Summary: Here in the story of the Leper who returned to thank Jesus, we see a very powerful gospel message, and message that will question your relationship with Jesus.
This sermon was delivered to both St Oswalds in Maybole and St John's churchs in Girvan, Scotland UK on the 13th October 2013.
Prayer: Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable to you O Lord. Amen.
Although today’s Gospel reading is very familiar, it is very powerful in its meaning, showing us basically what our Christian faith is all about; … it is just like this leper who returned to thank Jesus, as we suffer from an even more, debilitating disease called Sin; as it’s a deadly sickness that only Jesus can cure.
We therefore are instructed to follow this poor leper’s example and admit that we are sick, … call out to Jesus for help, … step out in faith to receive that healing; … thank him for the cure, … and then witness that healing being manifested. It sounds so simple, but you know as I do, that life can be very difficult; full of trials and tribulations; but … the bible goes on to say that we are not to worry, ... as “Jesus has over come the world”.
The secret to success therefore is in knowing where too turn for help; and for us, that is Jesus, … the son of God. Now the New Testament tells us that Jesus performed many miracles, and below the surface of these miracles we see a Gospel story, but we also see a Gospel story in every miracle; and so today we find a Gospel meaning, … in the healing of the leper who returned.
1. We all have a deadly disease called sin that only Jesus can cure.
Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.
The Lepers back then were called “the walking dead,” as they were literally kicked out of their homes, villages, churches, … and forced to live in colonies with other lepers, because their disease was so contagious, being easily passed on to others; and although none of us here today have leprosy, that is a pretty good description of us before we came to know the Lord. We were all born with a deadly disease called Sin; … a disease that caused us to be spiritual outcasts from the kingdom of God.
Sin is the disease we inherited from our parents, who inherited it from their parents and so on; all the way back to Adam and Eve, and so we live in a world that is sick; and sin is rife.
Sin is a disease that we struggle to measure, as no MRI, or CAT scan or any other diagnostic tool can detect, but God’s Word says it’s there, and it is eating away at us, bit by bit, like an insidious cancer; growing in our souls; and destroying our very life. … So what can we do about it? Well, we do the same as these lepers here, acknowledge the sickness, and seek the help of Jesus.
2. YOU MUST ADMIT YOUR NEED AND CRY OUT TO JESUS
Now this was easy for them, they knew they were sick, and they had Jesus passing through their territory; so … the ten of them banded together, and with one voice cried out: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us”!