Summary: There are lots of people in the world that we normally try to avoid. These were the very people that Jesus sought to reach

Freaks, Weirdoes and Oddballs

Matthew 8:1-13

You may find the title of today’s message a bit peculiar but the bottom line is that the people that we choose to avoid can fall into this category.

Ironically, these are the very kind of people that Jesus hung out with.

These were the people who Jesus taught and healed and most importantly forgave!

Jesus looked for and served in His earthly ministry seeking and saving those who were lost.

We all should get down on our knees daily and thank Him that He did too.

When Jesus began His earthly ministry, the religious system in Israel had basically become a caste system where 2% of the population had 98% of the wealth.

That 2% was made up of the religious leaders.

It was the age old problem that we still deal with today

The “haves and the have nots”

One thing that we should all be glad about is this

Romans 5:8 (NKJV)

8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus taught us a lot of lessons in the Gospels.

I can assure you that I will never be able to teach them all in my life time.

The truth is that Jesus loved everyone that He ever interacted with and He did it freely without any difficulty.

So whether you are a freak, weirdo or oddball, Jesus loves you just the way you are.

Case in point

Matthew 8:1-4 (NKJV)

1 When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." 3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

When Jesus came down from preaching the Sermon on the Mount, the people followed Him.

They were the original groupies.

The place where the Sermon on the Mount took place must have made a natural amphitheatre because hundreds of people heard Him and were impressed with what they had just heard.

Then it happened!

Like the guys who get over enthused at a baseball game and run out onto the field, a leper approached Jesus.

He walked up and started worshipping GOD.

Wouldn’t it be great if we were all so quick, brave and bold to worship Jesus so openly and so uninhibited!

But there’s more here than meets the eye.

Levitical law stated that a person with leprosy was supposed to be isolated and not come in contact with anyone else as long as they had the leprosy.

They were considered unclean.

They had to cover their mouth with a garment and call out

“Unclean! Unclean! Anywhere they went.

Yet here was the leper, no doubt desiring to be clean.

The common belief behind leprosy was that the person got the disease from sin they committed.

The rabbis felt that leprosy was God’s judgment for the sin.

Anyone who came in contact with the person with leprosy was considered unclean as well.

So these people were forced to live with other lepers, isolated from the rest of the world.

And don’t you just love how Jesus healed this guy?

Not only did He heal him but Jesus did the unthinkable by touching him.

The leper hadn’t felt the compassionate touch of another human in a really long time.

Jesus taught us all a valuable lesson that we need to remember.

1st point

I. Love the people that others shun.

This may seem simple to you but stop and think about the kinds of people you avoid.

They may be members of your family.

They may appear to be dirty.

They may use bad language or have bad breath

They may not be as smart as you think you are

Yet the point is that Jesus loves them just the way they are.

Jesus didn’t wait till the leper was clean before He loved him.

The leper didn’t wait to come to Jesus until he was clean.

He showed remarkable faith.

He believed Jesus could cure him so he went.

He took a very big risk.

I long for the day when we take risks like the leper.

Lord if You are willing, You can make my marriage clean!

Lord if You are willing, you can make my job clean

Lord if you are willing, you can save my children, save my health or SAVE MY LIFE!!!!

Jesus didn’t wait for the leper to straighten out to love him. He just did.

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