LK. 17: 11-19




At the end of the gospel, the Lord Jesus longingly asked, “Where are the other nine?” After healing ten lepers, only one returned to give thanks. Who were the other nine lepers? What were their attitude to life and the healing grace they received?


Among the ten were “complaining” lepers. These guys always found displeasure in their condition. They couldn’t find anything to celebrate in life because they were always complaining of the burden, the inconvenience and the pain of their sickness. To be grateful, a person needs to forego of complaints and see beauty and kindness in spite of the ugliness of any situation.


There were also the “entitled” lepers. They knew they were healed by the Lord Jesus but they also thought that Jesus owed them this healing. They deserved to be helped, assisted or served by others. To be grateful, one needs to appreciate the underserved nature of a gift, a kindness, or a blessing.


The group also had the “proud” leper. It was not his habit to acknowledge any other power outside himself. Although healed, he found it difficult to recognize the Lord, to seek him out, and to kneel before him. To be grateful, a person must possess the ability to admire and be in awe at the power of love, the power of God.


Then there the “angry” lepers. Due to the sickness, these guys felt that a great injustice has befallen them; that they did not deserve to suffer and resented God and others for this. Anger blinds them to goodness even when it lovingly offered. A grateful heart needs to let go of resentment and hatred and have room for acceptance and trust in God’s plan.


Surely, there were also “grieving lepers.” Deep within, they died a long time ago. They gave up hope. They have no more reason to rejoice. They prefer the darkness of gloom to the joy of living. A grateful heart hopes for light in the midst of darkness, for joy in the midst of pain.


The “grateful leper” was in the minority. But he did not use all his time complaining nor did he feel he deserved to be served. He recognized grace when it came to his life. He let go of bitterness. He believed that one day the promises of the Lord would be fulfilled. When that day came, he was filled with joy and gratitude.


What kind of leper are you today?