Summary: One day, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one of them returned to give thanks. Where are the other nine?
BUT WHERE ARE THE NINE?
“Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy… Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!” (Psalm 107:1-2,8,). Five times in this Psalm that last phrase is repeated…
INTRO TO TOPIC:
• Many people are unthankful, even those who have been radically saved by God’s grace.
• We are like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.” As Christians, we need to cultivate the virtue of thankfulness in our lives.
KEY TEXT: (Luke 17:11-19).
“11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 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?" 19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
THE BIG IDEA: One day, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one of them returned to give thanks. Where are the other nine?
1. THE CONDITION OF THESE TEN LEPERS:
• “As Jesus entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers…” (v.12).
• Leprosy was a horrible disease – pain in the body, separation from other people.
• “Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, 'Unclean! Unclean!' He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.” (Lev. 13:45-46).
• “Lepers… who stood afar off…” (v. 12b).
• These lepers never knew a loving touch or face to face interaction with people.
2. THE LEPERS CRY OUT TO JESUS THE HEALER:
• “They lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (v.13).
• They had no doubt heard about the miracles that Jesus had performed, healing the sick.
• No matter what desperate situation you find yourself in your life, GO TO JESUS.
• These ten lepers went to Jesus, and they weren’t disappointed. Jesus is mighty to save!
• “So when He saw them…” Notice that Jesus is the God who sees. He sees YOU today!
• “Jesus said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.” They received their miracle from Jesus!
• I want to proclaim the Gospel today! Jesus is the Saviour – He will forgive your sins! And Jesus is the Healer – He will heal your sicknesses! But you must come to Him…
3. BUT WHERE ARE THE NINE?
• How did these lepers respond? Out of the ten people who were healed, only one of them returned to Jesus to thank and praise Him.
• “So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
QUOTE: “The sad thing about it is that nine of them, though they were healed, went on their way to the priests in the coolest possible manner – we never hear of their return – they drop out of the story altogether. They have obtained a blessing, they go their way and that is the end of them… If you search the world around, among all choice spices you shall scarcely meet with the frankincense of gratitude. It ought to be as common as the dewdrops that hang upon the hedges in the morning but, alas, the world is dry of thankfulness to God! Gratitude to Christ was scarcely enough in His own day!” (Charles Spurgeon, Praise Neglected).
• 9 out of 10 lepers were content with blessings from Jesus.
• What a sad picture this is of the many people in the church who receive the blessings of Jesus, but never return and give thanks to Him!