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I'm a reporter for the Jerusalem Journal.

I was sitting at my desk on a fall morning, 32 A.D., when word came in that this miracle-worker, Jesus, had just healed 10 lepers. I rushed out to the scene to interview Jesus and the lepers who had supposedly been healed. By the time I got there, only Jesus and a leper named Joel were still around. Jesus seemed like an ordinary person; he didn't look like some heaven-sent miracle-worker. The former leper was still rejoicing, and still thanking Jesus for giving him a new lease on life. I talked with both for awhile; then went back to the office to write up the story.

Later it dawned on me! Hadn't 10 lepers been healed? Where were the other nine? Why hadn't they come back to thank Jesus? My reporter-intuition sent me out hunting for the nine.

I found Jonathan at home celebrating with his family. He had been a leper for over 16 years, an outcast cut off from his family. His first thought on being healed was of his family. In his hurry to get home, Jonathan had forgotten to say "Thanks."

Andrew was at the Kosher Diner, stuffing himself with all the best food. Trying to forget all those years of rummaging through garbage cans, surviving on scraps. Saying "thank you" was the last thing on his mind.

I caught up with Samuel at the Amusement Park with a bunch of his friends. Friends who had never forgotten Samuel; friends who had looked after him and cared for his needs. Now they were together again! Time to party! No time to think about "Thanks."

Micah, Jude, and Daniel were staying at the Holiday Inn. Micah was thinking about the job he had left behind. Work was his life! All he had on his mind was getting back to work. Jude was a time-conscious man. So much time wasted as a leper. He was catching the next flight out of the city. There were places to see and things to do. And not enough time! David was still in a state of shock! He just could not believe that his leprosy was gone. He didn't know what the future held; he'd sleep on it. None of these three were thinking about the man who healed them, much less thanking him.

I found the last three at the Bus Station, waiting to go to Jerusalem.

Nathaniel was a young man, living only for the moment. Life as a leper was past. His one thought was to live for today! Thaddeus was a follower. That man, Jesus, had told him to go to Jerusalem and present himself to the Priest; so that's what he was doing. If any one had said: "Let's go back and thank Jesus," he would have gladly gone. Hiram was a self-centered person. He was a lucky man, fortunate to have been healed. He was not thankful!

I back-tracked to find Joel, the thankful one. "Why did you go back and thank Jesus?" Joel replied, "He was the first person who took a real interest in me. Jesus cared enough to touch me even though I was an untouchable. Because Jesus touched me, I will be eternally grateful. In fact, I'm thinking about opening a house for lepers. So that these outcasts will have a place to call home; and can count on someone to care about them. Every leper I touch will become a living 'thank you' to Jesus!"

One out of 10 gave thanks to God. Let's be sure that we are the one!

DON KUEHLE IS A RETIRED UNITED METHODIST MINISTER WHO LIVES IN JACKSON, MO. OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Religion on 11/28/2018

Print Headline: One Of 10 Gave Thanks To God; Are You The One Or The Nine?

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