Summary: we have one of the saddest questions asked by Jesus, maybe in the entire Bible and that is, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
Where are the nine
I want to talk to you about Scripture that we all are familiar with and that is the text found in Luke 17:11-19 (quickview) . You find in that text that Jesus heals 10 lepers. There is nothing unusual about Jesus healing people because we know though out the New Testament we see Jesus healing people with terminal diseases because He is the mighty physician.
Here in our text we find 10 men who are held together only for the disease they have. In that day leprosy could not be healed. When someone had this dreadful and deadly disease, it only meant one thing and that was that death was sure. It meant that when someone had this disease he was moved away from his friends and family into a valley that housed only lepers. The only thing that he witnessed in that valley is pain and watching others die of the same disease that he had. He would be there just waiting his time to die.
But one day Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and passed through Samaria and was met with ten lepers crying to Him and asking for healing. They wanted healing from a sure death. They wanted healing that they could go back and be with their families. Jesus said to them to go and show their selves to the priest and while they were on their way they all were healed of this dreadful and deadly disease. One of the ten when he realized he was healed went back and through himself at the feet of Jesus and glorified God for his healing. Then we have one of the saddest questions asked by Jesus, maybe in the entire Bible and that is, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
It isn’t only the saddest question found in the Bible but also one of the most surprising questions asked in the Bible. Haven’t you ever wondered what happened to the nine that went their own way never thanking Jesus for their cleansing?
I have thought about that often. I don’t think I have ever read this text without wondering what happened to the nine. I wonder if we can find them somewhere else in the Scriptures. But listen, the New Testament word leprosy is symbolic to sin in ones life. So, everyone that knows Jesus as his Savior has been healed of that dreadful and deadly disease leprosy or sin.
Can you imagine how thrilled theses lepers were when Jesus delivered them from the deadly disease of leprosy? That meant that they got to go back home and be with their loved ones. That meant that they no longer had to stay in the camp of the dying. It meant that they did not have to keep their faces covered and shout unclean whenever someone got within 50 feet of them. They were healed of their disease by the mighty work of Jesus and yet 90% went their way and never gave thanks to the Lord.
Do you know people who have been saved and their sins forgiven and yet by their lifestyle no one would ever know it? We must say that 90% of the lepers were selfish and self-centered thinking only of themselves. Would it surprise you to find out that many who have been forgiven of their sins and on their way to heaven never give Jesus thanks? Doesn’t it bother you in the least to know that many of those who have been forgiven of their sins and on their way to heaven don’t follow Jesus at all? Where are the nine?