Ten Lepers Left

Ten Lepers, by James Christensen

I wrote this poem several years ago, but updated it and used it in a sermon I preached this past weekend. A few folks have asked for it, so here it is. It is based on the story of the ten lepers Jesus healed in Luke 17:11-19.

Ten lepers walked the city streets,

and stopped to hear the preacher preach

So close to death, all pride was stripped,

Nothing to lose; so those with lips

Called, “Jesus, help us out a bit?”

“Go, show yourselves unto the.  priests,”

He said, they scattered, west to east

Their skin, with cleansing fire burned

Ten lepers left, but one returned.


Once, the question came to mind, “What happened to the other nine?”

And though I claim no revelation—this is nothing more than speculation

I offer you this testament

To where the other lepers went.


First, there’s Leper Number One

Who took off in an all out run.

Her feet, now free from open sores

Ran like they’d never run before.


Poor old leper number Two

Had no idea what he should do.

So, scarred from years of being shunned

Went home, locked up, and saw no one.


Then there’s leper Number Three

For whom sickness became security

For years, defined by leprosy

Till it became identity

Healed, became a bitter man

And wished he could get sick again.


That accounts for three who were healed that day

Nine lepers left, one leper stayed.


Leper four, his skin free of spots

Left and immediately forgot

He’d ever been a leper.


Five and six found love along the way.

Ran off, got married that same day.


So that makes six accounted for

One leper stayed, that leaves three more.


And of those three, there were the two

That wrote “Life from a Leper’s Point of View.”

They gained great fame in lecture halls,

Signed copies of their books in malls.

And on the Oprah Winfrey Show,

Oprah said, “We want to know,

To what do you attribute health?”

“From within,” they said. “We healed ourselves.”


Number Nine believed his leprosy

Was to be replaced with prosperity

Convinced it’s what he deserves, somehow.

He’s out there living his best life now.


So, ten lepers went their separate ways

Nine lepers left, one leper stayed.

He stayed to fall at Jesus’ feet,

Stayed to feel His touch so sweet;

To thank Him for the gift he gave,

Ten lepers cured, one leper saved.

James Jackson


Author: jamesleejackson

I am a pastor in Prattville, Alabama. I read a lot, write a little, and drink lots of coffee. I have three callings in life: surrender to Christ, be a husband to Trish, be a father to Caleb and Joshua. Everything else is an assignment, because everything else can be done by someone else.

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