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He Touched Me

  • He Touched Me from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Today I want to talk about the unclean, the outcasts, the lepers who lived during the time of Jesus.

    (Mark 1:40–42 NKJV) Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed.

    Leprosy, also called Hansen’s disease, is a contagious, infectious disease that is horrible. The effects can range from a rash on the skin to severe deformity. It destroys the nerve system and brings numbness to the extremities as well as to the ears, eyes, and nose. In Third-World countries, vermin sometimes chew on sleeping lepers without the lepers even knowing it. Dr. Paul Brand who researched the disease called it a “painless hell.” Leprosy was thought to be highly contagious, but actually it is not.

    According to Leviticus 13:45, lepers were required to shout “Unclean! Unclean!” to warn other people to stay away from them:

    (Leviticus 13:45–46 NASB)  “As for the leper who has the infection, his clothes shall be torn, and the hair of his head shall be uncovered, and he shall cover his mustache and cry,

    ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ “He shall remain unclean all the days during which he has the

    infection; he is unclean. He shall live alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.

    Lepers were typically beggars because there was no way they could support themselves. Sometimes their families deposited food in remote places for them to pick up. We can hardly imagine the humiliation and isolation of a leper’s life then. Lepers were banished and lived in colonies outside the city. There was a serious social stigma associated with leprosy because people were afraid of catching it themselves, and the effects of it were horrible. They were outcasts, the refuse of society.

    By the time that Jesus was born, the teaching of the rabbis and their habit of making the law of Moses even more strict, had made matters even worse for the unclean. If a leper even stuck his head inside a house, the house was pronounced unclean. It was illegal to greet a leper. Lepers had to remain at least 100 cubits away if they were upwind, and four cubits if downwind.

    Josephus, the Jewish historian, summed it up by saying that lepers were treated “as if they were, in effect, dead men”—dead men walking. To the rabbis, curing a leper was seen as difficult as raising a person from the dead. If this were not bad enough, it was also thought that those who had leprosy had contracted the disease because of some great sin they had committed.

    This poor man in Mark was “full of leprosy.”, meaning the disease had run its course and was in its final stages. This man had not been able to feel for years, and his body, mutilated from head to foot, was foul and rotting.

    This leper made his way to Jesus shouting “Unclean! Unclean!” and then fell prostrate before Him. It literally means “he kissed the ground.” He simply thought “If he can do it for others, he can do it for me.” He said “Lord if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then beautiful Jesus was filled with compassion, He put out His hand and touched the man, and said “I am willing. Be clean.” The man was instantly healed.

    There was a transfer of cleanliness that took place. The man became cleansed, but Jesus became ceremonially unclean, for He had touched a leper. People avoided lepers, but Jesus reached out and “touched” him even though it brought negative effects. It is often translated, “to take hold of.” Jesus, at the very least, placed his hand firmly on the leper and we could hardly imagine the joy that passed through this poor man’s body. The onlookers were shocked, the disciples were shocked, and Jesus was now ceremonially unclean, but that leper felt loved.

    Now think of this: Jesus often healed people by just speaking the words. He healed a centurions servant from a distance (Luke 7:10). He told a paralyzed man to pick up his bed and go home, and he did! (Matthew 9:6). He raised the son of a widow in Nain from the dead by saying “Young man, I say to you, arise!” (Luke 7:14). Jesus spoke to the dead body of Lazarus, and it came back to life (John 11:43). There are many other examples like this.

    Yet here, Jesus chose to touch the leper, to firmly take hold of him, instead of just speaking the words. He loved the unloved. His touch said, “I am with you, I understand, I love you.” The same thing happened at the cross. Sinless Jesus took our sins away. He became unclean, so that we could be clean.

    The moral of this story: Don’t hold on to your leprosy. If Jesus wants to take away your sin, then let Him have it all just as the leper did. Sin will lie to you and pull you off balance in two ways: Either that you have no sin, and you’re perfect…or that you have sinned too much, and God could never forgive you. The truth is that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) but the blood of Jesus cleanses us from it all (1 John 1:7).

     

    (2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB) He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

    For Jesus to take away our sins, we must be like the leper:

    - We acknowledge that we are sinners, we are unclean.

    - We come to Him in humility sincerely wanting His help, to be forgiven.

    - We must believe that He is able to make us clean.

    (Romans 10:9 NASB) tells us “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;”

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name I pray.

    Note: Just FYI for those who may have missed the email and are interested, here is our latest newsletter, which was sent Friday. Thank you so much for the wonderfully encouraging comments and support from those who already received it - we love y'all and so appreciate each of you!


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Social Sharing

15 comments
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Feb 2
  • 1
Jim Jarrell
Jim Jarrell

Amen! Thank You Lord!

Feb 3
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen!

Feb 3
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Amen 

Feb 3
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. Welcome into my heart and into my life dear Lord Jesus. Amen

Feb 3
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Thank you Jesus for the forgiveness of all my sin. In Jesus Name,  Amen 

Feb 3
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Thank you Pastor Dion for the message,Amen 

Feb 3
  • 1
Richard Mondello
Richard Mondello

Amen! Thank You and praise You Lord Yehoshua Christ of God! You are King of kings and Lord of lords! You are Lord over ALL creation as made so by Yahweh God our Father! Hallelujahweh!

Feb 3
  • 1
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

God thank u for your forgiveness. Praise God. In the name of Jesus Amen 

Feb 3
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Awesome God!!

Feb 3
  • 1
Linda Clark
Linda Clark

Amen 

Feb 3
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Oh dear Jesus  I am a sinner and in need of Your forgiveness, I know You gave Your precious life for our redemption. I need You to lead me for a better me through my life and follow Your designs, in Your Holy and Glorious name we pray oh Lord, Amen.

Great  message Pastor, God bless you and Sylvia. 

Feb 3
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Feb 3
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Oh compassionate Lord, thank you for taking pity on me, for saving me, for hearing my prayers, and for so much more! 

Feb 3
  • 1
Sherry McCosh
Sherry McCosh

Thank you Pastor Dion once again for this message. Thank you Jesus for dying for me on the cross in my place, thank you that you loved me even though I am a sinner. Thank you for making me clean and taking my sin away. To God be all the Glory!!

Feb 3