“The Messiah’s Midas Touch!” (no original title of mine)
Joy In The Day of Cleansing
Charles e Whisnant, Pastor/Teacher
May 11 2014
We come now to Luke chapter 5 in our ongoing study of this amazing gospel, Luke chapter 5:12-16. And I remind you as you’re turning to this section of Scripture that Luke’s gospel was written to prove that Jesus Christ was eternal God in human flesh. He came into the world to be the Messiah, the Savior, the Redeemer. Luke writes his gospel carefully, precisely, accurately, systematically presenting an irrefutable case for the deity, the messiahship of Jesus Christ.
So as the ministry of Jesus unfolds as we go through the chapters in Luke, we’re going to see Him not only teaching and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom, the message of salvation, we’re going to see His power over the spiritual world of demons, over the natural realm of disease and over the final foe, death itself.
We come to our passage, verses 12 to 16, we see Jesus do a miracle for a leper,
“It came about that while He was in one of the cities, behold there was a man full of leprosy and when he saw Jesus he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ And He stretched out His hand and touched him saying, ‘I am willing, be clean,'” or be cleansed. “And immediately the leprosy left him and He ordered him to tell no one but go and show yourself to the priests and make an offering for your cleansing, just as Moses commanded for a testimony to them. But the news about Him was spreading even farther and great multitudes were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But He Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.”
Also Matthew 8:1-4 and Mark 1:40-45
There are many diseases today. Perhaps we know of more of them, pathologically and clinically, certainly than any time in human history. But of all the diseases that we face in our modern world, none is more dreaded, none is more feared and none is more stigmatized than AIDS, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Its closest parallel in the ancient world was leprosy. In its severest form it was the most feared disease. It was contagious, incurable, for the most part, fatal. It devastated people. I had immense social implications and even religious implications.
. How much do you know about the Lepers in the bible? (Q&A)
. 1. What leper of Bethany entertained Jesus in his home? Simon (Mrk 14:3)
2. What king of Judah was a leper until the day of his death? Uzziah (2 Chrn 26:21)
3. What captain of the armies of Syria was a leper? Naaman (2 Kgs 5:1)
4. What prophetess became a snow-white leper for a short time? Miriam (Numb 12:10)
5. Who put his hand into his bosom and, drawing it out, found it leprous? Moses (Ex 4:6)
6. Who became a leper after he lied to the prophet Elisha? Gehazi (2 Kgs 5:27)
7. Who told Moses to send lepers away from the Israelite camp? The Lord (Numb 5:1-4)
8. What is the greatest number of lepers Jesus healed at any one time? Ten (Lk 17:12)
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!
There came a leper. No disease with which the human family has been afflicted, has been more dreadful than that which is often mentioned in the Bible as the leprosy. It first exhibits itself on the surface of the skin. The appearance is not always the same, but it commonly resembles the spot made by the puncture of a pin, or the pustules of a ring-worm. The spots generally make their appearance very suddenly. Perhaps its appearance might be hastened by any sudden passion, as fear or anger. See Numbers 12:10; 2 Chronicles 26:19. The spots commonly exhibit themselves, at first, on the face, about the nose and eyes, and increase in size a number of years, till they become as large as a pea or a bean. There are three kinds of leprosy, distinguished by the appearance of the spots–the white, the black, and the red leprosy. These spots, though few at first, gradually spread till they cover the whole body. But though the appearance of the disease is at first in the skin, yet it is deeply seated in the bones, and marrow, and joints of the body. We have reason to suppose that, in children, it is concealed in the system for a number of years, till they arrive at the age of puberty; and in adults for three or four years, till at last it gives fearful indications on the skin of its having gained a well-rooted and permanent existence. A leprous person may live twenty, or thirty, or even fifty years, if he received the disease at his birth, but they will be years of indescribable misery. The bones and marrow are pervaded with the disease. The malady advances, from one stage to another, with slow and certain ruin. “Life still lingers amidst the desolation;” the joints, and hands, and feet, lose their power; and the body collapses, or falls together, in a form hideous and awful. There is a form of the disease in which it commences at the extremities: the joints separate; the fingers, toes, and other members, one by one, fall off; and the malady thus gradually approaches the seat of life. The wretched victim is thus doomed to see himself dying piece-meal, assured that no human power can arrest, for a moment, the silent and steady march of this foe to the seat of life. This disease is contagious and hereditary. It is easily communicated from one to another, and is transmitted to the third and fourth generation. The last generation that is afflicted with it commonly exhibits the symptoms by decayed teeth, and fetid breath, and diseased complexion.
Moses gave particular directions by which the real leprosy was to be distinguished from other diseases. See Leviticus 13:1 and following. The leprous person was, in order to avoid contagion, very properly separated from the congregation. The inspection of the disease was committed to the priest; and a declaration, on his part, that the person was healed, was sufficient evidence to restore the afflicted man to the congregation. It was required, also, that the leprous person should bring an offering to the priest of two birds, commonly doves, one of which was slain, and the other dismissed. See Leviticus 14:1 and following. In compliance with the laws of the land, Jesus directed the man that he had healed to make the customary offering, and to obtain the testimony of the priest that he was healed. The leprosy has once, and but once appeared in America. This loathsome and most painful disease has, in all other instances, been confined to the old world, and chiefly to the eastern nations. It is matter of profound gratitude to a benignant God, that this scourge has been permitted but once to visit the new world. That awful calamity was in the island of Guadaloupe, in the West Indies, about the year 1730; and is thus described by an eye witness, M. Peyssanel:
“Its commencement is imperceptible. There appear only some few white spots on the skin. At first they are attended with no pain or inconvenience; but no means whatever will remove them. The disease imperceptibly increases for many years. The spots become larger, and spread over the whole body. When the disease advances, the upper part of the nose swells, the nostrils become enlarged, and the nose itself soft. Tumours appear on the jaws; the eyebrows swell; the ears become thick; the points of the fingers, as also the feet and the toes, swell; the nails become scaly; the joints of the hands and feet separate, and drop off. In the last stage of the disease the patient becomes a hideous spectacle, and falls to pieces.”