Summary: Total surrender to God’s will is required for us to experience the healing touch of Christ and be made spiritually whole.
I Choose / Mark 1: 40 - 45
Intro: When I was in grade school, there was a dreaded disease that pervaded the community. There was no vaccine, no antidote and no known cure. The only way to insure that you would remain disease free was to keep those affected by the disease quarantined. --- Mostly, the disease was carried by girls. All a carrier had to do was touch you, breathe on you or look at you real hard and you would be infected. The dreaded disease was “cooties.” “ooooo, don’t go near them, they have cooties.” As kids, we never thought about what affect having cooties may have had on the victims.
I. Being a leper was a horrible thing. It was much worse than having cooties. It surely caused many people to wonder if God had abandoned them. In the Bible, the leper is a symbol of the ultimate outcast.
A. Begins with weariness and joint pain / patches on the skin / nodules or lumps / break open and stink / hair fall out / attacks the nervous system / no sense of pain or touch / rejected by everyone even family.
B. Like the leper, may people today suffer from conditions they didn’t create, they are rejected, avoided and often condemned / DIVORCED / HANDICAPPED / ELDERLY / CRIMINALS / ADDICTED / NURSING HOME RESIDENTS
C. VS. 40 “If you are willing” – You do not doubt that God CAN do something; you doubt that God WILL do anything about it.
II. VS. 41 “Moved with pity (compassion) GK. word SPLACHNA literally means BOWELS / JESUS’ GUTS WERE STIRRED. It really bothered Jesus. It tore Him up. It stirred His guts.
A. Some texts use ANGER. Jesus was angry that this person would feel that even God did not want to help him.
B. How come God doesn’t do stuff like this for me? Does God care? Is God willing to take away my problem, make my life better, make His presence known in MY life?
C. There are nearly 400 Biblical passages that tell of God’s concern for: orphans, widows, prisoners, aliens, the homeless, the poor, the hungry, the sick, the disabled. DOES GOD CHOOSE?
III. VS. 41 “he reached out his hand and said, “I will; be clean.” This is a remarkable verse. It shows the compassion of Christ and the extent to which he is willing to go to bring wholeness.
A. Perhaps you are LONELY / FEELING LIKE AN OUTSIDER / HAVING PROBLEMS AND ISSUES / ASHAMED AND UNWORTHY OF THE TOUCH OF JESUS
B. VS 42 – “Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.” It is not always God’s will to heal every disease; but, it is God’s will to TOUCH every life and make it clean. God was willing to do some amazing things in the life of this Jewish leper.
C. God is willing to do great things in your life. You must make the first step by coming seeking God’s will not your own.
Conclu: The leper approached Jesus, not demanding that Jesus do anything. He did not demand that Jesus heal him. He simple took a risk, putting his whole life into the hands of Jesus. If you choose, you can cure me; and it you decide I shall remain this way, then so be it. --- That is a tremendous act of surrender and acceptance of his fate either way. --- NOT MY WILL; BUT YOURS BE DONE! We must be willing to come as the leper, with complete faith, trust and surrender in order to hear the words, “I choose; be whole!”