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Summary: Great Deeds, Strong Faith…Big God – Luke chapter 5 verses 12-26 – Sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email: gcurley@gcurley.info

SERMON OUTLINE:

Story #1: From Sickness to Health (vs 12-16).

(1). The Man Needed to be Changed (vs 12a).

(2). The Man Wanted to be Changed (vs 12b).

(3). The Man Was Changed (vs 13-14).

Story #2: From Guilt to Forgiveness (vs 12-16).

(1). The Man’s Problems: #1 The house was full (vs 17-20).

(2). The Man’s Problems: #2 The Diagnosis Seemed to be Wrong (vs 18 & 20).

(3). The Man’s Problems: #3 The Religious Leaders were Fuming (vs 17 & 21).

SERMON BODY

Ill;

• I'm going to give you a quick quiz.

• Don't worry, it's easy! I'll give you a word and you give me the opposite…

• The opposite of Fast is... Slow.

• The opposite of Long is... Short.

• The opposite of Cold is... Hot.

• The opposite of Young is... Old.

• The opposite of Soft is... Hard.

• The opposite of Sour is... Sweet.

• The opposite of High is... Low.

• The opposite of Rich is... Poor.

• The opposite of Love is... Hate?

• The opposite of Hope is... Hopelessness (or despair)!

• TRANSITION: In these verses this morning,

• We meet two people who are full of despair,

• For them life seems hopeless… that is until they encounter Jesus!

Story #1: From Sickness to Health (vs 12-16).

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ And immediately the leprosy left him.

Then Jesus ordered him, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’

Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

Are we sure about that? From my own experiences, I'm coming to realize that the greatest insult against someone is not to hate them, it's to be apathetic.”

(1). The Man Needed to be Changed (vs 12a).

“While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.”

• Leprosy was the scourge of the ancient world.

• Nothing evoked more fear, or more dread, or more revulsion;

• Than the sight of these walking dead.

• That is what a leper was called, ‘a walking dead man’.

• Before you saw a leper, you probably smelt him,

• The smell of his decaying flesh would make you aware of his nearness.

In the Bible:

• The Jewish people classified several diseases as leprosy,

• Including our modern disease of Hansen‘s Disease.

Ill:

• For us today leprosy is referred to and known as Hansen‘s Disease.

• It was 1873, and Dr. Armauer Hansen of Norway,

• He discovered the reason for leprosy.

• It was called by bacterium (Mycobacterium leprae).

• This bacteria attacks the nerve endings in the limbs, eyes, ears, & nose.

• It occurs where there is dirty water, bad nutrition and poor standards of living,

• Meaning people's immune systems are not strong & they are unable to fight the disease.

• But it was not until the 1980’s that treatments became available,

• And since the 1980’s over 15 million people have been cured!

• But even today;

• Leprosy is still responsible for disfiguring or disabling more than 2 million people.

• Quote: Dr. Paul Brand, who worked in leper colonies, called the it; “a painless hell”

• Leprosy is often thought to be eradicated in the UK,

• But up to 129 cases were reported in England and Wales between 2001 and 2010.

• World Health Organisation figures reveal;

• State that in 2016 there were 214,783 new cases of leprosy diagnosed.

• That is approximately one every two minutes.

• More than 60 per cent were found in India.

Now throughout history:

• Few diseases have been as dreaded and feared as leprosy.

• It was so common and severe among ancient peoples;

• That God gave Moses extensive instructions to deal with it

• You can find them in your Bibles in the book of Leviticus chapters 13 and 14.

Leprosy was greatly feared by the ancient people for two reasons:

• First: It caused great physical damage to the body,

• The disease disfigured the body.

• Second: Because of the strict isolation laws applying to leprosy,

• Those who contaminated the disease became feared outcasts of society.

• If you were contaminated by the disease then you were sent away from family,

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