Where Are The Nine?
A sermon preached on Sunday Morning, July 28, 2002 at Calvary Baptist Church
by Pastor Christopher W. Burke
11 ∂ And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12† And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13† And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14† And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15† And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16† And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17† And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18† There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19† And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
The truest and most sincere display of thanksgiving is worship and praise to the Savior, and the truest form of worship and praise is thanksgiving to the Savior. Fulfilling the letter of the law is good and important, but not as important as true and sincere thanksgiving and worship.
This story in our text is amazing to me. It is hard to believe that men who were miraculously healed by the Lord of their deadly disease of leprosy, could be so unthankful and ungrateful as these men were. But this is a representation of humanity as a whole, and of mankindís ingratitude to God for all that He does for them.
Who is this sermon for? It is for you who are here in Godís house this morning. It is of no benefit to preach to those outside of these walls, out there in the world, or to those church members who are not hear, but I must preach to you and I who are here this morning. We are the ones that God desires to exhort by His message here this morning. So may we receive the message with humility of heart and mind. And may the power of the blessed Holy Spirit help each of us to apply the message to our souls and to our lives.
We have five points we want to observe from our text this morning. Let us notice:
1.† Who are the recipients of Godís blessings?
-Our heavenly Father causes the sun to shine and the rain to fall on the just and unjust.
(Matt. 5:45). All men enjoy the benefits of the creation, though they deny it.
-He provides life, and health, and wealth to the unjust as well as to the just.
-The Lord heals the infirmities of the unjust as well as just, such as those in our text.
-Our Lord hears the prayers offered in behalf of the unjust as well as the just.
-All men of the world who have any good thing are blessed of the Lord.
2.† How many people are truly thankful for the blessings of the Lord?
-In our text, one out of ten (or 10%) who received healing from the Lord were thankful.
-How many are thankful to God for all the blessings of life?
††††††††††††††††††† -Donít sinners know that every good and perfect gift comes down from
the Father of lights with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning?† Yet how many thank the Lord for His manifold blessings?
-How many people who are raised up from beds of affliction are thankful to God
for their healing. Donít sinners know that all healing is from the Lord? In
our text, one out of ten were thankful and gave God glory? I donít believe there are even that many today who are thankful for the Lordís Healing! (Give example of Spurgeonís day).
-How many people who receive some carnal need from the Lord are thankful?
How many who receive healing of marriage problems or other family
problems healed; or mental, emotional or spiritual problems are thankful?† Donít sinners know that the Lord is the healer of broken hearts, and of lifeís many problems? But how many are thankful? Where are the nine!
††††††††† -What about those people who request prayer from the church, when their prayers
are answered, how many turn back and thank Jesus and worship Him for
answered prayer? Beloved, where are the nine? Yet the Lord in His sovereign mercy heals and provides the wants and needs of the unthankful and the ungrateful, and the unregenerate, as well as for the elect.
††††††††† -What about those who profess spiritual healing of their souls and spirits? How
many who claim to know Jesus as their Savior, return to give Him thanks and worship Him for shedding His blood for them, for saving their wretched souls from the relentless flames of eternal hell? Where are the other nine who say they are redeemed by the blood of the lamb of God? Where are those professors of religion who say they believe on Jesus, who say they know Him in the free pardon and remission of sins? Where are the nine who say their souls were healed in the fountain filled with blood?
3.† Who are the people that are thankful for the Lordís blessings?
Those who are of a religious upbringing are often the least thankful and appreciative. Those who are raised up under the manifold privileges and blessings of God, often are the least thankful! This was the case of the other nine in our text who returned not again to the Lord to give Him thanks and worship Him. It is implied that they were Jews, the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, who were raised up under the teaching of Jehovah God! They heard of His power and might to heal and deliver. They heard of His power to save sinners. They were privileged to hear the teaching of their parents, and to hear the Word of God taught and read in the temple and the synagogues. Yet they returned not to give thanks to their promised Messiah, even thought they also called Him their Master!
Yes beloved, the most thankful and most appreciative people, are often times the greatest sinners in this world, who have been forgiven much! Those who cry out from the very depths of sin and shame. Those who have no hope, and are without God in the world. Those sinners who see themselves as the chief as sinners, and unworthy of the least of Godís blessings. Those who see themselves as depraved, vile, and undone, and worthy of the wrath of God upon their sins. Those who cry out from a sincere and penitent heart: ďLord, have mercy on me a sinnerĒ. Yes, they shall find mercy. They shall find healing for their soul. And yes, they are the ones who shall return again to thank Jesus, and praise Him and worship Him for saving their miserable souls! Yet again we ask, where are the other nine professors of salvation in Christ?
4.† How do people today offer true thanksgiving and praise to God for His blessings?
Thanksgiving and praise are offered up through the Lordís church: ďUnto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.Ē (Eph. 3:21).† God doesnít receive thanksgiving and worship just any way, beloved. The highest form of thanksgiving and worship today is offered through His church. The one cleansed leper in our text returned to Jesus in the midst of His church, of which Jesus was the Head and Founder. Today people who truly want to show their thankfulness and gratitude, will come to Jesus in and through His church, which was designed for this very purpose. This was the Lordís design, that those who are spiritually healed from the curse of their sins, and receive eternal life by faith in His Name, that they should worship Him and praise Him and thank Him by assembling in His Church. But again I ask, where are the nine?
5.† Why are people unthankful to the Lord for His blessings?
-Unthankfulness is a characteristic of the natural, unregenerate heart (Romans 1:21).† Men by nature are unthankful to God. They refuse to see and acknowledge His power and blessings in their lives. Natural men praise themselves, they praise other men, and they praise and worship the creation, but they do not and will not praise the God of creation.
-Unthankflness is especially a characteristic of men in the last days 2 Tim 3:1-5:
1† This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2† For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3† Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4† Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5† Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Oh beloved, how we see this fulfilled in our very eyes. How unthankful people are today!
What about those of us who profess salvation in Christ Jesus, who are members of one of the Lordís true local New Testament churches? Are we thankful? Do we show our thankfulness and gratitude to Jesus for saving us from our sins? May we search our hearts this morning. Are we as thankful as we ought to be? Are we faithful to the Lord and His house? Do we serve Him faithfully out of a heart of love and gratitude for all that He has done for us? Again I ask in closing; where are the nine church members who profess to be saved by the grace of God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ this morning?