Summary: Leprosy, like sin, need to be cured. Both can only be cured by the touch of the Master.
The touch of the Master’s Hand
Intro: Biblical leprosy was one of the many scourges that the Israelites believed God had inflicted upon mankind in retribution for sins committed. Bear a mark of leprosy often meant a life of alienation because lepers were forced to live meager existences on the outskirts of civilization. In the Bible leprosy was a blanket term for skin ailments as well as the mildewing of fabric and home walls. In any case leprosy represented a social affliction and expected the inflicted to repent and live outside the community until dead or healed.
Leprosy like aids today was a terrifying disease because there was no known cure. In Jesus’ day the word for leprosy was used for a variety of similar symptoms. If a person contracted the contagious disease the priest would declare him unclean and banished him or her to the outskirts of the village, or in a leper colony.
A Leper would:
1. Have to go about declaring himself unclean.
2. Would go about a social outcasts
3. Wander about with no human touch.
5. Rely on the kindness and Compassion of others for food and water.
In this passage Jesus is passing through having preached a great sermon or series of sermons. The leper wishes Jesus to heal him, “If you are willing” he says. Jesus reached out and touched him, even though his skin we covered with the dreadful disease.
Sin is also an incurable disease, and we all have it. Like leprosy, sin makes us:
2. Outcasts spiritually and if we die this way our eternity will be spent in the outer darkness.
3. We are helpless to cure our situation (Romans 7)
4. We need the kindness and Compassion of another.
We, like the lepers, need the Touch of the Master’s Hand.
No one touched by the Hand of Jesus is ever the same again.
Illustration: Touch of a little girl to a bag lady. The woman’s attitude changed with the touch of a child.
There are several in the Gospels
1. The demonic of Gerasenes. The touch of compassion changed him that he is found in his right mind and fully clothed
2. Crippled people met Jesus and were touched by Him, left walking, running, jumping and Praising God.
3. The Widow of Nain wept as she walked to the graveyard with the body of her only son, left with him alive because of the Touch of the Master.
Today we see people changed, they are touched by Jesus, sins are washed away along with the guilt and they are changed.
Jim Albright story: Now I feel completely clean.
Marion Hetrick: Now I feel the forgiveness.
When we are touched by the Master’s Hand, change inevitable. (Romans 8).
The foundation is rebuilt, it is now in Christ. The Leper’s foundation is changed, he will serve the Lord and make his Name known.
We must ask ourselves “What is our foundation?” If it is not Jesus Christ, it is sinking sand.
What kind of Man is this Jesus? At his word:
1. Demons flee
2. Cripples walk
3. Water is changed to the best wine ever
4. Lepers are cleansed
5. Sin is forgiven
Are we amazed?
Like the Leper, when we are touched by the Master’s Hand the change is noticeable by the world.