Summary: Working through the Gospel of Luke using consecutive expository preaching.
“Jesus is Willing – RU?”
A sermon for 3/21/21
Pastor John Bright - Harmony & Swansonville UMC
Luke 5 “12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.”
15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”
As we have traveled through chapters 4 & 5 of Luke’s Gospel, I have been putting a strong emphasis on what we see Jesus doing and saying. This is our pattern… if we are Disciples of Jesus Christ.
When we look around today, we see a world inside the Church that looks a lot like what we are reading in the Bible of Jesus’ day. There is a big group and a small group. That big group was described by Kyle Idleman in his book, “not a fan.” He describes most Christians today as fans. He asks the reader – “Is that how you define your relationship with Him? An "enthusiastic admirer"? Close enough to Jesus to get the benefits but not so close to require sacrifice? He was looking for followers. Not just any follower though, but a... COMPLETELY. COMMITTED. FOLLOWER. How would things change if you lived as Jesus lived, and loved the way He loved?” http://www.notafan.com/
I’m going to repeat what I said last week – Disciples do not fear the evil forces – rather they will stand and pray. Disciples believe the Son of God still heals so they pray for themselves and their loved ones and folks at the altar. Disciples hear the calling of Jesus Christ to fish for people – so evangelism comes naturally when the coworker or neighbor asks about the hope you have.
None of these are new topics if you have spent some time in local church worship and Bible study and Sunday School. We preach about these characteristics of discipleship and folks write books and studies so we can all be well educated fans of Jesus… but if that is all we ever become it would be sad for all of you and an utter failure for the local church. When I teach and preach on spiritual warfare prayer and healing prayer and evangelism – like these last few weeks – I sense there is a willingness among folks to move ahead – becoming a committed ( that means becoming sold-out rather than being a hold-out ) , a committed Disciple. Any Believer can take that next step – if she or he is willing.
Three pictures of willingness are found in Luke 5
“12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him.”
Jesus is willing to cleanse this man from a terrible skin disease. God, the Father in Heaven, is willing to have this man’s skin look like everybody else’s skin. I can know this because of what Jesus told us -
John 5 “18 Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 19 Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.”
Jesus’ willingness to help this man is a clear indication that God is willing. Have you ever thought – “I want to know God’s will for this or that.” GOOD FOR YOU! Have you ever said – “It’s so hard to know God’s will.” NO, IT’S NOT! Jesus’ pattern gives us the answer – “16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.”
Are you willing to go to God’s throne room on your knees with a humble heart? Are you willing to spend time in travailing prayer in the secret place? Does anybody know why we stopped going to the prayer closet and started thinking we can do all our praying in the car at stoplights? (just stop and think about that for a minute) Have we gotten to busy to pray? I think lots of Believers were reintroduced to the prayer closet in the movie – “The War Room.” It was a movie about a lukewarm Believer that crossed paths with a woman who had spent many years in the secret place of a prayer closet – literally.