Sunday, September 5, 2021

Lessons from a Leper

 Mark 1:38-39 - (last week) --> Mark 1:40-45  (1st. recorded stop on His journey through Galilee
Leprosy = incurable disease
leprosy left - same work used when demon leaves

The LAW and the Leper - Lev. 13:45-46
(the cleansing ritual - Lev. 14)


I)  The Leper was not supposed to approach Jesus. 
Luke 17:11-13 = typical response for a leper.
But .... he did!!  Because Jesus = his only hope!!

as long as can fix SELF .. you won't come to Jesus.  But when realize can't fix it, ... "Run" to Him!!
There is an advantage to seeing yourself as you really are. 
Example:  1st. step in AA - I AM an alcoholic!
(1)  don't let your condition, situation, keep you away!! - Heb. 4:16
You need Him most at your Worst!!  Sometimes we let our moral condition, keep us from the Lord!

BUT  (2)  Remember .... the throne of grace is still a THRONE!!  Come with humility, contrition - Isa. 57:15

II)  Jesus was not supposed to touch the Leper
BUT ... he did!!!  Question:  did He violate the Law?   Answer = difficult.  But Note - Matt. 23:23
paraphrase??  "these things matter but there are things that matter MORE!"   And the things that matter more are invariably ... PEOPLE!! - love the Lord your God ... and love your neighbor as yourself!!  It's all about people!!

III)  Jesus didn't have to touch the Leper!
Example:  Luke 17:14 - a word was enough!!
But .... He did!!!  He chose to do it.  Conclusion:  the touch was for the Leper!!
(1)  human touch = important, makes a difference
(2)  human touch = conveys a lot!!!
Therefore, don't be afraid to touch, however, be very CAREFUL with touch!!  learn to discern!
(3)  you can 'touch' without physical!!  ex:  a word, call, card, text, gift, prayer...
The church = the Body of Christ.  We = His hands in His absence...   Point:  God may 'touch' them ... THROUGH YOU!!!

IV)  The Leper needed more than healing... He needed cleansing!!! - "unclean" - contrast a cripple, blind man.
We often approach Christ for healing.... BUT overlook ... our great need = cleansing!!   Mark 2:5

cleansing = initial need (salvation)
cleansing = an ongoing need!!! - 1 John 1:8-10

IF you receive your cleansing ... (salvation)
THEN you will (eventually) receive your healing (heaven)

V)  The Leper's healing was his testimony
you encountered Christ and IF He's entered your life..., THEN you have a powerful ministry tool!!!  ie:  your testimony!!

AND it's simple to use!!!
Example:  John 9 - Blind man healed.
Step #1 - "this I know" (was blind, now see.)
Step #2 - "this I Believe" (Jesus made the difference)

but ... interesting twist:
VI)  Even your testimony is to be used according to God's directives.  "(sent away with strong warning!")
So... on one hand, a testimony never shared is of no value to others....
However, everything we have is to be used as He directs and determines.

Also note:  a testimony of healing should include evidence of healing!!
So.... on one hand, you'll never be perfect. 
However, if your testimony = "Jesus so changed my life" and yet it = total wreck?!?   That = no real testimony!

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