“Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And He said to him, “Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well.””
Luke 17:11-19 NKJV
Ten minus one
When I was a new Christian, I used to listen to a radio show entitled “Unshackled,” that featured the stories of truly wicked sinners cooking ti Jesus. These were people who had deeply troubled lives, for whom the name of Jesus had previously been nothing more than a swear word, and in some cases a cause for violence.
These were the stories of people who had been gloriously saved, transformed from sinner to saint. These were not magic stories, m for many of them battled the flesh, but even so the Lord completed His work. I think I like listening to this radio show because my own story was not unlike theirs.
I was one so trapped in sin, that on the day the Lord saved me, I rejoiced greatly, for even on day one, I knew that I would never be the same again.
Reading the story of the ten lepers reminded me that there are some who rejoice in their salvation with gratitude, and others who, take what God has done for granted. In my years sins I said yes to Jesus, I have noticed that some seem more thankful than others.
In the story of the lepers, ten men are headed, but only one returns to thank the Lord. Of the ten, the one is the only gentile. It seems as if the others, likely Jews, did not have the level of rejoicing for the world that God had done for them was taken for granted.
Such a familiar story, as the children of Israel had seen the works of God up close and personal, yet they remained stiff necked, denying the sovereignty of God in their lives. The gentile leper had not the legacy of God’s faithfulness in his life, but when deliverance from his ailment came, he rejoiced and praised the Lord.
I think of Jesus at the dinner party, and the woman makes her way to him to wash his feet with her tears. This woman is known to be a sinner, for even the host, Simon knew of her. As she wept and kissed the feat of Jesus, an act of abject humility, for she had taken the glory of her womanhood and used it to wash the soil from the feet of Jesus.
Jesus was aware of the mocking of the woman, and quizzed Simon on who would be more grateful, using the illustration of one with great debt to a creditor.
“Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.””
Luke 7:43-50 NKJV
She came to the feet of Jesus bear all, even her most precious possessions, and honored the Lord.
So many of us have forgotten the moment when the Lord saved us. That moment when we realized that the sins that had so weighed us down were forgiven. We were like the gentile leper, our lives changed. Leprosy is a type of sin in the Bible, especially in the old testament.
Brothers and sisters, let us not be like the nine lepers who took the healing of the Lord for granted. I know that many of us have seen man y years since that day of salvation. I that still others have come Jesus without the drama, for they have been blessed to have been raised in a Christian home, and came to salvation early.
If there was an advantage in coming to Jesus late in life, it is the contrast between darkness and light. I tell you the truth, my life was truly dark, and when the Lord entered in there was great change.
Let us remember that we were lepers, weighed down by spiritual sickness that is sin. Let us be bold to go and tell of what the Lord has done. The people of the world are in need of Good News, for many are dying each day and going to hell.
Let us be like the four lepers in II Kings, who when they had happened on the abandoned camp of the Syrians, art and drank and enjoyed the spoils , while those in the besieged city were starving.
“Then they said to one another, “We are not doing right. This day is a day of good news, and we remain silent. If we wait until morning light, some punishment will come upon us. Now therefore, come, let us go and tell the king’s household.” So they went and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, saying, “We went to the Syrian camp, and surprisingly no one was there, not a human sound—only horses and donkeys tied, and the tents intact.” And the gatekeepers called out, and they told it to the king’s household inside.”
II Kings 7:9-11 NKJV
My people, we have good news. We bring the healing message of the Gospel to a world that is filled with lepers, much like the one who returned. They have not yet tasted the goodness of God. Let us be diligent in these times to go and tell for to do so is to not do what is right.
The Gospel is remedy for the disease infecting our world. Let us be bold in going and administering it.
Lest we forget:
“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.”
I Corinthians 15:1-9 NKJV
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One thought on “Ten minus one”
Powerful gospel call Bernie. Thank you for your encouragement, my friend. I am praying for you.