Summary: Rejoice in God’s touch.


Matthew 8:1-4

S: God’s compassion

Th: Grace-Full Living (the grace of God’s touch)


?: What? What do we find out about God when He

touches us?

KW: Characteristics

TS: Since we are to rejoice in God’s touch, we will find in our study of Matthew 8:1-4, four characteristics that are revealed when He touches us.

The _____ characteristic of God that is revealed when He touches us is His…





RMBC 11/19/00 AM


ILL Notebook: Health (cholesterol)

Esther Hubbard was the substitute teacher for a second-grade math class that was learn-ing about groups. In one exercise, pupils were asked to label a group of items according to their common characteristic. Pictured were onion rings, dough-nuts, a bundt cake and ring cookies. The correct answer would have been that all the items have holes in the center. But one boy’s response was, “All of these things contain too much cholesterol.”

- Contributed by Esther M. Hubbard

This little story proves this first statement.

That is…

1. We live in a health-conscious culture.

In fact, so much so, we believe that good health is our right.

Take a look at the advertising.

There are exercise machines that will make you look right.

There are foods that will keep your heart healthy.

And if something should go wrong, there are medications that will correct it, with very few side effects.

The truth is, in today’s age,we are very uncomfortable with the physically impaired.

We try to hide them from view.

We try not to think about the diseased and homeless.

Hopefully, they will just go away.

2. In ancient times, good health and long life became a luxury.

The expected life span was considerably shorter.

It was the exception, not the rule to have the elderly among them.

This was because disease was rampant.

If a person survived, it was because the malady had run its course instead of being fatal.

And there was little remedy for pain and suffering.

So when someone suffered, they were left scarred, deformed, crippled, and debilitated.

Not only that, plagues wiped out entire towns and regions.


1. Today, we are dependent on science to find answers to our every medical need.

As I alluded to before, when we go to a doctor, we expect him to fix us.

We think that he will evaluate us correctly, prescribe the right medicine, and we will be made well.


Science has the answer.

ILL Notebook: Healing (don’t do that again)

There is a story about a young pastor who goes to pray with an older woman. She’s near death; she’s in the hospital lying on the pillow, gasping for breath. He visits with her, and then he says, "I need to go, but would you like to have prayer before I go?" The old woman says, "Yes." He says, "Well, what would you like us to pray for today?" And she says, "I’d like to pray I’d be healed, of course." The young pastor gasps but goes on, "Lord, we pray for your sustaining presence with this sick sister. And if it be thy will, we pray that she will be restored to health and to service. But if it’s not thy will, we certainly hope that she will adjust to her circumstances." Suddenly the old woman opens her eyes and sits up in bed. She throws her feet over the side of the bed. She stands up. She says, "I think I’m healed!" And she strides out the door. The last the pastor sees, she’s striding down the hall toward the nurses’ station, saying "Look! Look at me!" The pastor goes down the steps, goes out to the parking lot. Before he opens the door of his car, he looks up and says, "Don’t you ever do that to me again!"


2. Because of this dependency, we are shocked when something out of the ordinary happens.

You mean…that science doesn’t have all the answers?

You mean…there might be some other options?

3. During biblical times, there was an extraordinary and debilitating disease that put fear into the community: leprosy.

As soon as the word was said, it was like saying, “They are full of cancer” or “They have AIDS.”

The word leper means “scaly.”

It was the most feared disease in the ancient world, and even today, it cannot be totally cured.

It was, though, much more communicable in ancient times.

When a person had leprosy, spongy tumor-like swellings would grow on both the face and the body.

The bones and the interior organs would begin to deteriorate.

Increasingly, a leper would become weaker and weaker, to the point of being vulnerable to other diseases like tuberculosis.

The disease was disfiguring, debilitating and repulsive to the extreme.

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