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.