Where are the Nine?
During the personal ministry of the Son of God, He had occasion to heal many of their diseases. Once, while traveling to Jerusalem, Jesus passed through a Samaritan village. Ten men with leprosy, while standing afar off, “…lifted up their voices and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go show yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” Jesus then responded by saying, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?” (Luke 17:11-19). Ordinarily, the Jews and Samaritans did not have any association with one another. Nevertheless, this man openly glorified God and fell upon his face before Jesus giving Him thanks.
Our Lord inquired of this man, “where are the nine?” You would think that the other nine men would express their gratitude for having been healed of such a dreaded disease as leprosy. Yet, they are typical of a majority who take their blessings for granted. Few take the time to say, “thank you!”, or “I appreciate what you have done!”, or some other expression of gratitude.
Our nation has set aside the fourth Thursday of November as a special annual day of thanksgiving. The day known as Thanksgiving was initially observed at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. Those taking part included a Protestant group who came to the New World to obtain religious freedom from the Church of England. Native Americans were invited by Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts to participate in this special feast in which prayers of thanks were expressed to God. Those Native Americans provided much of the food for this original Thanksgiving Day. For three days the settlers and their guest feasted. On November 26, 1789 George Washington issued a proclamation that a day of thanks would be observed by the nation on that day. It became a national holiday by the proclamation of Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Lincoln declared this special day as “a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt set aside the fourth Thursday of November to be the annual day of Thanksgiving.
We, as Americans, have much to be thankful for. However, as Christians, our blessings far exceed those we have as citizens of this great country. The New Testament does not set aside one day a year to express thanks to our Heavenly Father. But rather, the Apostle Paul, by inspiration, wrote, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). Also, at Phil. 4:4-6, this same apostle stated, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
What are some of the spiritual blessings of a child of God? Those blessings include: (1) The blessing of being in covenant fellowship with the Godhead, consisting of the three persons that compose the one God (Col. 2:9; Acts 17:29; & Rom. 1:20). (2) It is a great honor to be in the spiritual family of the Heavenly Father. God’s spiritual family is the undenominational church in which Jesus Christ shed His blood and died for. Obedient believers are then added to that blood bought institution by the Lord (Acts 20:28; Eph. 5:23, 25; Acts 2:47). (3) It is an honor and a privilege to be in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ. Being in the Christian family is the greatest association that can be obtained among mankind (1 John 1:7). (4) As humans, we have been richly blessed in being created in the image of the Godhead (Gen. 1:26-27). (5) As children of God, obedient believers have been blessed by having their sins spiritually washed away when baptized for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38; Acts 22:16; Revelation 1:5).