Friday, April 25, 2008

Some People Talk Too Much

Leviticus 16:1-17; Mark 1:40-45 / Psalm 33:1-22

I. No Problem Is Too Big For Jesus

A. A man came to Jesus with a dreadful problem. “And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” (Mark 1:40)

1. No problem is too big for God. “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:” (Isaiah 59:1)

2. The household of faith was established on confidence that nothing is too hard for God. Is any thing too hard for the LORD At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:14)

B. Leprosy was one of the most horrible diseases. “Let her not be as one dead, of whom the flesh is half consumed when he cometh out of his mother’s womb.” (Numbers 12:12)

C. Leprosy was a physical illustration of a much worse and much more widely distributed disease; similarly, sin first rots and then kills. “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.” (Isaiah 64:6)

II. Jesus Helps

A. Jesus is compassionate. “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” (Mark 1:41)

B. Immediately the problem went away. “And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” (Mark 1:42)

1. People go to hell, not because their sins are too big for God, but because they do not come to God for help.Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)

2. God does not hold grudges the way people do. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

C. Jesus gave the man specific instructions. “And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;” (MARK 1:43)

D. Jesus directed the healed man to follow the rules revealed in Scripture. “And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” (Mark 1:44)

E. Disobedience is never an option; personal opinion or preference is no match for the Word of God. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:7-8)

III. Disobedience Obscures Grace

A. Instead of doing as he was told, the healed man complicated the work Jesus came to do. “But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.” (Mark 1:45)

B. The Bible provided specific guidelines for diagnosing both leprosy and its cure. When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests: And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.” (Leviticus 13:2-3) “Or if the raw flesh turn again, and be changed unto white, he shall come unto the priest; And the priest shall see him: and, behold, if the plague be turned into white; then the priest shall pronounce him clean that hath the plague: he is clean.” (Leviticus 13:16-17)

C. People who self-medicate sin destroy themselves; only God’s ways prevail.There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12)

D. Let everything be done in God’s time and way. “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;” (Ecclesiastes 3:7) “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” (Matthew 7:6)

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