Where Are the Other Nine?
Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalm 55:1-8 | Josh 11:1-12:24 | Luke 17:11-37 | Proverbs 13:5-6
Today’s Scripture Focus: Luke 17:11-37
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner? Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:15-19 NIV)
Ten men, feared and ostracized because of their dreaded disease, came to Jesus to be healed. Jesus wasted no time in bringing healing to their leprous bodies. He told them to search out the priest so that they could be declared clean.
One of the men, upon realizing he had been healed returned to Jesus, praising God in a loud voice! He threw himself at Jesus feet and thanked him.
Jesus responded, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
On the one hand, it is hard to imagine how someone who has been a despised outcaste by society, and who had been given a fresh start in such a miraculous way would not respond in praise and thanksgiving. Yet it is easy to take the blessings of God for granted. It is easy for us to think we deserve the good things God has given us. It is easy to get so caught up in the celebration that we forget to give thanks. How quickly we forget to thank and praise God for his blessings; how quickly our rightful gratitude is neglected as we move on in the everyday details of life.
One detail that comes through clearly in Luke’s account is that the one who returns is a Samaritan. The implication is that the other nine were probably Jews. Perhaps they took their status as God’s chosen people for granted and failed to appreciate the blessings. Or maybe they just got so caught up in the celebration that they failed to think about making an appropriate response to the one who had brought healing. In any case, it was the Samaritan—who remained an ethnic outcaste, even as the social stigma of his disease had faded—that went the extra mile and expressed his gratitude in a tangible way.
Don’t take the blessings for granted. Don’t get so caught up in the celebration that you forget to express your gratitude.