by Don Fortner
Gospel: St. Luke 5: 12-16, 4: 40-41
Tonight, I believe, I have a message from God for you. I hope that God the Holy Spirit will give me power to declare it and that he will give you ears to receive it, for the glory of Christ. I want to be plain, practical, and forceful, as I try to persuade sinners to seek mercy at the hands of Christ Jesus. This is my subject - How Does A Sinner Approach The Lord In order To Obtain Mercy? You have my text in Luke 5:12-16.
"And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. (13) And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. (14) And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and show thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them. (15) But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. (16) And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed."
Piecing together the accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, this event took place just after our Lord had finished his Sermon on the Mount. "The people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." When he came down from the mountain, great multitudes followed after him. And there was one man full of leprosy who made his way through the crowd. He came through the great mass of men, crying, "Unclean, unclean." When he got to the Savior, he fell down at his feet and worshipped him, saying, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." "And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean."
Here is an unclean leper seeking mercy from the hands of Christ; and he obtained the mercy he sought. The Lord made him whole.
Oh, may this miracle be repeated in our midst this hour! Is there a man or woman in this place like the leper, unclean, hopeless, helpless, friendless, and alone? There is hope for you. If one has been made whole, why not another? Does God forgive sin; then why not my sin? Does God justify the ungodly; then why not me? Does Christ receive sinners; then why not me? Is there mercy with the Lord for the guilty; then why not for me? Did Christ die for sinners; then why not for me? Does God save the unrighteous; then why not me?
Proposition: If you would obtain mercy, you must seek mercy like this poor leper - From the hands of Christ.
My first point is this - THIS MAN CAME TO THE LORD JESUS WITH A DEEP SENSE OF HIS NEED.
We do not read anything else in the Bible about this history of this man. We do not know who his parents were, where he was from, how old he was, or what became of him. He seems to be set before us for one reason. -- He shows us how a sinner must come to the Lord, if he would have mercy. And the first thing is this - We must have a sense of our need.
You are all familiar with what leprosy is and what it represents.
Leprosy was a loathsome disease, common during the days of our Lordís earthly ministry. It fitly represents the plague of sin with which sons of Adam are diseased. Mr. Thomson in his famous work, "The Land and the Book," describes lepers in Israel like this: "The hair falls from the head and eyebrows. The nails loosen, decay, and drop off. Joint after joint of the fingers and toes shrink up and slowly fall away. The gums are absorbed, and the teeth disappear. The nose, the eyes, the tongue, and the palate are slowly consumed." The leper is a loathsome, miserable, outcast creature. He is walking death.
Here was a man whose body was covered from head to toe with leprosy. His disease was always before him. There was no hiding it. His body was covered with ulcers oozing with a liquid of sickening smell. His body was racked with pain. Luke tells us that he was "full of leprosy." He knew that he needed help. He needed supernatural, merciful, divine help. He needed the help of God. Without it, he would surely die.
Now, this is the very reason why many of you have never come to Christ, you do not have any sense of need. You do not feel that you need Christ. But some of you, I have reason to believe, are like this leper. You have come to feel your need of Christ. The plague of sin in your heart causes your very soul to burn with fever. You are lost, helpless, unclean, and doomed. You know that without Christ, you will surely die. You need him and you know it.
This is the first step toward salvation. Those who sense their need of mercy will soon obtain mercy.
All the fitness he requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
The next thing is that THIS LEPER CAME TO CHRIST IN GREAT HUMILIATION.
Luke says that, "Seeing Jesus, he fell on his face." Mark tells us that he came "Kneeling." Matthew tells us that he came worshipping.
That is just the way you must come to Christ, kneeling and falling on your face at his feet, worshipping him. You must come down.
Down, down, down, all the way down to the feet of Christ (Lk. 18:9-14).
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: (10) Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. (11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. (12) I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. (13) And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. (14) I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."
If you ever see who and what you are, you will come down.
If you ever see who Christ is and what he is, you will come down.
God knows how to bring sinners down to the feet of his Son.
Can you go with me this far? Do you feel your desperate need of Christ? Has your heart been broken and humbled at the feet of Christ? (Job 42:5-6).
"I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. (6) Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
I hope you can also follow this leper in the next thing.
This is the third thing that I want you to see - THIS MAN CAME TO THE LORD IN GREAT FAITH (Heb. 11:6).
"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
This is the main point. I do not know how he came to have this faith. Perhaps he had heard our Lord preach. Perhaps he was familiar with the Old Testament prophets. Perhaps he had heard the fame of our Lord from others. But this much I know, he knew who Christ was. He believed his claims. And he came to the Savior, full of faith.
This leper came to the Lord against many obstacles.
This leper came to Christ confessing great faith.
Application: This is the point, my friend, Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God?
"What think ye of Christ?"
Now, this is the thing that strikes me most, this leperís faith was a very personal matter.
He believed that Christ could heal him!
Again, THIS MAN CAME TO THE LORD IN TOTAL SUBMISSION.
He recognized that the whole issue was in the hands of Christ. "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean."
Salvation depends entirely upon the will of our Lord.
I want you to see that the whole matter of Godís saving grace lies under the control of his own sovereign will (Rom. 9:16, 18).
Romans 9:16 "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy."
Romans 9:18 "Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."
Recognizing the sovereignty of Christís power and the sovereignty of his will, he submitted to the Lord with joyful hope.
There was a total surrender to the Lord. He simply threw himself upon Christ. And you must do the same. "Lord, if you will you can save me." (Illustration: Lee to Grant)
Yet, he had hope. The Lord had never refused such a request before. And there is hope for you. God never has yet turned away one seeking, believing, submissive sinner. It seems likely, therefore, that he will not turn any away now.
Perhaps he will admit my plea,
Perhaps will hear my prayer;
But if I perish, I will pray,
And perish only there.
I can but perish if I go,
I am resolved to try;
For if I stay away I know,
I must forever die.
But if I die with mercy sought,
When I the king have tried;
This were to die (delightful thought!)
As sinner never died.
NOTE: The leper could not be worse off, even if he had been rejected. And if it were to happen that you sued for mercy and obtained it not, what would be your loss?
V. But, I am here to tell you, in the last place, that THIS MAN OBTAINED MERCY, AND SO MAY YOU.
Look at the great reward of his faith.
You too may obtain mercy at the feet of King Jesus.
Let me do what I can to persuade you to come now to the Lord. Come like this leper. Come with a sense of your need. Come in humiliation. Come in faith. Come in submission. But do come to Christ. Come to him now.
Yes, I know his will in this matter. It is his will to show mercy to perishing sinners. He has saved others just like you. Who can tell? Maybe he will save you too (Ezek. 33:11; John 6:37-40). I know that it is the will and pleasure of Christ to save sinners because...
He has said it.
He died to accomplish it.
He sent me to preach it to you.
He lives to do it.
The Healing Touch - Sermon on Luke 5:12-16Jesus Heals a Man with Leprosy
by Rev. Christopher Sandoval
by: Rev. Dr. V Kurian Thomas, Valiyaparambil
Garbo Sunday or Sunday of the Leper
by Rev. Fr. Paulose T. Peter, New York
Devotional Thoughts for the Sunday of the Leper
by Jose Kurian Puliyeril
Jesus Touched a Leper
by Dn. Monsy Manimalethu Jacob
Sermons, Bible Commentaries and Bible Analyses for 2nd Sunday in Great Lent (Garbo Sunday)
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