Summary: Today, we are going to look at a miracle of Jesus that is all about making oneself clean.
MIRACLES OF JESUS: DIRTY LIVES
INTRODUCTION… Kids playing in the sprinkler
A few weeks ago there was a very nice day and the sun was shining bright. Our three kids had been outside for quite a while when we decided to help them cool off. We got out the hose and the sprinkler. Our kids love to run through the sprinkler. They laugh and screech and enjoy playing with each other in the sprinkler. On this particular day, Abby and Nate also enjoyed dumping muddy water on Ian’s head. He had dirt in his eyes and all over. They dumped it on his head over and over again. He was dirty! He walked up to his mother and said all he could say was, ‘Look what they did to me!’ The bottom of the tub was full of dirty water and the tub definitely needed a good cleaning after the children were done.
Today, we are going to look at a miracle of Jesus that is all about making oneself clean.
READ LUKE 5:12-16
We find in this passage that a man that was suffering from leprosy approached Jesus. “Leprosy is a chronic contagious disease that is characterized by ulcers of the skin, bone, and internal organs and leads to loss of sensation, paralysis, and deformation” (http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/leprosy). This sounds painful doesn’t it? Besides being painful, Jewish people that suffered from skin diseases were required by the Law in Leviticus 13 and 14 to be separated from the place where they lived until they were cured. They were unclean and were outcasts.
This man comes to Jesus in verse 12 and says to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” This man was asking Jesus to heal him. This man was asking Jesus to let him back into society. This man was asking for his life, job, and family back. This disease was in the way of the life that he wanted and he knew that Jesus could help. Of course, Jesus was more than willing and Jesus declared two simple words, ‘Be clean!’ and the man was immediately healed. The man was healed of the disease that had separated him from his life. The man had been made whole again.
After I read this passage, I asked myself the most important question a person can ask when reading a passage of Scripture: ‘What does this mean for me?’ And for some reason I thought of all the things in my life that are leprosy that block me from having the kind of life that I should live. I do not mean physical leprosy of course, but I begin to think of all the sins and obstacles that I commit and deal with that keep me from being whole. As I thought about the list of things that I do that keep me from living a holy abundant life, I thought of another passage of Scripture that I just could not stop reading over and over again.
READ 2 CHRONICLES 26:1-23
I have to ask several questions after reading a passage like that:
Why did Uzziah get leprosy?
What was the sin of Uzziah?
What happened to Uzziah’s life because of his sin?
I hope you see that it was the pride of Uzziah that brought the leprosy on him and separated him from his family and his life. Uzziah’s life was never the same after that day in the temple. Pride led to Uzziah being separated with leprosy.
The Bible has much to say about pride:
Psalm 10:4, “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”
Proverbs 11:2, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 21:24, “The proud and arrogant man-- "Mocker" is his name; he behaves with overweening pride.”
Uzziah was not a bad man. In fact the passage in 2 Chronicles tells us that Uzziah did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and God gave him success (verse 5). Uzziah was a man who sought after the Lord. God gave this man success after success. Verse 15 tells us, “His fame spread far and wide, for he was greatly helped until he became powerful.” Then verse 16 tells us pride struck. Verse 19 tells us that leprosy broke out on his forehead because of that pride. The man had no recourse. The man was stricken. Verse 21 tells us that he had to live in a separate house from everyone else. He was not known for being mostly faithful to God or having massive military success, but was remembered in the end for having leprosy (verse 23).