January 5, 2010
As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed.
Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan.
Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine – where are they?
Luke 17 v12-18
Where are they? How embarrassing. Did Jesus not know he would be taken advantage of 9 out of 10 times when helping these people?
He knew. He knew before He cleansed them that only one would turn his life around. Only one would come to Him. Only one would glorify Him.
So why did Jesus heal 10 when He knew 9 would simply continue walking as they had been? Why did He show mercy on 9 who He knew would not even bother to say thanks?
It’s because He’s Jesus. He’s merciful. It’s just who He is. And because He’s also God, He’s free to show mercy on whoever He chooses to show mercy. He can even choose to show mercy to one who is still a sinner.
And who He is and what He does and who He gives His life to is not dependant on thanks.
These past weeks have been a roller-coaster of a ride. I wrote the above earlier this week. Through all the twists and turns of this ride, God has continually used the above passage to encourage me to hang on and ride it out for as long as we are both able to stay with the car.
This morning we got up early to be downtown by 6 A.M. to stand in line outside in the dark on a cold late October morning to get a number. This is the latest twist on this roller-coaster.
At 7 AM they hand out 16 numbers. They only take the first 16 in line. We make the cut-off. At 8 AM they allow us to come inside. We are ushered upstairs where we again are told to wait.
As we wait, I look over at the card BK is holding in his hand. On the card is a number. It is not a number he chose, but a number he was given. He simply chose to accept it.
I think of the above verse. I think of the 9 who didn’t turn around. And I think of the one who did – number 10.
I look back at the number he holds. I smile.
It’s number 10.
I think I’ll keep hanging on.