Day 301: Ten Lepers Left (Luke 17:11-19)

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Ten Lepers, by James Christensen

15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; 16 and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:11-19)

Through the Bible: Luke 16-17

I wrote this poem several years ago, but updated it and used it in a sermon I preached.. 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.

One day, just to pass the time,
I thought about the other nine.
What did they do? Where did they run?
No idea, but just for fun,
Let’s imagine, one by one:

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 he, so scarred from 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
Ten lepers left, no lepers stayed.

The fourth one wasn’t very clever,
And made no changes whatsoever.
In tattered clothes, can still be seen
Through perfect lips, still shouts “Unclean.”


Five and six found love along the way.
Ran off, got married that same day.

So that makes six accounted for
One returned, 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.”

Nine believed prosperity
Should replace his leprosy
With brand new car, and boat, and house
He’s out there living his best life now.

Ten lepers took their separate tracks
Ten lepers left, but one came back.

Came back and fell at Jesus’ feet,
Stayed back to feel His touch so sweet;
To thank Him for the gift he gave,

Ten lepers cured, one leper saved.

One more thought, and then we're through:
Ten lepers left.
Which one are you?

Author: James

I pastor Glynwood Baptist Church 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, and be the best father/grandfather I can be. Everything else is an assignment, because everything else can be done by someone else.

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