Summary: Looking at the leper's exchange with Christ, we find an example of moving from powerless to empower
Living An Empowered Life
12While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 15But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
I. The Disease of Life
A. Leprosy: A term used to describe several skin diseases.
1. A disease that destroys the flesh
2. a disease that devours life
3. It destroys social interaction, cost us money, ruins marriages, families, futures, ruins the ability to trust, to have confidence, creates hypersensitivity
B. Can Jesus help?
1. He promises not the hurt,
A bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
2. Jesus promises healing and hope
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
II. Healing for Heartache
V12, he fell on his face and begged him
A. Many of us take pills every morning, but there is no pill for a broken heart or shattered life.
B. There is healing for heartache
C. God offers us healing and hope if we take His prescription.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
1. A broken heart is a humble heart
2. A Contrite heart is a repentant heart
D. Does Christ still help to heal the broken hearted?
Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.
III. Moving from Helpless to Hopeful
A. Jesus said in verse 13, “I will; be clean.” This was in response to the Lepers request that if it is His will…”
1. It is God’s will for us to be clean and to be whole.
B. In the first century Greek language there is no punctuation, if we read this w/o punctuation and if we read it as if we said it ourselves we read something else that is quite true and quite encouraging.
“I will be clean.” Clean from drugs, alcohol, a miserable past, I will be clean of insecurity and hopelessness. I will be clean of a minimal life with low standards. I will be clean of failures and I will be clean of doubts.
I will keep my eye on the sky.
IV. Hopeful To Empowered
Verse 14 “And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself”
A. Make the changes that are necessary for everyone to see that you are in fact a Christian. Make changes that are obvious to all. “An ounce of example is worth a pound of preaching.” Let your live tell the story of your change. Learn the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23 and let your obedience to God speak of your love for God. This does not mean you never need to share the gospel. It means the proof of your changed life casts a backdrop that validates your words.
1. Raise your own bar
B. You and God are a majority
1. If God is for us who can be against us?
C. Now think of something you want. What do you have to do to get it? What’s stopping you? Do you have a spirit of disease or a Spirit of Life?