Summary: This leper’s scars ran far deeper than his debilitating disease. Jesus is more than just thehealer of the surface problem, but can bring healing to emotional and spiritual scars as well.
“JESUS ISN’T AFRAID TO TOUCH OUR SCARS”
INTRO: 1.There’s not only a message in the fact that Jesus healed - there is’ also a multitude of messages in how He heals.
a.Each individual was handled differently. Why? (Not mechanical methods)
b.The way He met their need is as important as the need. By design.
c. Even the simplest transaction with Christ bear uniquely distinctive characteristics.
2.Consider the leper
a. Fully developed leprosy. (Lk. “Covered in leprosy”)
b. Left his body rotting, numb and dangerous, incurable.
3.Yet this leper’s scars ran far deeper than his debilitating disease. (Result of a lepers lifestyle)
a.Suffered from the scars of a lost identity. (Now just a leper)
b.Suffered from the scars of a destroyed dignity. (torn clothes)
c.Suffered from the scars of repulsion. (All he touched was defiled)
d.Suffered from the scars of isolation. (No home / city welcomed - Cried “unclean”)
e.On some level we all can relate to the pain they have experienced. (All been victims of the cruelty of mankind)
4.Our hearts can become leprous as this man (outer had infected his inner man)
a. When our inner scars eat away at us.
b. When our inner scars leave us numb and unfeeling.
c. When our inner scars make us someone we’re not.
d. When our inner scars infect the lives of those around us.
e. When our inner scars push us to isolation.
5.I believe the leper was there out of curiosity, saw the mob and drew as close as he was allowed to.
a. Up to now Christ hadn’t healed any lepers.
b.Maybe he had resolved that he’d just make the best of his condition. (Maybe today he choose to live with his scars)
c.But from the time he drew close to Christ, felt Christ’s touch.
I. JESUS IS NOT AFRAID TO TOUCH OUR WEAKENED FAITH
a.Faith isn’t just a key to the miraculous, it’s a gift. (Jesus - "Author and Finisher of our faith")
b. Many would like to make faith an impossible fruit of our labors.
c. We often feel inadequate faith.
d.It’s not easy to have faith when we are dealing with inner scars. (Defend them, Deny them, Own them -”root of bitterness” Hebrews)
A. THE LEPERS FAITH WAS IMPARTED BY THE WORDS OF CHRIST.
1.In Matthew’s account he pointed out that this miracle occurred immediately after his teaching.
2. Our inherent faith or our “measure of faith” was from God not earned.
(Fruit of the Spirit, and Gift of the Spirit - gifts of grace not achievement)
3. Roman’s tell us faith comes by hearing.
Rom. 10:17 "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."
4. In the words of Christ - a dying faith can come alive.
B. THE LEPERS FAITH WAS IMPERFECT.
1. The lepers faith was zealous and firmly planted in Christ.
“... thou canst make me clean.”
2. But the lepers faith questioned His willingness.
3.How often does our faith proclaim “He is able” but lacks the strength to appropriate His promises personally.
4.It was this weak-point that Christ spoke to by answering “I will” or better translated “I am willing”.
5. Step-by-step He imparted all the faith this man needed.
C. THE LEPERS FAITH HAD BEEN SLANTED BY HIS SCARS.
1. His scars left him feeling worthless. (On his face)
2.His scars left him feeling a burden (“beseeching” or begging him)
3. His scars left him feeling like a nuisance.
4. He was asking “Are you willing to notice me?”
5. He was asking “Are you willing to trouble yourself for me?”
6. You are not insignificant, a burden, or nuisance to God.
II. JESUS IS NOT AFRAID TO TOUCH OUR MOST DESPERATE NEED.
a. Jesus touches what others fail to see.
b. Our most desperate need is not always our most obvious need.
A. HIS IS THE TOUCH THAT REACHES.
1.Unlike the 10 lepers that would later call on him, this man needed to be touched.
2. This took an effort on Jesus’ part because the leper was a distance away.
3. He reached beyond the law to touch this man. (No obstacle)
4. He will reach beyond the point where others stop reaching.
B. HIS IS THE TOUCH THAT TOUCHES THE HIDDEN SCARS.
1. He touched the scars of a lost identity and said you’re somebody to me.
2. He touched the scars of a lost dignity and said you’re worth the trouble.
3. He touched the scars of repulsion and rejection and said I love you.
4. He touched the scars of isolation and said you’re not alone anymore.
C. HIS TOUCH IS THE TOUCH THAT SHARES OUR PAIN.
1. Jesus didn’t come condemning us for how we feel, but he feels with us.
2.“Compassion” in the greek suggests that his total being was moved -spiritually, physically, emotionally.