Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

The One or the Nine?

LUKE 17:11-19 – On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”


THEME OF THE DAY:  THE ONE OR THE NINE? Today’s scripture is one of those riveting accounts in the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus we cannot simply read and move on.  It isn’t like reading of Peter stepping out of the boat, walking on the water toward the Lord, getting his eyes off Jesus, beginning to sink, receiving the saving Hand of the Lord lifting him out of the depths, getting back on top of the water, and returning to the boat.  I mean, tell me the last time such a dramatic experience and encounter with the Lord happened in your life.  Never. But today’s scripture is quite different.  It pulls us into the account.  It also “forces” us to make a choice by asking the question, “Would I be the one who stayed back, worshipped the Lord, and gave Him thanks for His healing touch?” Or “Would I be the one who took for granted the unmerited grace of the Lord Jesus in healing me and simply just go on with life?”  Yes, this account is serious and that for two reasons.


First, the giving of thanks to the Lord is a command of the Lord to obey, not an option to neglect – Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  And oh the ease we face in taking God’s daily gifts of grace for granted!  If we doubt my last statement, stop and look over the past three days, how often did we thank God for food, protection, safety, a roof over our heads, clothes on our bodies, family, church, the Bible, salvation, the air we breathe . . . and the list goes on and on.  The healthy Christian is overwhelmed with God’s undeserved goodness and lives in the spirit of thanksgiving.  In fact, it is expressed often throughout each day of our lives, that is if we are spiritually in a good place.


Another heart-penetrating truth about thanksgiving to the Lord is its place in affirming we are filled with the Holy Spirit and thus walking under His control – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ (Ephesians 5:18-21).  The evidence of being filled with God’s Holy Spirit is not speaking in tongues, using a spiritual gift, or having some spiritual experience or feeling. It is living in worshipful harmony with other believers, a life of consistent thanksgiving to the Lord, mutual submission to other believers, and walking in the fear of the Lord.


So, are you, am I, in the leper crowd of one or of the nine?  Let’s strive to ensure we are not in the majority and that by living lives of worship and thanksgiving to the Lord who is so worthy of both!


PRAYER: “Father, guard my heart that is prone to wander from taking for granted all Your rich blessings in my life.”


QUOTE: “The giving of thanks to the Lord is a command to obey, and a privilege we get to enjoy.”


In the affection of Christ Jesus,


Pastor Jim