Where Are the Nine?

Where Are the Nine?

Similarities and differences. In any group of people, you will probably find similarities and differences. This is true in a third grade classroom, in a boardroom of executives, on a football field, in a grocery store, etc., etc. This was also true of groups of people that Jesus encountered.

In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus met ten men. Now let’s consider their similarities and their differences. Similarities: all ten were men, all were lepers, all stood afar off, all asked Jesus for mercy, all were told by Jesus to go to the priests, all went to the priests, all were cleansed of their leprosy, all realized that they were cleansed of their leprosy. Differences: only one returned to Jesus, only one glorified God, only one gave thanks to Jesus, it appears that this one man was a Samaritan and the other nine may have been Jews. What’s the point?

First, consider the similarity of the transformation that has occurred in all lives of New Testament Christians. At one time, we all “stood afar off” (Luke 17:12) in our sins (Eph. 2:13). We could not come near because of our sinful choices (Isa. 59:1-2). But, when we called (Luke 17:13) upon the name of the Lord in repentance and baptism (Acts 2:21, 38; 22:16), we were all “cleansed” (Luke 17:14; 1 Cor. 6:11; Eph. 5:26). Like the Ethiopian treasurer, we went on our way rejoicing (Acts 8:39), having our sins blotted out by the blood of Jesus. Our lives were changed immensely and eternally.

Second, however, consider the differences in our responses. As in Luke 17, not everyone who was “healed” of our souls’ diseases “returned.” Some were baptized, but then went back to their old life, without making much change at all. Some were baptized, but made only a few modifications in their lives, where such were convenient or not overly troublesome. Some became active members of the Lord’s body for a while, only to get distracted and fall away later. Some pressed on, kept on seeing that they were continually healed, and they continually returned to glorify God and thank Christ.

Which group are you in? In Luke 17, Jesus questioned, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (17:17). Are you among the majority (i.e., in the nine) who are likely thankful for what the Lord has done but have other things to do? Are you among the minority (i.e., in the one) who find it more important to be with the Lord and glorify God than any other thing in this life?

In any group in which you will find yourself, there will be similarities and there will be differences. But, ask yourself this question, “Do I share similarities or do I share differences with Jesus Himself?” That is the wise comparison to make!

-David Sproule


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *