Message Series // Touch the Pain, Jesus – The Healer and Hope Giver
Message Date // March 29, 2020 (Scotty Priest)
As humans, when there is a moment of crisis or need, we can be temped to pull back and live with a mindset of scarcity and necessity. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to press in, be generous, and meet needs. As we navigate this “new normal” during the Coronavirus pandemic, let’s be a people who don’t recoil, but reach out to the needs of others.
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. — Luke 5:13
Read Luke 5:12-15. In this Jesus’ story, we read about a man who is covered with a disease called leprosy. Leprosy is a disease that affects a person’s skin and nerves, causing discoloration, skin lumps, and possibly deformities. It is also highly contagious. In the time of Jesus, people who had leprosy needed to be isolated and socially distanced…quarantined for years.
In some ways, we can understand a little of what this man was going through. How are you doing in this time of “social distancing” and isolation? What frustrations and struggles have you felt? In what ways is God using this time to get your attention and teach you something?
As the story continues, we read that the man saw Jesus and fell down at his feet. In that culture, if a leper entered an area occupied by other people, they had to yell out…”Unclean!”. This would let other people know to stay clear of the leper’s path. This man was desperate to the point that when he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and boldly asked to be healed…to be made “clean”.
We also can sense the desperation around us…globally, economically, locally, and even personally. What are the fears and needs you are hearing? What are the fears and needs you are personally feeling?
One of the greatest takeaways we can learn from the leper is his posture of belief. “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” (v. 12)
How can we, as followers of Jesus, exemplify this posture of belief while everything around us feels chaotic and fearful? What are some of the things you are believing God for in this time? (Action point…set an alarm at 2:17 pm daily as a reminder to pray in a posture that 2 Timothy 1:7 encourages us to have.)
We can learn a lot from how Jesus responds to the leper. The man has probably not been touched in years…yet Jesus reaches out, risks his ministry and reputation, and touches the man’s pain…his deepest point of need.
As humans, when there is a moment of crisis or need, we can be temped to pull back and live with a mindset of scarcity and necessity. But as followers of Jesus, we are called to press in, be generous, and meet needs. (Proverbs 11:24-26) What is a need of someone in your group, or a need of someone in your group’s sphere of inﬂuence, that your group can “reach out” and meet?