Where Are The Nine?

“And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?”

Luke 17:17


  1. Our nation’s holiday of Thanksgiving is a week away, in which we can glorify God by giving thanks.
  2. There are free handouts on the table for your use, and the top document on our website’s homepage.
  3. Rather than nominal or doctrinal Christians, let us be exceptional Christians by much thanksgiving.

The Text: Luke 17:11-19

17:11 As he went to Jerusalem.

Jesus had His face set to go to Jerusalem and die for our sins (Luke 9:51-52).

As you go about your daily business, the God of providence can and will direct your path.

A Samaritan journeying on a Jerusalem road found a wounded Jew (Luke 10:25-37).

17:11 That he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.

Though He had the great goal of our salvation, He chose a route involving 10 lepers.

Galilee is about 80 miles north of Jerusalem, so He had a lengthy trip by walking.

This territory that He passed through explains that the people were Jews and Samaritans.

17:12 As he entered into a certain village.

There is no village or person that is not under the singular notice of God – even sparrows.

There are no chance events in a world governed by God (I Kgs 22:34; Pr 16:33; Ru 2:3).

17:12 There met him ten men that were lepers.

This certain village had a purpose – ten lepers were there who were sick and needed help.

Leprosy was a terrible disease that was incurable to man and destructive inside and out.

God gave good laws to Moses for quarantining lepers away from society (Lev 13:1-46).

17:12 Which stood afar off.

They were segregated from society and lived in leper colonies, crying out, “Unclean.”

No one could do anything much for them, and no one wanted much to do with them.

17:13 And they lifted up their voices.

It is the effectual fervent pray of a righteous man that avails much (Jas 5:16). Cry out!

Do you lift up your voice to the God of heaven for help, as for wisdom in Proverbs 2:3?

God heard Israel’s sighing, crying, and groaning, when they were in Egypt (Ex 2:23-25).

David described himself as a poor man crying for help and the Lord hearing (Ps 34:6).

God heard Jonah when he cried unto the Lord out of the belly of the whale (Jonah 2:2).

17:13 And said, Jesus, master.

There is only one real Healer – Jesus Christ the Son of God and our Creator.

They called Him Master – for He is the Master of disease, storms, death, etc.! Glory!

If they had heard Him teach that He was the only master, we do not know (Matt 23:10).

Though He was not a formal master in Israel, he was to those with faith (John 3:1-2).

17:13 Have mercy on us.

God’s healing is pure mercy, for we chose death and dying in the Garden of Eden.

God’s healing is pure mercy, for we do not deserve the least of His blessings (Ge 32:10).

God is merciful to those who beg for mercy, as did these ten lepers. Never forget this.

17:14 And when He saw them

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous – He does see and hear you (Ps 33:18; 34:15).

There was much to take our Lord’s sight and interest, but He did not miss the ten lepers.

Lost Hagar, Egyptian slave, gave God a new name … “Thou God seest me” (Gen 16:13).

17:14 He said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests.

The rule of the scriptures was for the priests to confirm and verify that leprosy was gone.

If the Bible says to do something, do it! Do not consider the difficulties (Rom 4:17-21).

His word is enough! “What a word is this” (Lu 4:36)! “Speak the word only” (Matt 8:8)!

17:14 And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.

When they obeyed His command to show their healing, they were healed from leprosy!

There was no remedy given or therapy applied – the word of the Creator was enough!

When God tells you to do something in the Bible, do it and trust the results to His word.

17:15 And one of them.

Only one of these ten healed lepers, with brand new skin and health, was truly thankful.

Disgracefully and horribly, one out of ten, or 10%, is often the ratio of the very thankful.

One out of ten was truly thankful, and one out of ten in most churches is truly thankful.

17:15 When he saw that he was healed.

You must take the time to realize and identify God’s blessings and mercies (Ps 34:8).

You must take the time to remember God’s blessings and mercies (Ps 77:11; 111:4).

We do not foolishly sing in vain, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one.”

17:15 Turned back.

Real thanksgiving will require you to stop what you are doing to give thanks.

Real thanksgiving will require you to turn to the Lord and/or His people to do it.

17:15 And with a loud voice.

How thankful are you? If your thanksgiving were measured by volume, are you?

How thankful are you? If your thanksgiving were measured by passion, are you?

It is your voice that must be used in giving thanks. It is not enough to just be thankful.

17:15 Glorified God.

God has an infinite degree of glory … but we can verbally describe it and promote it!

God has an infinite degree of glory … but our praise magnifies God (makes Him larger)!

We give all glory to God and to no man, for He is the Fountain and Source of blessings.

17:16 And fell down on his face at his feet

Total humility is the spirit of thanksgiving – not worthy of anything, as Jacob (Ge 32:10).

Are you willing, and do you totally, submit to Jesus Christ as Lord of your entire life?

Humble yourself before God, and He will lift you up and exalt you in due time (Jas 4:10).

17:16 Giving him thanks.

It is not enough to be thankful. The Lord wants us to verbalize and declare our thanks.

Thanksgiving is giving thanks. This point seems trite, but you must give thanks to God.

17:16 And he was a Samaritan.

The Jews and the Samaritans despised each other racially and culturally (John 4:9; 8:48).

Jesus healed a Samaritan – half-breeds that rejected Jerusalem (II Kgs 17:1-41; Jn 4:20).

Your background or accomplishments do not matter – Jesus can hear and heal you.

If the other nine were Jews, it was a man despised by Israel that showed a godly heart.

17:17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed?

Jesus knew how many He healed; but for effect and conviction, He asked the question.

All man, elect and reprobate, enjoy many good things from God, but few give thanks.

Because the world is not thankful, He rewires their brains for sodomy (Rom 1:21-28).

17:17 But where are the nine?

These words should convict and provoke us very much, lest we be unthankful as the nine.

Where should the nine have been? Where is your heart tonight? Where is your mouth?

The Lord rightfully and righteously expects thanksgiving, so let us not be of the nine!

17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God.

The blessed God does much for all men, including His enemies, but very few give thanks.

Here is one of the simplest ways to be exceptional before God – give Him much thanks!

What does it mean to glorify God (17:15)? It means to give Him glory – verbal praise!

17:18 Save this stranger.

Jesus humbled the audience by commending the Samaritan and condemning the Jews.

The only one that gave thanks had an inferior religion in the minds of the proud Jews.

17:19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way.

When you have given thanks, then you are free to go on your way, but not until.

Jesus graciously receives and sends the thankful into life with His blessing. Lord, hear us.

17:19 Thy faith hath made thee whole.

It was the creative and restorative power of Christ that made the Samaritan whole.

But it was the faith of the Samaritan that God rewarded, which we believe (Heb 11:6).

The Application

  1. Praise and thanksgiving are the verbal (words) sacrifices of God (Ps 69:30-31; Hos 14:1-3).
  2. This is the same form of worship that God seeks in the New Testament (Hebrews 13:15).
  3. Thanksgiving is most certainly God’s will for you as a Christian (I Thessalonians 5:18).


  1. We reject the pagan holidays of Rome, but we embrace the American holiday of Thanksgiving.
  2. We should make a big deal about Thanksgiving for the Lord’s sake, our children, and our enemies.
  3. Giving thanks is an inexpensive, easy, and wonderful way to give exceptional worship to our God.