Faith & Insight: Where are the nine?

Ken Haskins

Ken Haskins

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Luke records an event that occurred one day as Jesus traveled along the border between Galilee and Samaria. Ten men who had leprosy met him. Standing at a distance, they cried out, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

Jesus did have pity and cleansed the men of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back praising God. He fell at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. Luke points out that this man “was a Samaritan.” Jesus asked, “Were not all 10 cleansed? Where are the nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”

Where were the nine? Were they on the way to show themselves to the priests in obedience to Jesus? Were they returning home to an old way of life? Were they moving on toward a new one? One thing is certain, these children of Abraham did not stop to thank God for the blessing received as the Samaritan did.

God’s children can become so accustomed to receiving good and perfect gifts from God that they take his generosity for granted. Perhaps, they might even convince themselves that they alone are responsible for all of God’s blessings.

Moses warned Israel before Joshua brought the people into the promised land, “a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant – then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord…”

Too many “good things” might deceive one into living as though God isn’t needed. So, Moses wrote, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.”

Hands equal things you do. Forehead represents thoughts. Door frames, houses and gates speak of how and where life is lived. May the words we speak, the deeds we perform and the lives we live declare far and wide that we love God and mankind made in his image.

May we focus upon God’s love and kindness this Thanksgiving season. May we count our many blessings-especially the blessings of faith, family, and friends.

“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: His love endures forever.” – Psalm 107:1

Ken Haskins is head pastor at First Christian Church in Carson City.


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