A TRANSFORMING ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS!!
PASTOR JULIUS KILONZI
This passage finds the Lord Jesus in the midst of a tiring and trying preaching campaign. We are told in verses 21-34 that just the day before, Jesus had taught in the synagogue, v. 21-22; cast out a demon, v. 23-28; healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law, v. 29-31; and healed many sick folks and delivered others from demonic possession, v. 32-34.
You would think that Jesus might need a period of rest after such a frenzied schedule. However, v. 35 finds Jesus up and in the place of prayer well before daylight. When His disciples find Him, He tells them it is time to go into the neighboring cities to preach, for that (ministry) was the reason He came to the world, v. 36-39.
In the midst of His preaching and teaching ministry in Capernaum, He is interrupted by a single man, a leper. It is this personal encounter that I want to focus in on this morning. While there were great crowds there to be healed, helped and taught, one man managed to get a Moment With The Master. Let’s look in on this scene and witness for ourselves A Transforming Moment.
I. THE CONDITION OF THE LEPER (V.40)
A. HIS DISEASE – We are told that this man, who approached the Lord Jesus was a leper. Of all the iseases and afflictions that devastated the ancient world, none was more feared or more fearsome than leprosy. The terrible social isolation that went hand in hand with this disease, must also be considered.
1. Leprosy is deeper than the skin – Lev. 13:3 (So is sin! The outward manifestations of sin are merely a window into the heart, Matt. 15:18-19. You see, man isn’t a sinner because he sins. Man sins because He is a sinner, Rom. 3:23; Gal. 3:22!)
2. Leprosy starts out small and then it spreads – Lev. 13:7 Just as that leper may have seen a tiny white spot on his skin one day, it wasn’t many days until his flesh was consumed by that loathsome disease. Oh, what a picture of sin!
3. Leprosy defiles everything it touches – Lev. 13:44-46 When a man was smitten with leprosy, we was totally and throughly defiled! So it is with sin! Sin has a way of poisoning a person’s entire life. It will poison your family. It will poison your relationships. It will devastate and ruin everything it touches in your life! Ask Achan (Josh 7).
4. Leprosy Isolates – Lev. 13:46 The leper was isolated from the camp of the clean. He was forced to dwell alone on the fringes of society.
5. Leprosy destines things for the fire – Lev. 13:52 Everything the leper touched was burned! So it is with sin! It destines those afflicted by it to the fires of eternal torment, Psa. 9:17!
B. HIS DESIRE – So, here is this man. Perhaps he awoke that morning in the leper colony and heard that a man named Jesus was in town. Can you see the multitudes as they crowd around the Savior? Can you hear the commotion at the back of the crowd as the people realize that there is a leper in the midst? Can you see the crowd begin to part with cries of fear and disgust as this man passes through their midst?
He makes his way through the frightened crowd and stops within arm’s length of Jesus. He kneels before the Lord and declared to the Lord his desire. What he said to Jesus is very telling of his condition.
• His words indicate a desire to be free from his disease.
• His words declare his faith in Christ’s ability.
• His words reveal his own sense of unworthiness before the Lord.
II. THE COMPASSION OF THE LORD(41,42,45)
As the crowd watches, this leper falls down before the Lord and asks for a miracle. What will Jesus do? Will he also turn away in disgust? Will he call for the man to be stoned, as many people would have done? No! Jesus does the unthinkable: He shows this man compassion!
A. As Revealed In His Touch – It has been years since anyone has touched this man. It had been years since this man had held his wife or children. It had been years since he felt the touch of a human hand upon his.(Note: Did you know that Jesus is still touching lives today? Oh yes, it makes no difference who you are or what you may have done.
B. As Revealed In The Transformation – As soon as Jesus touched him he is made clean. His leprosy instantly departs and his skin is made a new and as fresh as a babies’.
III. THE COMMAND OF THE LAW (v.43,44)
A. The Demands Of The Law – This leper was to go and to present himself to the priest and he was to get a certificate of cleansing on the basis of a ceremony in Leviticus 14.
Just as that leper had his cleansing completed by the application of blood, so the sinner today is made clean through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, Rev. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:18-19!
B. The Desire Of The Lord – Notice what Jesus says that this will be: “for a testimony unto them”. I would say that high priest had never seen a leper cleansed. I would venture to say that he had never utilized the commandments given in Leviticus 14. But, that day, he was put on notice that there was a man in town Who had the power to take away leprosy!
Friend, are you like that poor old leper? Are you diseased spiritually and need help getting free? Jesus Christ is still in the life-changing, soul-saving business. If He is dealing with your heart, you need to know that you do not have to live in your sins for one more minute! If you will come to Him right now, like that leper did, believing Him for your soul’s salvation, everything will forever change in your life.