"When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper 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. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them" (Matthew 8:1-4; v.3).
1. Refer to the chorus of "He Touch Me" and compare with v.3 of our text - "He touched me, oh, He touched me; And oh, the joy that floods my soul. Something happened, and now I know; He touched me and made me whole".
2. Every time the Lord Jesus touched anyone, He never failed in doing good to that person. Many are the examples in the Scriptures; but oh, the testimonies throughout history that reach up to heaven of The Touch Of His Hand upon multitudes and multitudes! Are you one of them?
3. Still touching people today with His grace and power, compassion, etc.; & the wonder of it all, there's no one beyond His touch! No "breadth, and length, and depth, and height" (Eph.3:18) of sin that can keep you away, other than that "ye will not come to (him), that ye might have life" (Jn.5:40).
I. CONSIDER THE ONES TOUCHED.
Would you touch a leper with your bare hand? What about today with the danger of AIDS? Yet the One "who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners" (Heb.7:26) didn't shy away from touching this filthy leper!
1. The vilest of sinners - Leprosy the most despicable disease; and according to O.T., the leper had to stay away from anyone and anything (Leviticus 13,14). It's a type of sin; yet there is hope! Although Job 15:14-16 - "What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold, he putteth no trust in his saints; yea, the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much more abominable and filthy is man, which drinketh iniquity like water?"; Isaiah 1:5,6 - "Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointmen"; 64:6 - "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away" is true of all of us, but if you cry out, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (v.2) from my sin, He will touch you.
2. The hopeless of sinners - The leper had no other hope but the mercy of God. No doctor, no medicine - only prayer. Even then, the sovereign mercy of the Lord: "Lord, if thou wilt..." (v.2). Cp. Romans 9:16 - "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy". Even though he had no right, still he came; for he probably had already heard of the Lord's mercy. Oh, how He "delighteth in mercy" (Micah 7:18).
3. The helpless of sinners - The leper cannot do anything of himself; so the sinner. The total corruption of spiritual leprosy has totally disabled the spiritual leper. He has to look to Someone else for "healing". So you and I; for what we can't do to deliver ourselves, yet Christ can do it! Romans 5:8 - "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us".
II. CONSIDER THE ONE WHO TOUCHES.
It takes a special Person to touch a leper. Most of us, if not all, would not dare touch someone who would be covered with all his filth, as described in Isa.1:5,6, etc. There has to be a heart of love, a concern, a tenderness, etc. to be able to do it. In Jesus we find Someone.......
1. That is compassionate (Mk.1:41) - As He was "moved with compassion", i.e. He was affected by the leper's need, He did not hesitate to supply that need. Oh, He is "touched with the feeling of our infirmities" (Heb.4:15). As Mic.7:19 says: "He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us.....".
2. That is willing - The Lord is good and, more "ready to forgive" (Ps.86:5) than we are to be forgiven. Only as we see the desperateness of our situation, as the leper did, that we will come to Him whose Blood can "cleanse us from all sin" and "all unrighteousness" (1 Jn.1:7,9). Ref. to Rom.10:21.
3. That won't reject anyone - The Lord had every right to reject the leper; and He would have been just to do so. Just simply on the basis of our sin, God has every right to cast us into the deepest hell; yet He promises: "And him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (Jn.6:37). Why? Ref. to 1 Tim.1:15.
III. CONSIDER THE RESULTS OF HIS TOUCH.
Today people are used to "instant" this and "instant" that; and yet we seem to have forgotten that when the Lord touches our lives, there can also be "instantaneous" results.
1. The "leprosy was cleansed" - Our Lord is not like those "physicians of no value" (Job13:4) that caused "a certain woman" to "suffered many things,,,, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse" (Mk.5:25,26). Ref. to Isa.53:5,10,11.
2. It was cleansed "immediately" - There are sicknessess and diseases that take time to heal; but here it was "immediate". When God touches w/His grace & power, all your sins are blotted out immediately! Not one remains; all, each, and every one is gone forever; "He hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel" (Num.23:21).
3. All the "leprosy was cleansed" - If "all" the leprosy had not been cleansed, then we have to say that all of our sins are not forgiven; then, that means that we are still lost and on our way to hell. This is what the "the forgers of lies" (Job 14:4) teach and preach today. But if you have come to Jesus, and The Touch Of His Hand has cleanse you from you "leprosy", it is gone___ALL OF IT! Ref. to Heb.8:12; 10:17.
1. Apart from Jesus, who is "mighty to save" (Isa.63:1), there can be no salvation for you; or the assurance that you are "saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation" (Isa.45:17).
2. Only in Christ can you find "all your need"
for He is an All-sufficient Savior. Ref. to 1 Cor.
3. If you come to Jesus TODAY as the leper did, "and
him" (Mt.8:2), "beseeching him, and kneeling down to him"
and "seeing Jesus fall on your face" (Lu.5:12) in "repentance
towards God, and faith toward our Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21), you
hear: "I will; be thou clean". Amen.