Where Are the Other Nine?

Rembrandt – Jesus Healing the Leper

Recorded only in Luke’s gospel is the story of Jesus’ encounter with ten lepers while on His way to Jerusalem.  When they saw Him, the ostracized, disenfranchised lepers all cried, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  Jesus did just that.  And then He instructed them to follow through with the Law by showing themselves to the priests.

It’s a wonderful story that could’ve ended there – but it didn’t. 

We pick it up in verse 15 –

“One of [the lepers], 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’ reply is striking.  He doesn’t say, “You’re welcome.”  Instead, he asks the man,

‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?” 

Every time I read that passage my heart is filled with conviction.  Because I know, as I am constantly distracted by the cares of everyday life, I simply forget to tell the Lord “thank you.”

And, apparently, Jesus notices.

I believe that’s the case with most Christians.  It’s not that we’re not grateful.  It’s that we’re busy – and we simply forget to stop and tell the Lord “thank you.”

Psalm 100:4, tells us to

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving.”

Based on this imagery, one author wrote,

“thanksgiving is the gateway to worshiping God” – the very entrance into holy, intimate fellowship with the King.

A humble attitude of thanksgiving escorts us to “holy ground.”

Soon, we celebrate that North American holiday we call “Thanksgiving.”

And, like that one leper in Luke 17, may we never, ever forget to simply stop and tell the Lord “thank you.”

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick