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Where are the Nine?
Luke 17: 11/13-17
“And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, [speaking of Jesus] that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as He entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off; and lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus master, Have mercy on us.”
Verse seventeen, Jesus answering said, “Was there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
There were ten men who stood afar off. They were lepers. They had been separated from society by the priest and because of their leprosy, were considered unclean. Have you ever felt that for one reason or another that you had been overlooked and no one seemed to notice or care? I have…while growing up, as a youngster I was short. When I finished High School I was only five feet three inches tall and weighed 115 pounds.
They called me pee-wee through my school years, and when the guys would gather to play basketball I was always the last one chosen. Not because of my skills, but because I was short. Height made a difference. There were times that I felt like an outcast.
Can you imagine how these men must have felt? In the book of Leviticus, chapter thirteen, verses forty-four and forty-five we have these words. “He is a leprous man, he is unclean; the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head. And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, unclean, unclean.”
This dreaded disease slowly ate away at the tissues, to the bones and joints, and even to the marrow, rotting away the whole body piece meal at a time. Destroying the flesh and the inner organs, the hearing, speech and the eyes were affected until at last consumption or dropsy brought a welcome death.
These men came from different backgrounds but yet they belonged to the same society, they were lepers. They were forbidden by law to approach others. “They shall dwell alone; without the camp shall their habitation be.” Perhaps the saddest thing about leprosy is the necessity for separation from the healthy and clean.
Think about it, if they approached someone in society, they did it with a cloth over their lips, a sign of mourning and humiliation and would cry unclean, unclean, acknowledging they were lepers, they had been placed outside the city b the priest, they were unclean.
Sin is like a deadly leprosy which has involved the whole human race in one common ruin. With the visible effect that leprosy has on the body, it illustrates the effects of sin upon the soul of man. In a despicable, dreadful, disgraceful and degrading disease that destroys human life.
Sin is in its early stages like leprosy, has only a few symptoms and discomfort that are noticeable. As for the leprosy, there is no cure. But the sins that we commit there is a cure, through the blood of Jesus Christ. “For if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive or sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness.”
These lepers lived outside the walls of the city, because they were considered unclean. Separated from the pure and clean because their disease was contagious by intimate contact. I suggest to you that many Christians have become affected
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