Where Are The Nine?
Updated: May 25, 2020
By bro Lee Tian Seng
It has been many years since I obeyed the Gospel. I still remember how lowly and worthless I felt before God when I went forward after a sermon to be baptised for the remission of my sins. After I was baptised at a beach at East Coast, I was filled with joy for several days. I keep this joy in my heart. O happy day, happy day when Jesus washed my sins away. Some of us have been Christians for many years too. Do you remember what Jesus did for you when you were baptised? Are you still thankful for the fact that He saved you from your sins? The account of the healing of the 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19 is a valuable lesson. Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem when He met them standing outside a village. Let us look at what they did and how our Lord healed them. 1. The lepers stood afar off Being unclean, the lepers were required by law to keep their distance. They could not go near to those without leprosy. Sin is like leprosy – sin separates men from God (Isa. 59:1-2). Before we were washed by the cleansing blood of Jesus, we were unclean. We could not approach God because of sin.
2. The lepers cried out to Jesus The lepers cried, “have mercy on us”. They knew their disease and physical condition was incurable (at that time) and infectious. They were also socially despised and rejected (we note that they were standing outside the village when Jesus saw them). Knowing their dreadful condition, they cried to Jesus to be merciful to them. Do you realise how hopeless and lost we were spiritually when we were in sin? (Acts 22:16; Rom 6:23; Eph 2:11-12) Do you remember how earnestly you sought Jesus for forgiveness? 3. The lepers obeyed Jesus
Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem, but He cared to stop to help the lepers. When Jesus heard their cry, He asked them to “go shew yourselves unto the priests”. His commandment implied that they would be healed. They had not been healed at that time, yet they went to see the priest as instructed, to demonstrate to the priest that they were healed and obtain permission to return to human society. They were still unclean, and it was by faith that they went to see the priests. Did you seek Jesus by faith when you were in your sins? Yes, like the lepers, we obeyed His commandment to believe, repent, confess and be baptised. (Mk 16:16; Rom 10:9; 1 Pet 3:21)
4. The lepers were healed The lepers were healed when they were on their way to the priest. They were happy to receive cleansing. They could now enjoy good physical health and be reunited with their families. When our sins are forgiven, we too are joyful that our burden of sin has been taken away. (Matt 11:28-30; Acts 8:39) We enjoy the new life that God blessed us with, and the new relationship with God and our brethren. 5. The lepers did not return to thank Jesus, except one. Only one leper remembered it was Jesus who healed all of them. The verse tells us he was a Samaritan. He turned back and glorified God with a loud voice. He was joyous and humbly fell down on his face at Jesus’ feet, worshipping Him.
What do we do after we have been saved from our sins? Are we like this leper who glorified God and was thankful? Are we still obeying God's word as He had commanded? (Acts 2:42, 47)
“Where are the nine?” Are we like them?
The nine were forgetful of what Jesus did for them. Are we ungrateful for all the spiritual blessings that God gave us in Christ Jesus?
The nine were distracted. Perhaps they were too busy spending time with their families and friends. Perhaps they went looking for a job. They could have forgotten to be thankful to God. Are we distracted by so many cares in our lives that we fail to worship God?
The nine were proud. The Jews often saw themselves as righteous. They did not see that Jesus healed them by the power of God. They did not see the need for spiritual healing too. Do we take the righteousness of God for nothing? Do we think we are doing well because of our own righteousness?
Let us consider why we may often be like the nine lepers. When we ought to worship God on Sunday, what causes us to be absent? Is it because we cannot wake up on time? Is it because of our work? Is it because of another appointment we do not wish to miss? Would Jesus also say about us, “where are the nine?” Let us be like the Samaritan leper, who turned back to be right with God and remembered the joy of salvation. “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” (Acts 2:28)