“Where are the nine?”
Where are the nine? —Luke 17:17
Read Luke 17:11-19
Perhaps, at one time or another, you earnestly prayed for some-thing, and God heard and answered your prayer. But, remarkably, you forgot to give thanks. The same thing occurs in today’s text.
Ten leprous men, shunned by society and removed from their families, could not come near the Lord Jesus, so they called out to Him from some distance. This must have been difficult, since a leper’s voice usually becomes very hoarse as the disease progresses. They cried out for mercy, but they did not deserve to be heard by the Lord, because they were lepers and therefore, unclean.
Jesus gave these men a command that must have seemed very peculiar to them, to go to the priest in their deplorable condition. The Lord demanded obedience from them and also blessed it. As they made their way to the place where the priest could be found, they were healed. Matthew Henry writes in his commentary on this passage that if we do what we can, then God will do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. But only one leper went back to the Lord to give thanks, and he was a Samaritan (v.16). He provided a moving example for the people of Israel, praising God with a loud voice (v.15) and falling down at His feet. This was true worship. When God becomes great in our lives, we become small.
But where were the nine? Are you one of the nine, or are you the one who returned?
What do we learn from the Lord Jesus’ question about the nine?