When You Finally Get Tired of Being Sick and Tired…

Posted: November 30, 2014 in 99-Uncategorized

Luke 5:12-16 — Leprosy, or any skin disease, was the AIDS of its day. Although we have made great strides in the treatment of AIDS and the social reaction to it, when AIDS first hit the scene, it was a segregator. It had social stigma. It separated people because we did not know enough about it to know what it was and how it spread. Both would segregate you from society. Leprosy would force you to live in a leper colony and you no longer had a normal life. AIDS was that way back in the 80’s. Even as late as the 1800’s, leprosy would cause you to be segregated from society. It did not matter that you were once a family man, a respected person in society. The disease, your outer appearance ended the life you once knew. It was indeed a death sentence. Forced to live in leper colonies, they could no longer be in contact with non-lepers. They, as a result, could no longer work normal jobs. Food and clothing were only available through theft or the generosity. No way to earn money on conduct commerce. You slowly died from starvation and the filth of leper colonies. It was awful. You were a dead man before you physically died.

It is against this backdrop that we find Jesus and the leper. This situation teaches us two things. The first thing is that Jesus did not care about the social stigma. He did not care about being seen with a leper. Imagine this man walking into the presence of the crowd. They all scatter like roaches when you turn a light on shouting, “unclean” as they go. Jesus welcomed him into his physical presence. Everyone else had deserted to a safe distance. This scene shows us about Jesus’ compassion for us. Jesus does not care if you have physical warts or spiritual ones. He doesn’t care if society thinks that you are ugly or whether society thinks you are beautiful. He does not care if society thinks you are an oddball weirdo. He does not care if you have some terminal disease that segregates you from society. He only cares about your soul. He does not care about your outward appearances. He does not care about your labels that have been placed on you by society. Jesus loves you. He came to this earth to be your Savior. He came to earth to reconcile you to God. He came to show you that you have great value in God’s eyes. So much so, He sent His Son so that whosoever would believe in Him would have everlasting life with the Father in heaven. No matter what society says about you, Jesus is standing right there in front of you accepting you, willing to touch you and make you part of His family, the eternal family of God, the family that really matters. Are you ready to run to the only one who will accept you no matter your appearance, no matter what you have done? In Him, we have hope. Through His disciples in His church (the churches that really get it), you will find acceptance. We are all lepers covered with sin sores. In Jesus, we are all made clean, white as snow. Take His hand. Come into fellowship with Jesus and his ragtag band of believers!

The second thing that we notice here is that there is desperation in this man. How desperate are you to change your life? Are you at your rock bottom? Are you desperate enough to ask Jesus to take over. This man knew all the social stigma of leprosy. He knew there was no cure. He hated hearing “unclean” every time he came out in public and watching people scurrying away from him. He was tired of scavenging for food in the waste piles outside town. He was tired of living in a cave outside town with other lepers just as miserable as he was. He did not want this life anymore. His life was in shambles. The good life that he once knew was a distant memory and it was a life that he would never know again. Can you identify with this man? Has your life taken a detour from which it seems that you will never recover? Do you know his desperation? He had heard about this Jesus guy probably from hearing people talking about Him from a distance. He heard about the miracle at the synagogue where Jesus expelled a demon. He had heard about the many people that Jesus healed while hanging out at that fisherman Peter’s house. He had heard about the crowds that were gathering around Jesus every day. He was so sick and tired of the rock bottom that his life had become. He was at the end of his rope. Life as he used to know it with family, friends, joy, happiness, celebrating at the synagogue, just being part of life were all distant memories. He was desperate. He said to himself. This Jesus guy can heal me. But he had been so humbled by his experience that he approaches Jesus in humility and says, “Lord, if you will…” He did not demand healing from Jesus. He asked Jesus in all humility, “if you will…” Are you this desperate? Only if you will Lord, only if you will. I have accepted that my life is in shambles but I am so desperate to escape that I come to you in all humility. I cannot change my life. I have accepted that I have made a mess of it. I only ask you to heal me if you will. I recognize that you are Lord and you have the power to do so, but only if you will have mercy on me. I know that I do not deserve it but only if you will Lord. Are you there? Are you willing to lay yourself at the feet of Jesus and ask him to heal you realizing that He does not have to.

Funny thing is that when we come to him in true humility and realize that He is Lord, that He is the only option, that He only can change the trajectory of our lives, He says, “I will”. Jesus will. He waits for you to recognize that He is the only way out. He waits for you to come to Him and say that He is Lord. He wants to heal you. He wants to fill you up with new life. He wants to make you whole again…in Him. He will. He will make you clean. He will remove your sin sores. He will make you pure and clean again. He has taken on your sins so that you can be in the presence of God forever. He is our one true hope. Go to Him. He will!!!

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