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The King still cures! Luke 5:12-16

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.”

1. Are we willing?

As we start, we see this is probably on the edge of the city because lepers were shunned in Jesus' day and thus were not generally seen inside the cities. The point is that you may feel isolated, alone, apart from the populace, but Jesus knows where you are and He is ready to meet you wherever you are!

According to Jewish law and customs, one had to keep 6 feet (2 meters) from a leper. If the wind blew toward a person from a leper, they had to keep 150 feet (45 meters) away. The only thing more defiling than contact with a leper was contact with a dead body.

So, Wow! This Mothers Day’s Bible, we had a perfect parallel study about when the Lord Jesus Christ healed Peter’s mother-in-law and now we have a perfect parallel of Covid manifested right here today.

The Bible covers social distancing before there was a platform or a protocol written by the World Health Organization.

Do you know why six feet is used?

The distance of 3 feet to 6 feet from each other is known as the breathing zone. That means people within that space are breathing and exhaling basically the same air. If someone has the virus or bacteria, they’re essentially exhaling it into the air you’re breathing.

Interesting how the people back in the time of writing the bible understood to stay away from a potential problem.

So, when’s the first time leprosy is found in the Bible?

Exodus 4:6

6 Furthermore the Lord said to him, “Now put your hand in your bosom.” And he put his hand in his bosom, and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous, like snow. This account speaks of Moses when God was showing Himself powerful through the man who would lead the Israelites through the desert.

I wanted to share with you this today because diseases or infectious dieses have existed since we started noting time Biblically.

This man was full of leprosy. head to toe. He had no mild condition.

He would have been raising his voice when walking, “Unclean, unclean”, to let people know that he was around.

If he did not he could have been put to death via stoning.

So, the man with leprosy heard the potential man who could heal him was in Town.

Look at the posture of this man’s heart. He fell down on his face.

He humbled himself to the highest degree another man could.

On his belly looking up, he knows that Jesus could heal, but he asks the right question doesn’t he.

This is a doozie of question, isn’t it? Are you willing Jesus?

For me, that’s the big deal, but for most of us, we don’t want to call out to Jesus.

Think with me, is it going to take leprosy to make you call out to Jesus?

This leprous man really didn’t know that Jesus could heal him.

But he put faith into action.

Is Covid putting a burning in your heart to hear from God and to follow Jesus? Are you eager to put your faith to work?

THOUGHT - You may not have leprosy like this man, but your situation may be similar in some ways.

You may be failing in your relationships with others, in your finances, in your health, or in your spiritual growth.

If so, may you realize how a fearless faith in the Lord Jesus Christ can turn your entire life around completely.

Let me add to this.

Are we willing to call out to Jesus?

13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.

2. Healing touches?

The healing came when Jesus touched this man. Do you know the power of being touched by people?

Did you know that babies die from lack of touch?

Lack of physical affection can actually kill babies.

But touch is even more vital than this: Babies who are not held, nuzzled, and hugged enough can stop growing, and if the situation lasts long enough, even die.

So, Jesus is willing to touch this man. I wonder how many people, after Jesus touched him, thought “I wonder when Jesus is going to get leprosy”. I bet there were at least a few in the crowd.

 Jesus would not have to touch the leper but He choose to do so. And in so doing Jesus broke the ceremonial law for it was forbidden to touch a leper.

And imagine this leper who had probably not felt a human touch for most of his life, and here the one touching Him is the Source of all life!

The word “to stretch out” is a very powerful word used in the bible. It is the word Ekteino”

I want to share a couple different times this word was used.

Ekteino refers to Jesus telling the lame man to stretch out his hand (Mt 12:13

to Peter drowning (Mt 14:31)

and in (Exodus 7:5) Ekteino is used for God stretching out His hand over Egypt to deliver Israel.

It’s also this same word that’s used when Moses stretches out his hand to bring plagues on Egypt.

In all these accounts, there seems to be a leaning out or an extending out-to show that you care or are going to do something.

Jesus extends His hand many times to help.

Jesus gives us the example to touch people.

Church, we have so much power to help people heal.

I don’t want to drive this steak too far into the ground, however, I believe it’s worth a continual reminder.

Jesus touched an untouchable! The Clean One becomes ceremonially unclean!

It is a poignant picture of how Jesus took the weight of sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Cor 5:21+)

Jesus not only reaches out but something else I find quite fascinating.

This word "touch" is very interesting. It indicates that when Jesus touched the man, He did not barely touch him with His pinky. No, no, no, this is not what happened.

This word "touch" is much stronger.

It is from the word haptomai {hap'-tom-ahee} which means "to fasten one's self to or to cling to."

Jesus did not show any hesitation at all to help this man.

He was demonstrating to this leper His willingness and compassion.

Remember, this man has probably not been touched by anyone for a long time because of his disease.

One of the great needs he had was for someone to love him, touch him and demonstrate concern.

Jesus met this need by firmly touching him or embracing him.

The touch of the Master's hand said to this leper, "I am with you, I understand you, and I love you." He is saying this to us, too. 

Do you want to know in real time how much we NEED to be touched?

Doctors at John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek say they have seen more deaths by suicide during this quarantine period than deaths from the COVID-19 virus. WE'VE SEEN A YEAR'S WORTH OF SUICIDE ATTEMPTS IN THE LAST FOUR WEEKS." The struggle is real for people and just the like the leper, people need a touch from Jesus. Are you willing to be the hands and feet of Jesus?

14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”

3. Jesus is not above the law, then and now

The man is healed and part of being healed now is to get back into the culture and the community. The religion is a part of all life.

Don’t you find that interesting?

He needed to go to the Priest, the Spiritual leader and show him that he was clean

Don’t you find it more interesting that the priest would be the one to show if any person was free or clean or delivered from Leprosy? Not a doctor.

Jesus, was not above the Spiritual law.

Jesus is showing His respect for the community in which this man lives. He is now telling all the people who are living that this man is now safe to join the community.

What also does it say?

Here are some thoughts I came across in my study from one commentator, and something to think about today.

1. Jesus wants him to be silent until he is officially declared to be clean 2. Jesus wishes to prevent the leper from becoming proud. However, there is no hint of such a concern in the account. 3. Jesus wishes to prevent the priests from hearing about the healing early and thus stopping the leper’s return to society. However, up to this point in Luke’s Gospel, there is no hint of official opposition. 4. Jesus wishes to prevent excessive popular excitement as a result of his healing ministry 5.  It shows Jesus’ humility. This idea is not developed in relationship to miracles anywhere else.

So, he goes to the Priest.

The reason why he goes are found in Leviticus 14

I want to share with you the first seven verses.

The reason for sharing is because it is not a show-up and check-in with the priest and make sure. It’s quite a process.

Let’s inspect this together now~

Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing. Now he shall be brought to the priest, 3 and the priest shall go out to the outside of the camp. Thus, the priest shall look, and if the infection of leprosy has been healed in the leper, 4 then the priest shall give orders to take two live clean birds and cedar wood and a scarlet string and hyssop for the one who is to be cleansed. 5 “The priest shall also give orders to slay the one bird in an earthenware vessel over running water. 6 “As for the live bird, he shall take it together with the cedar wood and the scarlet string and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was slain over the running water. 7 “He shall then sprinkle seven times the one who is to be cleansed from the leprosy and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the live bird go free over the open field.

This also would confirm, since no one was healed of leprosy, that indeed Jesus is the Savior who has power to heal.

Notice also that priest above is singular, but here Jesus says them which is plural, which most think refers to the other religious leaders in the Temple, that is the Jewish priests.

Imagine their shock at seeing a healed leper!

Jesus still heals my friends

Maybe not the same way then, but we read these accounts of Jesus touching and seeing him extending his arm.

We see Jesus ready to become unclean and help

We see Jesus not only touching but grasping the man and showing him by his strong touch that he cares for him

Jesus still wants to touch! You know what else?

Jesus wants you to be His hands to touch someone.

15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 

16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

4. Recharged by Prayer

Jesus is healing folks. The healing of both men’s physical and spiritual needs are done now all the time by Jesus. He’s doing great things that are confirming His calling of being the Christ, the Savior of the world.

The grapevine of the world is spreading the news of Him

He’s not only social media tweeting or posting on Facebook and/or taking pictures of healing people and then a quick selfie on Instagram.

The Spirit of God leads people to be healed. Healing comes in many different forms my friends.

I know that I was healed of many physical ailments, but my greatest healing was the healing of my mind and the healing of my heart. Let me add about my heart, it still is being healed over my sin and attitude.

Don’t forget to see that hearing of God’s word comes first

Then the healing.

Hearing then the healing.

To our last truth

Jesus is healing and then it notes again that Jesus went into the wilderness to pray.

And pray - No crowds, no miracles, just communing with the Father.

This is a good lesson for all of us in full-time ministry (and beloved the truth is, we are ALL in "full time ministry"). We are all called "to walk in the same manner as He walked”.

It follows that we should often slip away to some quiet place to pray. It seems so much easier to be diligent in doing rather than pausing and praying! If Jesus had to "re-charge" than so do we! 

During Covid! This has been the greatest time ever to grow in Jesus for me, and Lord willing, for you.

This is a season for good habits to be implemented in our lives. It’s a great time for us to have discipline to pray in the wilderness.

I don’t’ know what your wilderness is.

I know that walking and praying is an amazing place for us all to start with Jesus.

I know that we should all have discipline of getting away and praying and sitting with the Lord Jesus.

Have you done this yet in this season? It’s never too late to start this.

I guarantee that starting a discipline of getting away and being alone with Jesus will change and more importantly help your life.

I promise you this

You know why I promise you this?

Because it says that in the Word of God

That if you seek Jesus by faith He will meet with you

It’s found in

Hebrews 11:6- 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

So, let’s tie this up together

1.are you willing to reach out to Jesus today?

2. Did you know that Jesus wants to use you to heal and touch people?

3. Jesus gave us an example of following the laws. Are you following the laws?

4. It’s a great blessing to serve others and pray as Jesus did. Let’s create discipline of doing this, my friends

So as we close and glean what we have learned from today-

Let’s not forget this truth also

What the culture says is right and the Bible says is right don’t always agree with each other.

The question is, what does our faith in Jesus command us to do?

Do you want to know Jesus? Are you full of questions about your purpose and calling? Pastors are here to talk with and pray for you. Reach out and let us know how we can come alongside you.

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