Category Archives: thanksgiving

Where Are The Nine?

And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? (Luke 17:17).

When the Lord asks a question, you can rest assured that it is not because He needs information that He presently lacks. It is not as though He had forgotten how many lepers He had healed. Nor is it the case that He did not know where they were. Even before these men requested the Lord’s help, He already knew their hearts (John 2:24,25; Acts 1:24). All things are open and naked before they eyes of Him with whom we have to do (Heb. 4:13). When the Lord asks a question it is often to reveal to us something about ourselves.

When the Lord God called for man in the garden in the cool of the day, it was not because He did not know where Adam and Eve were (Gen. 3:9). Nor was it the case that He did not know why they were hiding (Gen. 3:10-12). When the Lord asked Cain about his brother, it was not that God did not know that Cain had already slain him (Gen. 4:10). The Lord was not ignorant of the motives of those building the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). In these and many other questions the Lord did not need the information for Himself, but it was for our benefit. Similarly, when the Lord asked “Where are the nine?” He was asking us to see something about ourselves.

These ten men had obviously heard about the Lord. They called His name specifically–“Jesus” (Luke 17:13). They referred to Him as “Master.” They apparently had heard of His power to heal the sick. They knew of His compassion on those in need. And though they were required by law to live away from the people and stand at least a hundred paces away, and though they were required by law to announce their presence so that others may avoid them (Lev. 13:45,46), they cried out, as best they could with their tortured throat and lungs, for mercy, a request Jesus willingly answered.

Jesus did not touch them as he had touched other lepers on other occasions (Matt. 8:1-4), He merely commanded them to go and show themselves unto the priests (as required by the Law – Lev. 13:2; Lev. 14:2), and this, even before there were any signs of healing in their disfigured bodies. They manifested great faith for the Text tells us that they went, just as Jesus commanded them, and, as they were going, only then were they cleansed (17:14). Faith is always demonstrated by our works (James 2:14-26).

We are not told what nine of the men proceeded to do as they were made clean during their journey to the priests, but the tenth, 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” (Luke 17:15,16). This man knew from whence his healing came. He knew that God was to be glorified and so he fell on his face at the feet of Jesus–a posture of worship–and gave Him thanks. He was grateful. He was thankful.

While those nine men initially exhibited commendable faith in their obedience to the command of Jesus, they lacked a very essential element in their response–gratitude, or thanksgiving. Such a disposition, if unchecked, ultimately leads to all the vile things which God condemns to destruction (Rom. 1:21ff). When men in general become unthankful, it usually indicates that times are becoming perilous (II Tim. 3:1-7). Ingrates rank down there with those that are disobedient to parents and those who are unholy. They are not far behind those who love only themselves. Jesus’ question, “Where are the nine?” reveals to us just this about ourselves.

We ought always to be willing to enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). In everything we should give thanks (I Thess. 5:18), replacing all filthiness, foolish talking and jesting with the giving of thanks (Eph. 5:4). Not only in everything but continually we should offer the sacrifice of praise, giving thanks to His name (Heb. 13:15). In the daily giving of thanks to God, we perform our vows (Psalm 61:8) and it is good in the sight of God our Saviour (I Tim. 2:1-3). Whatever we do, we ought to give thanks to God and the Father by Him (Col. 3:17).

What would we have done had we been healed as the Lord healed them? Of which group would we be a part? Does gratitude fill our heart for all the blessings we daily receive (Psalm 68:19)? Do we continually offer unto God our deepest and sincerest gratitude for His kindnesses and thankfulness for His mercies? Those who give thanks are to be commended for their faith. In effect, they have returned to the Master to fall on their face at His feet and give God thanks.

But where are the nine?

Eric L. Padgett

Happy 2014 Thanksgiving!

The series from The American Christian Review will resume next week. Since it is Thanksgiving week, I think it would be in order to say something about the giving of thanks. But I thought it might be best to let the word of God tell us about thanksgiving.

“When ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the Lord, offer it at your own will” (Lev. 22:29). And “stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord, and likewise at even” (I Chron. 23:30). “At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments” (Psalm 119:62). “It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High” (Psalm 92:1). “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High” (Psalm 50:14). “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thes. 5:18).

“Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name” (I Samuel 22:50). “For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God” (Neh. 12:46). “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name” (I Chron. 29:13). “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people” (I Chron. 16:8).

“I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people” (Psalm 35:18). “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works” (Psalm 26:7). “To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever” (Psalm 30:12). “For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?” (Psalm 6:5).

“O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people” (Psalm 105:1) “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened” (Romans 1:21). “Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence” (Psalm 140:13). “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever. And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise” (I Chron. 16:34-35). “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalm 118:1).

Therefore, “let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms” (Psalm 95:2). “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name” (Psalm 100:4).

“I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 1:4). “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philip. 1:3) and “cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers” (Ephes. 1:16). “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world” (Romans 1:8). “But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (II Thes. 2:13). “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 15:57).

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philip. 4:6), “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving” (I Tim. 4:4). “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place” (II Cor. 2:14). “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him” (Col. 3:17) “saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever” (Rev. 7:12).

Happy Thanksgiving, Eric L. Padgett