Summary: There is something special about the heart of Jesus that touches each person that comes to Him.
Prairie Baptist Church – 11/1/09
Text: Mark 1:40-44
Key verse: Mark 1:41 - Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Premise: There is something special about the heart of Jesus that touches each person that comes to Him.
A lady answered the knock on her door to find a man with a sad expression. "I’m sorry to disturb you, " he said, "but I’m collecting money for an unfortunate family in the neighborhood. The husband is out of work, the kids are hungry, the utilities will soon be cut off, and worse, they’re going to be kicked out of their apartment if they don’t pay the rent by this afternoon."
"I’ll be happy to help," said the woman with great concern. "But who are you?"
"I’m the landlord," he replied. Leadership p. 44 1984 5/2
The word was used of any chronic or infectious skin disease.
This disease “begins with specks on the eyelids and on the palms, gradually spreading over the body, bleaching the hair white wherever they appear, crusting the affected parts with white scales, and causing terrible sores and swellings. From the skin the disease eats inward to the bones, rotting the whole body piecemeal.” “In Christ’s day no leper could live in a walled town, though he might in an open village. But wherever he was he was required to have his outer garment rent as a sign of deep grief, to go bareheaded, and to cover his beard with his mantle, as if in lamentation at his own virtual death. He had further to warn passers-by to keep away from him, by calling out, ‘Unclean! unclean!’ nor could he speak to any one, or receive or return a salutation, since in the East this involves an embrace.” Easton, M.G.: Easton’s Bible Dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA : Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996, c1897
When you read the “tests” for leprosy described in Leviticus 13, you can see how the disease is a picture of sin.
• Like sin, leprosy is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3);
• it spreads (Lev. 13:5–8);
• it defiles and isolates (Lev. 13:44–46);
• and it renders things fit only for the fire (Lev. 13:47–59).
• Anyone who has never trusted the Savior is spiritually in worse shape than this man was physically.
Here, this diseased, leprous man is touched by the compassion of Jesus.
• No one else would talk to him, but Jesus did
• No one else cared for him, but Jesus did
• No one else would touch him, but Jesus did
Jesus had such compassion (to have one’s heart go out to someone) that He healed him. Jesus touch meant more to this man than anything else on earth, both body and soul.
1. Compassion for the Humble – “kneeling down to Him”
A. Winston Churchill was once asked, “Doesn’t it thrill you to know that every time you make a speech, the hall is packed to overflowing?”
“It’s quite flattering,” replied Sir Winston. “But whenever I feel that way, I always remember that if instead of making a political speech I was being hanged, the crowd would be twice as big.”
Norman McGowan, My Years With Winston Churchill, Souvenir Press, London.
B. Humility attracts God’s loving attention - 1st Peter 5:5 – . . . God resists the proud, but give grace to the humble.”
i. God opposes the proud, the arrogant
ii. God is drawn toward those who are humble and provides much needed grace
C. God fellowships with the humble - Is. 57:15 – For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
i. To “dwell” is to reside among or in a place
ii. He makes His residence not just in heaven but with us
iii. He lives in us through the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:17; 2nd Tim. 1:14)
D. God sustains the humble - Ps. 147:6 - The LORD lifts up the humble; . . .
i. He comes to our aid
ii. When we are down, He will lift us up, encouraging us.
2. Compassion for the Helpless – “stretched out His hand”
A. It seems that one day a kindergarten teacher was helping one of her students put on his cowboy boots? He asked for help and she could see why. Even with her pulling and him pushing, the little boots still didn’t want to go on. Finally, when the second boot was on, she had worked up a sweat. She almost cried when the little boy said, "Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet." She looked down and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. But she managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on - this time on the right feet. And it was only then that he announced, "These aren’t my boots." She bit her tongue rather than scream, "Why didn’t you say so?" like she wanted to. And, once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off his little feet. No sooner had they got the boots off then he said, "They’re my brother’s boots. My Mom made me wear ’em today." Stifling a scream, she mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the ill-fitting boots on his feet again. Helping him into his coat, she asked, "Now, where are your mittens?" To which he replied, "I stuffed ’em in the toes of my boots." The article ends by saying - Her trial starts next month.