Ten percent. Ten people. And how, though the statistics are overwhelming, we can do something about it.
I don’t know where to start with this one… except to say that my mind turned to some hard statistics. I know we can argue with these sort of numbers, but somehow, I don’t think they’re as easy to throw off as that. Pick at the detail, but the big picture is still there, staring back at us:
The 10-40 window: The part of the world that has heard least about Jesus.
Joshua Project (the site that gives us the best view of the scope of the unfinished task of sharing Jesus with every people group) gives us this view…
|All People Groups (by Country)||8,104||4.83 Billion|
|Unreached People Groups (by Country)||5,536||2.97 Billion|
|% People Groups Unreached||68.3%||63.4%|
Global wealth statistics: the top 10% richest people in the world own 86% of the world’s wealth. 3.2 Billion adults own almost nothing at all. (read more on Wikipedia if you like)
The Ten Lepers:
11 As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. 12 As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
14 He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy.
15 One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” 16 He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” 19 And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you.” – Luke 17:11-19
And there it is… the point that challenges me most of all. Only one came back to Jesus. Only one was grateful for what he had been given by God. It’s so easy to be caught up in our own affairs, going on our own way, and to never stop to consider the bigger picture. What can we do in the face of all this need, all this inequality? What can we do?
We can be the one who turns back to give Jesus glory and gratitude. We can be the one out of ten who prays and talks to him about those who still don’t know him. We can be the people who turn around and go against the flow… as led by God in his myriad different ways… and turn the tide through our prayers, giving and going.
We’re not just another statistic. We are people of influence, and we love and serve a God who rules the nations and sustains the sparrows. Nothing is too hard for him.