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Then & Now - Week of October 21

  • 2013 Oct 21

The Ten Percent Rule
Luke 17:11-17

Imagine your life as a leper. Tough to imagine, because in our western world, leprosy has largely been cured.

But I visited a part of the world where it hasn't been eradicated. I remember visiting a village of lepers in India and seeing images I will never forget. Haunting images of people whose limbs had fallen off, with empty eye sockets, and rotting flesh. The misery was unreal.

In Jesus day, lepers were quarantined away from society. It was thought that they contracted the disease because of sin. So when Jesus visited their community outside Galilee and Samaria, he was making a big statement. He was saying to them, "You have value to the Son of God, because I created you in My image." A powerful statement.

He was also saying to those of us who are not leprous, "These people are just as loved by me as you are." Another powerful statement.

Jesus' healing words brought hope to ten of these lepers. What a miracle. I imagine limbs being restored, eyes back into place, flesh renewed and supple. And yet as is so often when we experience God's hand of blessing, only one guy came back and praised God.

And guess what? The thankful guy was a Samaritan, an outcast, a reject. In the eyes of that culture, he was the least likely to be loved by God, so it was natural that he was the most likely to be grateful.

There's a principle here. It's the Ten Percent Rule. Only one out of every ten people who've experienced God's blessing will have the courage to be thankful. And usually its those who've been so low they can only look up. 


Will you be that person? It requires you to abandon your pride and realize who you really were before you met Christ. You were like that Samaritan leper, helpless, hopeless, rejected. But Jesus healed you of your sin and gave you a new life.


Bet the Ten percent in your school, you're family, your community. Your gratitude will shine like stars. You'll be a difference maker. You'll point others to Christ.

Daniel Darling is an author and pastor with a passion for young people. He is the author of Teen People of the Bible, a 100-day devotional for teens. Visit him on Facebook by clicking here, or at

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