Charles E Whisnant
I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008. I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969. I have four grown children. Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio
"The Messiah's Midas Touch!" (no original title of mine)
Joy In The Day of Cleansing
Charles e Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher
May 11 2014
How much do you know about the Lepers in the bible? (Q&A)
. 1. What leper of Bethany entertained Jesus in his home?
2. What king of Judah was a leper until the day of his death?
3. What captain of the armies of Syria was a leper?
4. What prophetess became a snow-white leper for a short time?
5. Who put his hand into his bosom and, drawing it out, found it leprous?
6. Who became a leper after he lied to the prophet Elisha?
7. Who told Moses to send lepers away from the Israelite camp?
8. What is the greatest number of lepers Jesus healed at any one time?
Leprosy – The Hebrews had no cure for leprosy other than Divine intervention. In modern times, there are very effective medicines available, & leprosy patients are usually not isolated. Now called Hansen’s Disease
Though, in spite of modern medical advances, an estimated 10 million people around the world have leprosy!
Luke writes about this and many other miracles, as do the other gospel writers,
because miracles are essential to the scriptural record to identify Jesus as God.
He does what man can't do. He does what doctors can't do. In fact, the miracle record of Jesus is essential to the Christian faith because these are the proofs of His supernatural divine nature. If He is not supernatural, tear up your New Testament. The Christian faith becomes inexplicable on any legitimate grounds, it's fantasy or it's outright deception. But because the miracles did happen, they are true, He is God, and He is our Redeemer.
Let's meet this man in verse 12. Somewhere in the Galilee, no precise time or place, and by the way, Matthew 8 and Mark 1 also record this same healing and they also do not tell us when or where. But somewhere in some town, "Behold, there was a man full of leprosy."
Verse 12, "When he came...or when he saw Jesus,"
actually Matthew tells us he came to Jesus and saw Him. He was looking for Him. Now this was a serious breach of appropriate behavior for him, but he was desperate. That's the first point I want to make, he came with desperation. I mean, what could he lose? So he was stoned to death, that would be a relief. What could he lose? He had no more shame. He did what was unthinkable. He did what was shameless. He did what was fearless. He did what was dangerous. He did what was bold. But after all, he was desperate. He was full of leprosy.He was past his fear, he was past his shame. He was past his embarrassment. He was past his reservations.
Josephus says that lepers were to be treated as dead men. And the rabbis said that next to touching a dead body, getting near a leper was the rankest form of defilement.
In Palestine in Jesus' time lepers were barred from the city of Jerusalem and any other walled city. And if a leper ever came into a synagogue, in a town or a village, he had to go to a small isolated room called a maketza[??]. He couldn't come near other people.
This man came to Jesus. He was desperate. He was also reverent. It says,
"He saw Jesus and fell on his face."
Matthew says, "Worshiping," proskuneo, that's a word used in the New Testament for worshiping God. I don't know whether he believed Jesus was God. It doesn't tell us that. The body language here is the language of worship.
The word that Matthew uses is the word of worship used in the New Testament to refer to worshiping God. He does call Him "Lord," it could mean "Sir," but it seems that attached to the worship here it could be more than that and perhaps he had been convinced that this man was from God.
But he came with reverence. He fell on his face. He knew he was unclean, he knew he was filthy, he knew he was wretched. He knew he was miserable. He knew he was ugly. He knew he was disfigured and deformed. Prostrated himself acknowledging Jesus as you would a king or God.
Thirdly, he came with urgency. Falling on his face he implored Him, it says, that's the word for begged. He begged. Again this is irresistible to the heart of a compassionate Jesus, as we will see. This man is pleading for his life. He has endured this shame, this alienation, this isolation, this suffering, this disfigurement to its maximum point. Who know how many years? He's got nowhere else to turn. He is crying out. He is pleading. He is begging.
Fourthly, he came with humility. He says, "Lord, if You are willing..." I like that. He didn't have any doubt about His ability, that was becoming legendary. But he was not in a position to demand anything either, that wasn't his heart. He was aware of his wretchedness, perhaps of his sin. He may well have attached his wretchedness to his sin. And he doesn't come with any rights. He doesn't come making any claims on Jesus' healing power. He wouldn't have belonged to the "name it and claim it" group.
There's no presumption in this man. This man...this man has a beatitude attitude, he's hungry and he's thirsty for something he doesn't have. But he's meek and he's broken and he's poor in spirit. He understands his bankruptcy. He knows Jesus doesn't have to heal him. He doesn't have any rights. He has profound needs but he has no rights. That's his humility.
And fifthly, he came not only with desperation, reverence, urgency and humility, but he came with faith because he said, "If You're willing you can make me clean." You can do it. No doubt You have the power. He had faith in the power of the healer.
This man is a graphic illustration of how a sinner comes to Christ. (yet not the point of the text.
He comes desperate, the end of his rope, if you will. All shame is gone. All fear is gone. There is a desperate boldness. Nowhere else to turn. No hope anywhere. The worst that can happen is maybe welcomed. If you don't heal me, I'll die. That would be better than this. This is the sinner's extremity. This is the sinner's desperation. This is the sinner pounding his breast in Luke 18.
He comes reverently, the sinner does. He comes reverently, falling on his face with no rights and desperate needs. When I talk to people about coming to Christ, I simply tell them, "You need to ask the Lord to be merciful and save you. That's up to Him." I can't tell you that you can say a few words, pray a little formula and you're going to be saved. All I can tell you is if you understand the gospel, in your heart you believe it, you cry out to Him to save You. He is the sovereign and you bow humbly as that man who beat his breast wouldn't lift up his eyes but fell prostrate. That's how you come.
And the sinner comes with faith. This is a beatitude attitude. This is what it means to be poor in spirit. This is what it means to be meek. This is what it means to hunger and thirst after righteousness. This man is a classic analogy to the penitent sinner