And Jesus answering said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? There was not found one that returned to give glory to God, except this stranger” –Luke 17:17-18.
Observe:  Ten were cleansed but only one returned to give thanks. The missing nine probably were Jews. Perhaps, they got so excited to get a release from the priests so they could reunite with their respective families. Perhaps, they had to finish the strict ceremony for purification (Leviticus 13) that they forgot the most important thing- to return to Jesus and thank Him. The Jews called themselves children of God and rightfully so but at the first instance of healing, turning back to the Lord was not their instinctive priority. Rev. Matthew Henry commented allow me to paraphrase: “Ingratitude is a very common sin. Of the many that receive mercy from God, very few return to give thanks in a manner befitting the grace that they have received. Often those who prove most grateful are those from whom it is least expected. Here a Samaritan gave thanks, while the Jews did not. Sometimes, many who profess true religion are out-done and quite shamed, by those who are outside the church, not only in moral value but also in piety and devotion… it also shows the ingratitude of the world of humanity, for whom he had done so much, and yet from whom he has received so little”.
There is hymn by Frances Havergal, “I gave, I gave my life for thee; what hast thou given for me?” The Lord’s mercies are for all because it is His nature to show mercy. As children of God, let us all possess a nature of faithfulness in our expressions of our gratitude for “He (the Lord) who has called us is faithful”- Hebrews 10:23, even when we are faithless, 2 Timothy 2:13 says. Although, this should not give us a reason to be complacent but be for us an encouragement to be faithful. In the last days, 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, men will be selfish, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful and unholy. Let us guard ourselves from being one of those unthankful people by keeping our focus on Christ, the Author and Perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). The Lord looked for the nine. It means He expects each one of us to return to Him with thanksgiving.
to be continued…
Puyallup United Methodist Church Online Ministry -November 22, 2009