Where Are the Nine? (Part 1)

The Lessons of a Lone Leaping Leper

Luke 17:11-19

July 30, 2017 PM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.       Introduction


A.    We have looked all month at the rock solid, eternal security of the Believer

B.    Many Misconceptions


1.      There are many people who think that only the faithful, and only those that “persevere” actually are saved from the wrath to come!

2.      There is no offer by God of “salvation on probation” – it is a priceless gift, simply obtained by faith alone in Christ alone, and granted by the promise of God Almighty who cannot lie, the very instant a person believes!


C.    So, what about those who aren’t quite living it like they should?

D.    I got news for some of you – carnal Christians exist, backslidden Christians unfortunately exist. And just because they don’t “live” the Christian life very well, does NOT mean they ain’t going to be with Jesus!

E.    Let me show you an example that Jesus uses to prove that not everyone will persevere, and yet are solidly saved!

F.     And right in the middle of it is a key to the fullness of the Christian life that is lacking in too many of God’s people!


II.    Background (Luke 17:11-19)


A.    Jesus is travelling south again from Galilee to Jerusalem – but this will be His last time

B.     Passing through Samaria

C.    Ten lepers try and approach Him – try to get as close as humanly possible


1.      These men had leprosy

2.      They had no life at all – just living each day waiting to die

3.      They had no access to their families – their wives, children, parents were forbidden to have any contact with them whatsoever

4.      They could not work, they had to live away from everyone else

5.      Every day, they just got worse – never better

6.      They were condemned to die a horrible death, alone

7.      Then they heard that Jesus was passing by!


D.    Cried out for HELP, for mercy – not sure what to expect, but wanted a miracle!


1.      Not theologians, not spiritual men, just desperate men

2.      In need of Jesus!

3.      Made no demands, but rather just asked for mercy!


E.    Jesus Instantly Responded to their Prayer!


1.      No shazzam, no dazzle, no magic words, waving of the hand, etc

2.      Just gave them what they asked for – He responded to their simple plea of faith with cleansing, healing – with an impossible miracle!

3.      And it wasn’t any kind of great faith that they had, just desperate faith


F.     Jesus Tells them to go and find a Jewish priest, and show them their healing


1.      This required no small measure of “faith” on their part, for Jesus did not “first” heal them, and THEN tell them to go

2.      They do not feel any different yet

3.      They do not look any different yet

4.      Yet, they BELIEVED Jesus enough to obey Him and start walking into the village to go find a Jewish priest

5.      By the way, it was necessary for the priests to verify the healing, because it would HAVE to be a miracle for any of them to be cleansed of their leprosy, and if they really were not healed, they were a danger to the rest of the community because leprosy was and still is very contagious!


G.   AS they went… they were healed


1.      These ten men believed Jesus’ abilities enough to obey Him, even when it didn’t make sense

2.      Remember, Jesus told them to go show themselves BEFORE they were healed – kind of backwards, unless Jesus was waiting for them to ACT on their faith, instead of just SAY they have faith!

3.      As they walked into the village… they hadn’t been in there for YEARS! A big deal!

4.      As they walked into the village…


a.      They looked down and saw no signs of leprosy anymore

b.      They saw all the scars now GONE and replaced by perfectly good skin

c.      They felt clean on their insides – no more sickness and weakness or disease

d.      And their walking turned into running, and laughing, and leaping, and shouting


5.      These men could go home again!

6.      They had been given a second chance on life!!!

7.      I believe they quickly forgot about going to the priests, and just ran home to their children, and wives, and parents!

8.      It must have been marvellous to watch such a miracle, and hear such joy!


H.   But just then, ONE of the ten stopped, turned around and came BACK


1.      Not just excited about the miracle

2.      But excited about the miracle GIVER

3.      He HAD to go back and worship Him, thank Him, and glorify God

4.      And that is just what he did

5.      Remember, that this was a Samaritan – not supposed to be happening for them, but only for the Jews!!!


I.       Jesus asks two questions


1.      Were not TEN men healed?

2.      Well then, Where are the OTHER Nine???


J.      If Jesus asked it today, he would ask, Where are all those who have been saved, forgiven, blood bought and redeemed from sin?


1.      Where are all those who have been given a second chance to live?

2.      Where are all those who have (or HAD) the joy of the Lord?

3.      If everybody who got saved through the preaching from THIS pulpit and from the witnessing of the people of THIS church were all here, we would have 1,500 believers trying to cram into this building this morning!

4.      Well, where are they?

5.      I was asked that one time several years ago and it bothered me


K.   So, tonight, two questions need to be answered:


1.      What made this lone, leaping leper WHOLE?

2.      Where are the NINE others?


III.   Message – A Wholeness Beyond Salvation


A.    Three Great Truths About Salvation


1.      Christ’s blood saves every believer the same amount


a.      Just as all ten of those men were perfectly healed…

b.      So, ALL believers are perfectly forgiven by Christ! Nothing lacking!

c.      The blood of Jesus Christ (not the waters of baptism), but the blood of Jesus Christ…


1)     Cleanseth us from ALL sin. 1John 1:7

2)     He washed us from our sins in his own blood. REV 1:5

3)     It PURGES our conscience from dead works to serve God. 1Pet 1:18,19

4)     Washes, sanctifies us and justifies us all in God’s sight (1Cor 6:11)


d.      There is no difference in amount or in status – we have been made righteous, forgiven, SAINTS! There are no divisions in God’s kingdom of SAINTS and FAILURES! All believers are SAINTS!

e.      So, NO one can EVER complain that they were not saved enough! That they didn’t get as much grace as someone else!!!

f.       They got ALL of salvation that there is – which is infinite!


2.      Few already are the number of believers to begin with (Matthew 7:13,14)


a.      There are no Christian nations - Just Christian people living in a nation

b.      The majority are lost – even though religious and hoping they are Christian!

c.      So, when you look around at our nation, our city, the MAJORITY are lost!


3.      The hard part is accepting that of those that get saved, fewer still will live like it


a.      Shouldn’t all TEN of those healed have turned around and fell at the feet of Jesus and worshipped Him and thanked Him, and decided to live for HIM?

b.      Remember the response of the demon possessed man of Gadara when HE was saved (Mark 5:15-18)!


B.    There is a Wholeness Beyond Salvation


1.      This is a dangerous topic, because many false “teachers” imply that there are higher levels of salvation to attain – which is heresy!

2.      However, a new believer often never experiences what the new birth was designed to given them – joy, rest, purpose, spiritual fruit, etc!


a.      No one is instantly mature the moment they get saved

b.      No one is instantly victorious over all their sinful habits the moment they got saved

c.      So, no one is automatically and fully like Christ, the moment they got saved

d.      It comes through spiritual growth

e.      If this were not true there would be no carnal, backslidden Christians – but there are

f.       If this were not true there would not be any discouraged and defeated Christians anywhere – but there ARE!


3.      Sometimes, some people were just healed, and sometimes, people were made whole – made complete

4.      There is a simple reason


C.    Let me describe a biblical secret to wholeness that can change your life!


1.      Look at this Samaritan!


a.      Doing what so few others even thought to do

b.      Doing what the super religious Jews were too proud to do

c.      Just rushing to thank Jesus!

d.      And it made him perfectly WHOLE!


1)     Not fully healed in his HEART until thankful

2)     Not complete as a person, until thankful

3)     This man was an example of being saved, but not whole – still incomplete, still quite prone to discouragement and open to Satanic attack (as we shall see)


2.      Just remembering to be thankful is the secret to WHOLENESS!

3.      Probably the SECOND greatest healing power there is – next to forgiveness!

4.      You are not born again only if you are thankful, but you are going to never be whole until you ARE thankful!


D.    What does REAL Thankfulness look like?


1.      Worship and appreciation for whatever God has done for you. Not just a passing grunt.

2.      Loud passionate emotional praise. We often cry aloud when we are desperate but rarely when we are blessed!

3.      Realising just how unworthy you are.

4.      A focus on Christ and His priceless gift of mercy and grace.

5.      No concern of whether you are the only one or not. Not a popular thing to do and not supposed to be popularity based.

6.      Illustrations:


a.      When people are restored from a life-threatening sickness, few actually think to give thanks to God; but “where are the nine?”

b.      When people are protected from danger; when they are recovered from the perils of the sea; when a cruise ship is destroyed, and a large part of the crew and passengers perish, very few of those who are saved acknowledge the goodness of God for saving them, fewer still publically praise Him; but where is the mass of them?

c.      They give no thanks; they offer no praise. They go about their usual lives, to return to mingle in the scenes of pleasure and of sin as if nothing had occurred.

d.      So few of all who have been rescued from “threatening graves” feel their obligation to God, or ever express it.


E.    And so, the NINE went home healed, YES. But probably not changed.


1.      Salvation marvellously saves the soul from its destiny in hell

2.      Thankfulness marvellously saves a Christian from the torments of Satan AFTER salvation (1Peter 5:7) – He has no reach in the heart of a grateful soul!

3.      Notice Ephesians 4:25-29:


a.      Lying is an open accessway into your heart and life

b.      Anger is an accessway for Satan in to your heart

c.      Bad, evil, destructive, critical words are an accessway into your heart

d.      NONE of that can exist around thankfulness!


4.      THE one, great transforming power that God offers to sinners, AFTER salvation, is the response of thankfulness – it saves the heart, the mind, and the very memories of the past of the Christian, and makes him or her whole! When it is constantly expressed!


a.      Otherwise…

b.      Without gratefulness, we become arrogant and self-centred. We begin to believe that we have achieved everything on our own. Thankfulness keeps our hearts in right relationship to the Giver of all good gifts.

c.      Without a thankful way of thinking, we become Discontent. Thankfulness makes us content - which is of GREAT benefit - great GAIN. Human beings are prone to covetousness. We tend to focus on what we don’t have. By giving thanks continually we are reminded of how much we do have. When we focus on blessings rather than wants, we are happier. When we start thanking God for the things we usually take for granted, our perspective changes. We realize that we could not even exist without the merciful blessings of God.

d.      We will live like Immature BABIES! It makes us mature - We are to learn to be thankful not only for the things we like, but for the circumstances we DON’T like. When we purpose to thank God for everything that He allows to come into our lives, we keep bitterness at bay. We cannot be both thankful and bitter at the same time. We do not thank Him for evil, but that He is sustaining us through it (James 1:12). We don’t thank Him for harm He did not cause, but we thank Him when He gives us the strength to endure it (2 Corinthians 12:9). We thank Him for His promise that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

e.      Not close to God! Thankfulness keeps us close with and RIGHT with God (Psalm 22:3). We can have thankful hearts toward God even when we do not feel thankful for the circumstance. We can grieve and still be thankful. We can hurt and still be thankful. We can be angry at sin and still be thankful toward God. That is what the Bible calls a “sacrifice of praise” (Hebrews 13:15). Giving thanks to God keeps our hearts in right relationship with Him and saves us from a host of harmful emotions and attitudes that will rob us of the peace God wants us to experience (Php 4:6–7).

f.       Without gratefulness, we will find Obedience to always be hard! Because Obedience springs EASIEST from a grateful heart!




A.    When was the last time you were grateful to your parents just for being your parents? THAT would SAVE your relationship more than 100 hours of counselling!

B.    When was the last time you were grateful to your wife or husband for loving you? THAT would save your marriage!

C.    When was the last time you…


1.      Thanked your pastor for faithfully feeding you the words of life, and admonishing you to live right?

2.      Thanked your older brother for watching out for you?

3.      Thanked God for saving your wretched soul!?


D.    Do you want to be WHOLE?

E.     Start looking around and thank God, for everything, good and bad in your life!

F.     Next Week, we will go looking for the other Nine, AND FIND THEM!