Luke 5: 12-17 The cleansing of the Leper. Doc
Intro: We saw in our study last time that Jesus was there on the shores of the Sea of Galilee -using Peterís fishing boat as a pulpit .
- Speaking to the Masses about the kingdom of God.
- I find it interesting that Jesus used Peterís fishing boat as a pulpit because I believe every Pulpit should be a fishing Boat - fishing for men.
- Place where the gospel is shared & men & woman are given the opportunity to give their lives to Jesus.
- Sometimes people wonder how they can be more effective in the area of evangelism . Give you simple suggestion. Bring your friends here
- In doing so you & I are partnering together - Like Peter & his brother Andrew were partners together in the fishing Business
- So too we are partnering together w/ each other & the Lord in the fishing business - except we are fishing for men.
- And I want you to know that I am committed to making sure this pulpit is a fishing boat . Gospel is preached / the net is thrown out - consistently
- So Jesus was a fisher of men & we saw where Peter Ö.. John left everything to follow after Him & Join w/ Him in fishing for men.
- Today we see their 1st catch & it is a radical one! READ V. 12-16
So here we see a man coming to Jesus who Luke says was full of Leprosy
Covered from head to toe!
- LEPORSY IS AND WAS A VERY RADICAL DISEASE !!!!
- There are over 10 million people today who are infected w/ the disease of leprosy & in Jesus day it was one of the most feared diseases of all .
- Leprosy starts below the surface of the skin & spreads throughout the body
- Eventually the effects of the disease are clearly seen as spongy tumor like swellings begin to appear on the skin .
- The persons skin turns white & flesh begins to deteriorate - & visibly Rot
creating a horrible stench !
- Parts of the body literally begin to fall off - or rot away -
- Among the sixty-one defilements of ancient Judaism, leprosy was second only to touching a dead body in seriousness. Cover face / UNCLEAN
- The Talmud forbade a Jew from coming closer than 6 ft. of a leper, & if
the wind was blowing, the limit was 150 ft. - extremely contagious
One of the most brutal aspects of the disease is that there is a break down in the nervous system - which causes a Leper to not feel pain.
- QUOTE: Dr.Paul Brand of Carville, Louisiana, one of the world's foremost experts on leprosy, describes how "leprosy patients lose their fingers and toes, not only because the disease can cause decay, but because they lack pain sensations.
Nothing warns them when water is too hot or a hammer handle is splintered. Accidental self-abuse destroys their bodies."
QUOTE: William Barclay described what a leper looks like: "The whole appearance of the face is changed, till the man loses his human appearance and looks, as the ancients said, "like a lion in the face . The nodules grow larger and larger. They ulcerate. From them there comes a foul discharge. The eyebrows fall out, the eyes become staring. The voice becomes hoarse and the victim wheezes because of the ulceration of the vocal chords. The hands and feet always ulcerate. Slowly the sufferer becomes a mass of ulcerated growths. The average course of the disease is nine years, and it ends in mental decay, coma, and ultimately death. The sufferer becomes utterly repulsive both to himself and to others."
LEPROSY in SCRIPTURE IS A PICTURE OF SIN!!!!! Note 3 ways!
- 1st Sin like leprosy starts small below the surface of the skin - and it begins to spread and affects the entire body - defiles & destroys
- Sin can have a very small beginning - a little lie here - dishonesty there - but if undealt w/ it only grows .
- Classic example: The effects of Drugs/Alcohol / Consider The abuser
lying in the gutter
- When you see a person in that situation isnít it hard to imagine that at
one time he was a relatively normal person
- But at some point he began to dabble in the very thing that destroyed him
1) Little drink / little toke / little snort - never imagining end up there
ILLUS.: French aristocrat Baron Richard d'Arcy kept a strange pet in his home: a two-year-old lion. Started out as a little cub
But One night in 1977, the baron tried to make his pet enter the bathroom, where it usually spent the night, but it refused to go and leaped on its master. In a matter of minutes, the lion had clawed the baron to death.
A) That is what sin so often does - starts off small like that little lion cub - maybe playful - but it grows / ultimately destroys a person
B) That is why Christians should deal with sin definitely and drastically. We must not permit any "pet" sins, to dwell in our lives
- Only by severely dealing with a sin can we be sure that we will not
become the victim of it.
2nd way that sin is like leprosy is that in sin DESENSITIZES a person.
- The Longer a person continues in sin - the more they lose their sensitivity concerning their sin - reach a point like the Leper - past feeling
B) Eph. 4:18,19 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
C) Being PAST FEELING is what makes sin really HIDEOUS
- That is the tragic effect of sin as it is seen in leprosy You are being
destroyed and you don't even know it
D) One sin tolerated DESENSITIZES you until your whole life is wasted
- EXAMPLE: Studies have been done dealing with the effects of
violence and pornographic films on people
- Found That Porn. DESENSITIZES people - People no longer think that things are very bad. -
An FBI study showed 81% of serial murderers to have a very high interest in pornography. The figure for rapists is 86%, with 57% admitting they imitated pornography when committing their crimes. And More than half of 700 child molesters arrested in Los Angeles over the last decade had child pornography in their possession.
Our culture has become desensitized -
- Talking w/ a gal the other day - her and all her friends - live w/ men - as roommates - No big deal
B) Can you imagine the reaction of people 1generation ago to Wilt Chamberlain's boast a few yrs back of that he had 1000ís of sexual partners?
1) Today NOBODY flinches at it or blushes at it
- They are only concerned that it might not have been "SAFE" or "PROTECTED" sex
- Sin like Leprosy causes people to be desensitized.
3rdly - Sin like Leprosy is humanly incurable ! Interesting that the bible doesnít refer to Leprosy as being healed - but cleansed
- Elisha told Naaman to go wash in the Jordan 7 times & he would be cleansed
B) Same is true of sin - person is cleansed from sin - not healed of sin!
- And Only Jesus can cleanse a Leper from his leprosy & only Jesus
can cleanse a person from His Sin.
Lets now consider the cleansing of this leper - see what we can learn !
12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."
1ST thing we want to note is that THIS MAN KNEW HE NEEDED TO BE CHANGED & HE WANTED TO BE CHANGED
- This is a key thing to note that when we feel there is something in us defiling us eating away at us - causing corruption w/ in us
- Is to come to that place of realizing our need to be changed - and to come to Jesus who alone work that Change w/ in us
- This leper did the right thing - despite how hideous he must have looked - Luke says he was full of leprosy - ( advanced stages - Head to toe )
- Despite how embarrassed he may have been - he realized the desperate state of his situation & went to the only one who could cleanse him.
C) NOW THE PROBLEM W/ SOME PEOPLE IS THEY KNOW THEY NEED TO BE CHANGED BUT THEY DONíT WANT TO CHANGE .
- Amanda my 2 yr. Old is sometimes this way - she will do a number in
her diaper & NEED TO BE CHANGED.
- It is very apparent to everyone in the room that she needs to be changed - I will call her Manda come here so I can change your diaper - NO & RUNS
- Now she knows there is a mess in her pants - that needs to be dealt w/ but
for some reason she doesnít want it dealt w/ & she runs away.
- And for some reason people do that w/ the Lord - Lord says come to me so I can cleanse you - work in your life .Change you
- Obvious to ourselves & others that we need changed / the odor coming out of our lives is strong
- But the Person see the need & runs away from the Lord.
PHAROAH IS A CLASSIC EXAMPLE OF THIS
- Plague of the frogs - all over the kingdom / all over his palace - in the cupboards - in his bed - everywhere
B) Cries out to Moses OK OK - you win I will let the people go - just get rid of these frogs - Moses says Ok when do you want them gone ?
- TOMMORROW - What ?! Right now - Tomorrow - Pharaoh wanted one more night w/ the frogs
- How often do we find ourselves saying the same thing! Lord I know that has got to go - but just one more time or I will deal w/ that tomorrow
- Lord I will take care of that next week !
- Can you imagine if you did that w/ your trash at home ! Ever miss trash day ? Worst - such a pain - piles up for a whole nother week
- Or take your Kitchen trash can - needs to go out but you say - tomorrow - later - so it piles up in your kitchen - day after day just grows
- Pretty soon the kitchen begins to stink - donít want to cook in it - then the stench spreads to the whole house - ever room
- Now I doubt that anyone here would allow that to happen w/ your kitchen waste basket -
1) but why do we do that w/ the home of our hearts in regards to sin.
- Pretty soon our hearts are reeking - and the odor is coming out of our lives,
mouths, & our actions
- Anger - swearing - Jealousies - bitterness - hatred - horrible attitudes and pride begin to exude out of us like - puss from a leper
- And it is Not only is it disgusting - it smells -
- And the thing that is really scary is we can become desensitized like the Leper to where we donít even notice it !
- We get used to it - learn to live w/ it / stinky smelly lives
EVER BEEN AROUND A PERSON WHO NEEDS A BATH ? EVIDENT SMELL THEM FROM - EVEN A DISTANCE
- Now that person can - put on nice clothes - they can put on cologne or perfume - but unless they bathe it wonít matter - cologne & perfume worse
- Same is true w/ sin - you can cover it up - you can dress it up - smile - say praise the Lord - you can carry your bible & recite scriptures
- But unless you are cleansed by Jesus - you are going to smell
- And the stench of Hypocrisy is one the foulest stenches in the Church today !
- So it does no good to know that you need to be cleansed if you donít want to be cleansed .
- You have to do what this leper did & come to Jesus
LETS CONSIDER NEXT HOW THIS LEPER CAME TO JESUS !!!!
- He came in HUMILITY & IN FAITH
- First humility - He fell down on his face & he referred to Jesus as Lord!
- In doing so he was announcing the fact that he was absolutely helpless to change his own physical condition
- He was throwing himself humbly at the mercy of Jesus ! He didnít come demanding of Jesus - HUMBLY BEGGING - ASKING
- It was the appropriate way for a subject to address his king - not demanding - but pleading
D) Realizing his plight - rested purely in Jesusí hands
E) But he also said Lord if you are willing you can make me clean .
In those words we see his faith.
He knew that Jesus was able - He knew that Jesus could make him clean the question he needed answered was / is He willing
- Now in some Christian circles today - they basically suggest that if you are not demanding from God you are not praying in faith.
- You have to NAME IT & CLAIM IT - Lord I am naming it & claiming it in the Jesus name / They tell you to
- Just use that formula - because God is bound by that formula to work
- And they would suggest that this man - wasnít coming in faith at all in the way that he approached Jesus -
- Should have named it & claimed it - that is real faith
- Actually the opposite is true / to make demands of God is not an illustration of great faith - it is actually the opposite of great faith
- You see it is the absence of confidence in the wisdom & love of God that would move a person to insist that God work in a particular way
Quest. What takes greater faith - To say Lord I am so confident in your love, your nature, your attributes - that you can do whatever you want to do
Or to say I am not sure who you are or what your nature is - I am not sure that you are going to work all things out for my good so I am going to insist that you work in this way
This is what I want done - when I want it done & how I want it done
LISTEN IT IS PUTTING ABSOLUTE TRUST IN THE NATURE & ATTRIBUTES OF GOD TO SAY - Lord if you are willing Ö.. clean.
- And there is no safer place in the world than that place of trusting in the nature and attributes of the Father !
- Bible says that perfect love cast out all fear - & when you are convinced that God is Love / that he is all wise
- that He ONLY and ALWAYS does what is all-wise and all-loving
- Then you can say like this man - Lord if you are willing you can make me clean. - Prayer of great faith
NOTICE JESUSí RESPONSE - He put out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing be cleansed
- Jesus didnít rebuke this guy - suggesting prayed wrong - no - he spoke a word of healing to him & touched the man
- There are those who think that Jesus is breaking the Mosaic Law by touching this leper - it was forbidden
1) Scripturely we have a problem because Jesus declared in Matt. 5:17
17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.
18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
C) So How did Jesus touch this Leper ?
Actually The language indicates that His words and the act of touching
- As He was reaching out to touch the man the words were uttered I am willing..cleansed & when the words were uttered the cleansing took place
- And The TOUCH demonstrated the cleansing... Because Jesus would NOT break one Jot or Tittle of the Law
E) WHAT GREAT WORDS I AM WILLING !!! What Leprosy are you dealing w/ today - Listen He is Able & He is willing to cleanse You
Now if you are here today & you donít know Jesus Christ - You like this Leper are unclean & in need of a cleansing touch from Jesus.
- Your sin has separated you from a holy God - who loved you so much that He sent his son to die on a cross - pay price for your sins
- He alone can make you clean - Why He shed His perfect sinless blood -
applied to our sin red like crimson - white as SNOW!!
- You can be cleansed - set free - made New - have a relationship w/ the living God !
- All you need to do is see the need like this man did & want to be made clean & come to Jesus humbly in faith - recognizing work is sufficient
b) Realizing that there is nothing you can do You are powerless to change your sinful condition - Come to Him today
- As many as received Him He gave the power to become sons of God !
- Anyone is in Christ He is a New creation - old things past away all things become new
- Jesus is calling you today -
Perhaps you are here today & at one time you made a commitment of your life to Jesus - experienced His cleansing touch
- But you have wandered back into a sinful lifestyle/ not talking about struggling / but you are out of fellowship / infected once again
- Donít be desensitized - turn from your sin today & Humble yourself & come to Jesus & be cleansed ! HE IS WILLING - ARMS OUTSTRECHED
C) The Devil has been lying to you telling you He doesnít want anything to do w/ you - NOT TRUE !!!!! COME - PRAY.
Now I also think that there are others here who have a relationship w/ Jesus - Know the Lord - & You Love Him
- But you have allowed - some sin to take root in your life - small right now - but if not dealt w/ it is going to spread
- Perhaps In your marriage - Anger & bitterness / resentment / God wants to touch some husbands & wives today
- Jesus wants make you clean as you come humbly - recognizing you are helpless - nothing you can do to do better
- The issue is the heart / The answer is in Submitting to His sovereignty in
your life -
Friendships / Parent teen relationship / Some area of sin playing w/ - Leprosy is small - undetected but you know it is there.