By Andy Kizer
On His way to Jerusalem Jesus was met by ten lepers to whom He gave this command, “Go and show yourselves to the priests” (Luke 17:14). As they were obeying that command, all ten were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them (one-tenth, ten percent of them) went back to Jesus. He then 1) praised God with a loud voice, 2) fell at Jesus’ feet, and 3) thanked Him. His overall gratitude for his healing must have been the motivation for his worship.
The Lord’s immediate response, as given by Luke, was, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?” He noticed. He observed that of the ten whom He healed only one came to worship. Have you ever wondered, “Where were the nine?”
I would like to know more about this event but only Luke was inspired with this information, and, through it is all we have, it is very brief. Thus, we are left to speculate about the nine. However, because humanity hasn’t changed much since the days our Lord walked the earth, we can speculate because of what we see in the “cleansed” today.
Of the nine, one might have said, “That Jesus has some hypocrites in His company. I don’t care much for Judas. He looks like a ‘shady’ character. Peter is always shooting his mouth off, and James and John seem always to be mad about something. I don’t think I’ll go back to Jesus.”
Another might have said, “I’m too tired to go back to His feet. I’ve had leprosy for a few years. I’ve been sick.” A third could have added, “I can’t wait until I show my wife and kids what just happened to me! Jesus can wait.”
The fourth, “Because of my leprosy I have not been able to work. I’m healed! Now I can go to work in the morning. I’d better get some rest today.”
The first leper had a little different slant o a similar idea. He had been ostracized from society because of his illness, but now that he was clean again, he could socialize. So, he went to a party.
Still another could have said, “He won’t miss me.” After all, there were ten of us. Jesus won’t even notice that I did not go to Him to show gratitude.”
The “entitled” one said, “It’s almost time!”
The eighth might have thought, “I can thank Him later. In the meantime, I will think of Him while I am at home. Does it really matter whether I appear before Him or not?”
Finally, one opined, “If I go back there, Jesus will just preach to me about the kingdom and being prepared or something about sacrifice, and I don’t want to hear it.”
To only one did Jesus say, “Your faith has made you well.”
- via the weekly bulletin of the Lebanon Road church of Christ in Nashville, TN. Adam Faughn serves as the pulpit minister for the congregation, and he may be contacted through the congregation’s website at: http://www.lebanonroadchurchofchrist.org