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Summary of sermon by Erlo Stegen , 27 January 2013
1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.
2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
This was the first time Jesus healed a leper. It was a terrible disease, the person was covered in sores and there was no cure. God was their only hope.
Lepers had to live in complete isolation. It was forbidden to have any physical contact with a leper.
How was it possible for Jesus to make contact with this man and heal him. Jesus had just come down from the mountain where he gave the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7. Perhaps this leper was hiding and listened to the sermon and came to the conclusion that only Jesus could help Him.
The crowds were amazed at His preaching, for He preached with authority.
Someone might speak amazing things and say the right words, but have no authority. Why? The difference was that when Jesus spoke, He spoke about something He Himself was living.
The pharisees made rules for other people whereas they themselves didn't live it. Jesus said that we should do what the pharisees said, but not what they did. For they told the people to do many things, but they did not do it themselves.
They said don't lie, but they lied. They said, lay down your life for your brother but they wouldn't do it themselves. The people noticed the difference. When Jesus said something He lived it.
Perhaps you have the same problem that your children don't listen to you. Maybe it's because they notice that what you say and do are two different things.
Many times the problem with naughty children lies with the parents. If you tell your child something but you don't do it yourself, the child won't take you seriously. Like the mother crab said to the baby crab to walk straight. The baby tried but failed and with tears said to its mother, "show me". When the mother showed the child she herself walked sideways.
Preachers who advise others need to see to it that they live accordingly.
If you live what you preach, you won't even have to raise your voice and people will listen to you.
Jesus said that you heard that you should not kill but if you are angry with your brother without a cause you have already murdered him. He said you have heard that you should not commit adultery but if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed adultery. You have heard that you should love your friends and hate you enemies, but Jesus said that you should do good to them who hate you, persecute you and spitefully use you.
Many Christians slander others when they do something wrong in stead of going to that person and helping them. Such slander makes a big noise that rises to heaven.
If we don't practice what we preach, we are eventually like the scribes and pharisees who can quote scripture very accurately but it's not in our hearts.
Go back and study Matthew 5-7 and apply it to your life so you would become a light in this dark world.
Perhaps you have a grudge in your heart and even hatred from one Christmas to the other and you don't make it right. How can you live for Christ like that?
The Bible says you might see the splinter in your brother's eye while there's a log in your own eye. At one meeting I asked some students how many splinters there are in a log and one student said to me at least a million. It was quite an eye opener, that if criticize and slander someone else God sees my sin a million times worse that the one I'm slandering!
Many of the Jews regarded leprosy as a punishment from God. We can liken leprosy to sin, because sin defiles your soul.
As they had to go to Jesus to be cleansed and a priest as a witness to prove they were cleansed so the sickness of sin only Jesus can cleanse.
This man didn't doubt that the Lord had the power to cleanse him, but he doubted if the Lord would do it, just as some people doubt whether Jesus will delivery them from their sin and think they might have gone too far. But hear Jesus' response, "I am willing; be cleansed".
Leprosy is terribly infectious and so too with sin. Someone only needs to say something and you're already infected. But it's amazing how the Lord Jesus could touch him and cleanse him while He wasn't affected by his sickness.
We're not against medical doctors but there are certain things where you will only get well physically if you get help spiritually first.
Perhaps the leprosy you have is the leprosy of pornography. You need to come to the light with that and be delivered by Jesus. A doctor and medicine cannot help you with that.
We also see Jesus sent this leper to the priest as a witness even though He cleansed him. So too you need to be in the light with a child of God as witness.
Come to Jesus that He can deliver you from your spiritual leprosy so that you can have fellowship with Jesus and with His children once again.