The Transforming Touch of Jesus
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“The Transforming Touch of Jesus”
A physical touch is a powerful thing; God has put millions of nerves in our fingers and hands for touching. I enjoy holding Tess’s hand; or putting my arm around her; or having her run her fingers through my hair. Her touch makes me feel loved, secure and wanted. I love to hug my children, and hold my grandchildren, and wrestle with Rush. I like shaken hands with my friends, and embracing my brothers in Christ. The physical touch of another person is a wonderful thing.
Research says that babies that are held, caressed, and kissed develop better emotionally.
I heard recently about a lonely man who had no family that cared about him. He belonged to no church. He said he had his hair cut once a week just so someone would touch him in a caring way.
But not only is there the physical touch, there is also the emotional touch. Have you ever been touched by something someone did for you? Has your emotions ever been touched by a tragedy? Have you ever watched a Hallmark movie with your wife and caught yourself wiping away a tear? She looks at you, and says, where you crying? You’re like, maybe! Listen, I don’t like scary movies, and I don’t like sad movies that make you cry.
I tell Tess, I hear a lot of sad and bad news as a pastor; why do I want to sit down and watch a sad movie, when I don’t have to. I can’t even watch despicably me without crying! There is a physical touch, and emotional touch, and there is the spiritual touch. A spiritual touch is when Jesus touches you in your heart; it is deeper than the physical or emotional touch. When Jesus touches you in your heart your life will be transformed!
Everyone in this room has experienced a physical touch and an emotional touch, but the question is, have you experienced the spiritual touch of the Lord Jesus? We're going to meet a man this morning that Jesus touched, and the touch of Jesus transformed his life! We learn from this man how to experience a transforming touch from Jesus. How do you get a transforming touch from Jesus? #1 you must:
1. Request a Touch from Jesus!
This miracle takes place right after the miracle of the great catch of fish, and Jesus calling his first disciples. Jesus is still preaching and ministering in the cities around the Sea of Galilee; and while he is in this certain city, he is approached by this man with leprosy.
V:12-“Behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and begged him, saying Lord if you will, you can make me clean”
Luke says behold-look, check this out.
A man with leprosy is coming to Jesus. Leprosy was a terrible disease in Jesus day. A person with leprosy went through a lot of suffering. Dr. Luke says that this man was. "Full of leprosy." He was consumed by the disease; he was in the advanced stages of leprosy. Leprosy in Christ day had
Terrible physical effects on the person who had it. From the book of Leviticus we learn how leprosy starts, grows, and destroys a person physically.
Leprosy started on the inside before it showed up on the outside. The person would begin to feel fatigue; their joints would begin to get sore. Then one day they would notice little white spots all over their skin. The little white spots would begin to harden into nodules that would turn from white to pink to brown and become scaly and spread over there body. The face would begin to swell and have deep wrinkles and their face would begin to resemble a lion. The nodules will ulcer all over their body producing a foul odor. The nodules would also cover their vocal cords so that when he breathed there would be a wheezing sound, and his voice would become very raspy.
His eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair would fall out. Inch by inch his man's body would be taken over by leprosy and begin to rot. He would lose feeling in his hands and feet, he would step on things or touch things that would hurt him. His fingers and toes would literally rot off. He suffered physically!
He suffered socially:
, -“The person with leprosy must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!”
As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; outside the camp."
The leper lived a life of total humiliation and isolation. And then there was the ultimate shame, having to cry “Unclean! Unclean!” whenever he came in range of the normal population. Lepers were typically beggars. There was little else they could do. By Jesus’ time, rabbinical teaching had made matters even worse with absurd restrictions. If a leper even stuck his head inside a house, it 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 famous Jewish historian, summed it up, saying that lepers were treated “as if they were, in effect, dead men.
People believed leprosy was the result of some great personal sin. People jumped to this erroneous conclusion because people as Miriam, Uzziah and Gehazi had been judged with leprosy.
The life of a leper in Christ’s time was horrible.
A leper was sick and rotting, with no hope of healing, he was banded from society and made to cry, “Unclean! Unclean!”
A person with leprosy, was the living dead, with no hope of healing. A person with leprosy had not only lost his health, he lost his family, his friends, his home, and his livelihood.
No one was allowed to associate with a leper. In a word, lepers were ”untouchable”.
Leprosy serves as a parable of sin, and outward and visible sign of inward spiritual corruption.
Sin makes you unclean before a holy God! Sin destroys your life. No disease in the Bible pictures the devastating results of sin in a person's life like the disease of leprosy.
Our sin and depravity is a disease that distorts and disfigures a person God created us to be. It is a kind of living dead, because the Bible says that apart from Christ, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.
Friends we are in terrible shape without Jesus Christ! If you could ever see yourself with spiritualize as you are without Jesus, you would know that you are the walking dead trying to cover yourself with filthy rags.
This leper got word that a man named Jesus was healing all kinds of diseases. Some said he was the son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world. He crawled out of the leper pit and limbed and hobbled his way to where Jesus was. When he got to Jesus, he completely disregarded the law of the leper and came hobbling right up to Jesus.
Notice how you come to Jesus:
a. Admit your condition.
Above the noise of the multitude walking and talking was the voice of this leper crying “Unclean! Unclean!” People are backing away from him in terror, mothers are clutching their children, he is covered from head to toe with leprosy, people are shouting at him, maybe throwing rocks at him. But he kept coming until he was face to face with Jesus! All the time crying “Unclean, unclean”
Here we see the first qualification for obtaining the healing touch of Jesus—an awareness of one’s condition.
The poor man not only said he was unclean—he knew he was.
The man was desperate, so we came to Jesus. He came out of a sense of his desperate need, and his terrible condition. He knew he was a rotten leper! He saw himself as completely hopeless. There was nothing he could do to help himself. Everyone else had probably given up on him too. His many years of sickness probably meant that even his family had quit praying for him. He acknowledged there was nothing within him that deserved healing or help.
God does not come to the self-sufficient; those who think they have no need or imagine they can make it on their own.
The leper came to Jesus as his only hope.
This is the only way we can come to Christ—saying, “Unclean! Unclean!”
If we come saying, “only partly unclean” or
“25 percent clean,” He will not receive us! Have you come to Christ totally unclean?
Aware that you are a dirty, rotten, no good sinner!
Only then does Jesus give the healing touch we need. To receive a healing touch you must first admit your condition.
The second qualification for receiving a touch from Jesus:
a. Humble your heart.
V:12-“who seeing Jesus fell on his face and pleaded with him…
Here we get a picture of this man’s heart; he falls prostrate before the son of God. This leper put his whole soul in the dirt before Jesus!
He worshiped Jesus as the only possible source of his healing. The lesson is clear; Jesus healing touch does not come to the proud, arrogant and haughty.
It comes as we humble our heart before him in realization that he is our only hope.
a. Admit your condition
b. Humble your heart.
Third qualification for receiving a touch from Jesus:
c. Believe in Jesus.
V:12-“ Lord, if you will, you can make me clean”.
The leper demonstrated remarkable faith.
Mark indicates that he repeated this several times. How incredible is this picture of the prostrate leper repeating in his hoarse voice “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean, Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
He had heard of Jesus miraculous power and he believed that Jesus was the all-powerful, the Son of God! He believed Jesus had the power to heal him!
He said, V:12“You can make me clean.” He believed Jesus could heal him… even him.
He had come to realize that the scribes and Pharisees could not help him. That the priest and Levites couldn't help him and the only hope for his life was a touch from Jesus!
And the only cure for a sin sick heart is the touch of Jesus.
If you want the healing touch of Jesus you must admit your condition, humble your heart, and believe in Jesus.
How do you get a transforming touch from Jesus? 1st of all: Request a Touch from Jesus like this man! When you do you will:
2. Receive a Touch from Jesus!
V:13-“And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him”.
As that leper lay at Jesus feet with the whole multitude looking on, Jesus looked at him and was touched in His heart! says Jesus was “moved with compassion” it means to be stirred in the innermost part of your being; it is a word that means to feel the pain of another person.
a. Jesus touched him.
Then the unbelievable happened:
V:13-“Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.”
You could probably hear a gasp go through the multitude! They could not believe that Jesus touched this man! It may have been 10 years since the leper had been touched by another human hand. Maybe he was a father and had once known the embrace of his children and his wife, but that was years ago. In fact, according to Jewish law, no one could come closer than six feet to him.
But Jesus “touched him”, the word “expresses more than superficial contact.” The Greek word used here is often translated “to take hold of.”
How wonderful Jesus is! He did not have to do that. He could have spoken a word and the man would have been healed. But He chose to lay his hand on the poor man right there in front of the multitude. The onlookers were appalled. The disciples were shocked.
Jesus was now ceremonially unclean—and besides he might catch the disease, they thought. Why did he do this? There are several reasons. Reaching out was the instinct of his loving heart. He wanted to clear away any fears the man had. He wanted the leper to feel his willingness and love.
There was also the matter of identification. Jesus’ touch said, “I am with you. I understand.”
Jesus is still touching people today:
· Here’s a man serving a prison sentence for what he has done. Sin has isolated him from his family by court order. Sin has him in its grip, yet the wonderful hand of Jesus, can go right down into that prison cell and touched him, and save him and make him a new man.
· Here's a teenage boy, sin has wrapped its tentacles around his life, and that boy is at the point where he is ready to take his own life, drugs have him; liquor has him.
· But the hand of Jesus can go right down there where that boy is, in his sin and rebellion and touched him and change them.
· Here is a rich man who is" up and out." He has made more money than he knows what to do with. He has made money is God. Material things are his idol. But there in the lowliness of his million-dollar house, surrounded by finery, he is as miserable as this leper who came to Jesus. The hand of Jesus can reach into that million-dollar home and touched him and change them forever.
The hand of Jesus is mighty to save!
b. Jesus transformed him.
The leper came to Jesus, saying,V:12-“if you will, you can make me clean”.
Jesus said V:13-“I will; be thou clean.
If you're wondering if Jesus will touch you, the answer is, He will!
Maybe you're like the leper; you believe that Jesus can, but you not sure He will.
What Jesus said to the leper, he says to you – “I will." Jesus said in another place. How often would I have accepted you, but you would not accept me.
The Bible says that Jesus is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
Friend, Jesus is willing, he paid the price to save you from your sins on the cross, and the Bible says. Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved!
Jesus wants to touched you, transform you this morning! That leper’s healing was instantaneous.
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man,
V:13-“I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean.’ Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.”
Everyone saw it; His face, eye-brows, eyelashes, nose, ears, and hair were all instantly restored!
The claw-like hands and the stubs the man called feet were completely whole.
No doubt a shout rose from the multitude as they saw what happened!
How do you think the leper reacted?
He no longer said, “Unclean! Unclean!”
But now he shouted out- “I’m clean! I’m clean! I’m clean!”
That is how it was for us when Jesus touched us and took away our sins.
That is what God can do for anyone in a split second of belief.
If you come to him, aware of the leprosy of your sin, with a humble heart, trusting Jesus as the only one who can cleans you, you will be saved—healed from your soul’s sin.
To experience the transforming touch of Jesus you must:
1. Request a touch from Jesus! 2. Receive a touch from Jesus!
3. Respond to the Touch of Jesus!
How does a person transformed by the touch of Jesus response? 1st they:
a. Obey the Word.
V:14-“go, and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering according to the law of Moses”.
The first question that pops into your mind is why did Jesus tell him; do not tell anyone he had been healed of leprosy?
Several speculations have been made:
Jesus wanted him to be silent until he was officially declared clean; it was possible that if the priest heard it was Jesus that healed him, he would refuse to acknowledge he was clean.
Jesus wanted to prevent excessive popularity based only on his miracles.
Jesus did not want the man, to run straight into town; without being declared clean, and being rebuked by the Pharisees.
Whatever the reason; you can be sure that the word that Jesus gave this man was for his own good!
The word that Jesus gives us; is always for our good; and should be gladly obeyed!
What was it that the leper was to do according to the Law of Moses?
The ritual for declaring a leper clean was a detailed and lengthy ritual, taking eight days ().
The priest would meet the cleansed leper outside the city, and verify that he was actually healed.
The priest would bring, some cedar-wood, scarlet yarn, and hyssop, and two live birds. One of the birds was then killed, symbolizing the death of Christ on the Cross.
The live bird was dipped in the blood of the dead bird—for identification with it. To show that there can be no putting away of sin apart from the shed blood of the Lord Jesus. The blood was sprinkled seven times on the cleansed leper, testifying to the perfect sacrifice and his faith in the shed blood; without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sin; no acceptance before God. Then the live bird was then set free to fly toward heaven, symbolizing the Lord's resurrection and return to Heaven, and our freedom from sin, and access to heaven through the blood of Jesus! That was what the leper was to go and be a part of!
And all of this was done with great joy and celebration!
Once were cleansed from sin, we are to obey the word!
The second way he responded to the transforming touch of Jesus wants to:
b. Tell the world.
V:14-“for a testimony unto them."
Can you imagine what it was like when this cleansed leper knocked on the priest door?
And he says to the priest. I was a leper, but I met a man named Jesus Christ…
And he begins to sing; he touch me, oh he touch me, and oh the joy that floods my soul, something happened, and now I know, he touch me and made me whole.
Jesus touched me and His touch transformed my life! And I am no longer a leper, I've been cleansed…look, look, at my arm, my face… I am clean!!!
Give me a certificate of cleanings. That testimony was a testimony for the dead religious crowd of that day; that the son of God, the Messiah had arrived, and his name was Jesus!
No leper had been cleansed of his leprosy, and no priest had practice that ritual since the Old Testament. And now this man, touched by Jesus, was skin like a baby, is standing before this priest telling him, Jesus touched me and made me whole!
Friend when Jesus has saved your soul from sin, and touched your life, and transformed you, you will tell somebody!
Jesus told him in V:14-“tell no man…
But according to Marks gospel, he couldn’t help himself, he went everywhere telling people what Jesus had done for him! When Jesus has done something so great in your life; you can’t help but tell others!
The story is told of two gold miners in California; that during the Gold Rush of 1849 they struck a rich vein of gold. They decided not to tell anyone else, so they could keep it for themselves. They went into town to get better equipment to mine the gold, but when they left, a bunch of people followed them. The joy of discovering the gold was written all over their face, and they couldn’t hide it.
Is what Jesus has done in your heart written all over your face? Dear Christian, we must never hide what Jesus has done for us!
The Lord Jesus wants to touch your life today!
Come to Jesus!