from the smallest to the biggest.
“…Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:19b-20, NIV)
Join me next week for more Coffee on The Couch.