Summary: The Leprosy of Sin. The MISERY of the LEPER, the MERCY of the LORD, and the MINISTRY of the LAW. Link to formatted version & Powerpoint included.
Little White Spots
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Why did Jesus do miracles? Not to draw a crowd…He avoided that. (Not like faith-healers of today who only perform for large crowds, and avoid hospitals and nursing homes).
3 Reasons Jesus Did Miracles:
We serve a God who is concerned about more than our eternal needs…also our temporal needs!
The Jews required a sign, and Jesus proved He was the Messiah over and over again.
Jesus did 5 great miracles in Capernaum, and they still rejected Him! (their judgment will be greater… “if I had done them in Sodom and G. they would have repented!”)
Conveying His power…revealing that what He could do in the physical realm He could also do in the spiritual realm.
Can heal leprosy…can heal sin!
We read of a great miracle here in Mark 1…
I have 3 simple points:
The misery of the leper
The mercy of the Lord
The ministry of the Law
I. The Misery of the Leper
He was probably living in a leper colony, isolated and exiled from society…then he heard about the Lord, and he believed that if only he could get to Jesus, he could be healed.
He approached the Lord and would have proclaimed, “unclean, unclean!” as the law required. Bystanders would be outraged at his actions (“how dare he?”), but would scatter to a distance.
Leprosy in the Bible is a picture of sin. For instance:
In this man’s case, he was probably out plowing one day, and noticed a little white spot on his hand…just a little white spot! He showed it to his wife, and she said, let’s watch it a few days…but then there were several little white spots, which became nodules, which grew and began to ooze fluid. “You’d better go to the priest and show him” (in those days the priest was also the public health official—Andy Griffith: sheriff/justice of peace)
As the law required, the priest would have the man quarantined for 14 days, at the end of which the priest broke the bad news, you have leprosy, you’re going to die, you must be banished, separated away with others like yourself.
“Wait, I have to tell my wife goodbye”
No, that’s not possible, you can never go near her or your family again.
“Wait, just one hug from my children!”
No, you cannot…never again can you touch a clean person.
He was sent to a leper colony to die (the avg. lifespan for a leper in those days was 9 years)
Certainly he probably watched his children grow up from a distance…they would approach from the safety of a few hundred feet and would wave at him, leaving him food or a written message.
Soon the sores covered his whole body and became ulcerated, and would begin to bleed…then flesh would begin to fall off of his body, sometimes in large portions—fingers and toes first, perhaps an ear or part of the nose.
Lepers would begin to emit a foul odor so bad you could taste it. If you tried to lie down long to rest, the rats would come to eat off of your flesh. You couldn’t sit on a rock, it was against the law, lest someone else sit there later and contract the loathsome disease. He couldn’t drink from a stream, either.
The voice would become raspy and the breath wheezy, and then he would know there wasn’t much longer for him.
He was a total outcast, totally isolated/exiled/despised. His leprosy was a picture of the filthiness/rottenness/putridity of sin…a picture the devil doesn’t want us to see today. He presents it as pleasant, alluring, and enjoyable…and he never shows us the ultimate results of sin!
Sin always starts out rather innocently: just a little white spot (glass of champagne on an anniversary, just a beer w/ the boys…but the man has the drink, then the drink has a drink, and then the drink has the man!)
How does adultery begin?...as just a little white spot. An innocent flirtation, listening to a co-worker share their problems at home, consoling them a little…then emotions are added to the already present physical attraction, lust leads to sin, something physical happens, adultery occurs, and lives are ruined by the deadly leprosy of sin!
A teenager has just a little white spot on their record, that friend from the wrong crowd…the devil makes sure it all comes together one night at the wrong place, at the wrong time, the circumstances snowball on them, and they do something they would never have dreamed of doing when the night began…and everyone knows now, or their picture’s in the paper, someone’s life has been destroyed, somebody’s got a disease, somebody’s pregnant, or somebody’s dead! A deadly dose of leprosy has crept in…and it all started as a little white spot!