Tuesday, November 22, 2016

WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? - What Happened to Him? (a blogpost for a sermon to be preached at Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 27, 2016)

Have you ever noticed that there are great characters in the Jesus' story that seem to come and go very quickly?  There is the guy who gets his ear cut off by Peter, the friends of the man lowered from the ceiling, the bride and groom from Jesus' "first miracle", and the boy who gave his lunch to feed a crowd.  What happened to them?

What happened to our grateful former leper?  Did he continue to follow Jesus?  Did he make it to the temple?  Did he share the secret of faith with others?  What happened to him?

Monday, November 21, 2016

WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? - Gratitude (a blogpost for a sermon to be preached at Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 27, 2016)

The story of the 10 lepers often focuses upon the 9 who did not return to thank Jesus (as in my message last Sunday).  While this might be a warranted response to this story, I want to look at the actions of the foreigner who did come back.  I want to learn about gratitude, not ingratitude.

What did this person do?  What was he giving up by returning to Jesus?  What made him return?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? - 90% Really ?!?!?!? (a blogpost for a sermon to be preached at Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 20, 2016)

Jesus story in Luke 17 about the 10 lepers may be an excellent example of hyperbole or an unfortunate description of reality.  Of the lepers cleansed, only one came back to thank the one who healed them.

Does this reflect reality?  90% of us are ungrateful?  Was the percentage the point?  Should we stretch this to all people, or does this refer only to those 10 individuals?  While all of these questions have merit, I don't know that the exact answer to any of them is the real point.

Nine of them did not consider "showing gratitude" was a good enough reason to go back.  Perhaps they were too busy celebrating with the priests, returning to their families, paralyzed by their new complexion, signing up for those college courses they were not allowed to take before, shaking hands with everyone they met, or going for a massage.  They did not return is the seminal truth.

How often have we demonstrated an attitude of ingratitude by not thanking the ones that we owe so much?  When your Father has blessed you, how often have you enjoyed the blessing and failed to thank the blesser?  In this case, I think we are too often in the wrong when we stand with the majority.  Like so many others, I spend much of my time enjoying my blessings rather than demonstrating gratitude for them.

Next time you are blessed, show your gratitude and then enjoy the blessing.

Monday, November 14, 2016

WHERE ARE THE OTHER NINE? (a blogpost for a sermon to be preached at Kenwood Church in Livonia, MI, on November 20, 2016)

Luke 17:11-19New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Heals Ten Men With Leprosy

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”


  1. Luke 17:12 The Greek word traditionally translated leprosy was used for various diseases affecting the skin.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.