Let's Go Back to the Bible

“Where Are the Nine?”

Jesus healed many but few returned to show gratitude. On one occasion Jesus healed ten men with leprosy—a disease that produced years of indescribable misery, advancing slowly but surely, as it destroyed the body. Ten such leprous men stood afar off and pleaded with Jesus to have mercy on them (Luke 17:11, 13). The Lord healed them (Luke 17:14). It was necessary that a healed leper go to the Jewish priest to be restored (Lev. 14:1-32). That is why Christ commanded that the lepers go show themselves unto the priests (Luke 17:14). However, only one of the ten turned back and thanked Jesus for this new lease on life (Luke 17:16), and he was a Samaritan, a man least expected to express gratitude to the Lord. Jesus asked, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine where are they?” (Luke 17:17). The question concerns gratitude.

Ingratitude is a blight on a gracious act of kindness. The unrighteous are described as, “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks” (Rom. 1:21).  It characterizes a rebellious people in the last days, “For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy” (2 Tim. 3:2). Prosperity often gives way to ingratitude. Man seldom ever appreciates the well until it runs dry.

We should ask the question of ourselves, “Are we grateful?” We are the recipients of a thousand blessings daily, both spiritual and physical (Eph. 1:3; Jas. 1:5, 17). But, we often forget the One that cares for us (Acts 17:25). When do we show our gratitude? We are blessed with six days to work, and what do we do when the church gathers to worship (Acts 20:7)? Where are the nine?  When we offer the fruit of our lips in song and thanks, where are the nine (Heb. 13:15)? When the contribution plates are passed, where are the nine (1 Cor. 16:2)? When there is work to be done at the building, gospel meetings, campaigns, service in His name, where are the nine? Paul’s being saved caused him to feel that he was a debtor to others who needed to be rescued. He said, “I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome” (Rom. 1:14-15).

“Be thankful” is a command of God (Col. 3:15). “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). There are so many little, everyday things to remind us of our blessings. It is important that we remember and show our gratitude to the One who provides us with everything. Where are the nine? They should be counting their blessings and returning service.