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April 19, 2021 7:05 am
Today on Insight for living. Chuck Swindoll describes a touching encounter between Jesus and a man with leprosy.
He's been a leper long enough to know that is never filled my handshake remember someone who loves the holding his hand never had a reassuring arm around her shoulder, which makes the response of Jesus all the more eloquent very first response.
He reaches out and touches just after giving his famous sermon on the Mount, Jesus stepped down from the hillside and into a crowded scene among the people. The man who suffered from leprosy stepped forward and made an appeal.
This touching exchange between Jesus and the marginalized man teaches us volumes about the grace and compassion of God today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll will draw a relevant application from this dramatic scene in Matthew chapter 8 will begin with prayer. As Chuck prepares us for the message entitled out of the crowd. Leper is such a calm and comfort our father to know that you are the same yesterday today and forever. You're not more sovereign now than you were 10 centuries ago.
You're not less Lord of our lives that you were when we were children.
You are the same. You don't change what was true in creation remain true through the days of the Bible was written, and to this day still true, but we acknowledge with one of our statement of the past.
Truth is forever on the scaffold role forever for we, your presence, our father in the midst of our mess. Given enough time, we will ruin this country and will take you down a path that was never originally planned to go if you don't intervene, intervene, Lord, come to our rescue. Somehow, our father, we need you to break into our times and remind us that you are our God and we are your people.
We are the sheep of your pasture, give courage to those in places where decisions are made.
Give them the wisdom in knowing how to overrule and speak out for wrong is occurring and being decided. Give us guidance Lord as we walk through this maze filled with obstacles, unexpected surprises, heartbreaking disappointments. As we imagined, of the vistas of hope there is when we remember that in the end you when we pray for the ability to be lifted above our times and to see that you have predicted precisely where we are that in these last days perilous times will come. Guard us from panic. Give us a calm confidence that your word is still truth.
Nothing in that book has changed and we plant our hearts and our lives on it with absolute assurance that you will lead us in the way we should go remind us that there have always been hard time and that you have always worked through a remnant this day not excluded and we count on you to encourage us with that thought, give us joy in being among the remnant without pride and arrogance give us the ability to stand fast without being hostile and full of hate make us more like Jesus Christ, who always knew what to do and when to do it and how to carry it out. We know you're committed to making us like Christ and we we surrender to you. Whatever is standing in the way of that we surrender it all, all to Jesus. We surrender all to him. We freely give. Through Christ our Lord, we pray. Everyone said amen study the book of Matthew with Chuck Swindoll. Be sure to download his searching the Scriptures. Studies by going to Insight world.org/studies another message from Chuck titled out of the crowd. A leper, you and I know that there is something exhilarating about a well-crafted sermon. What you may not know is that every well-crafted sermon is always exhausting exhausting which makes me all the more amazed when I come to the sermon on the Mount, which you and I've been spending time in together.
Not only is it a masterpiece. Talk about an exhilarating message but I III into the amazement I enter into the amazement of it when I realize what came before it, and what followed after it prior to the sermon versus 2324 25 a chapter 4 there was the crush of the crowds. There are various diseases there are paying zero people filled with demons.
There are folks that have epilepsy. There are people that are paralyzed in all kinds of sores all kinds of headaches all kinds of heartaches and their coming and their climbing and it isn't letting up and coming from all over their coming from all of Syria and all of Galilee and from the 10 cities on the other side their coming from Jerusalem and all Judea, down below from all over you and I can hardly imagine the crowd look for yourself. Chapter 4 verse 23 Jesus is going throughout all Galilee, don't miss that all Galilee, it's pretty good size region if you traveled is really realizing all of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom healing every kind of disease every kind of sickness among the people. That's just one verse people with mental illnesses, people with emotional anxiety. People with physical afflictions brought to him. Jesus healed them one and all. More and more people came the momentum gathering besides those from Galilee crowds came from the 10 towns which is a translation of Decapolis the 10 towns across the lake. Others from Jerusalem and Judea.
Still others from across the Jordan stands out in my mind from his rendering the momentum gathering the needs intensify the expectations enlarging the crowds increasing it was growing.
The momentum is gathering. There was no break.
There was no nap. He goes from this amount sits down and delivers a flawless exhilarating message that to this day. We cannot exhaust what is sermon, especially when you realize what preceded it to the end of the sermon the very in verse 28 verse 29 when Jesus had finished when he had finished these words, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, every sermon like this you don't feel chatty. You want to be quiet will of the wonder in you want to sit and soak it up, especially if you're the preacher you want to give God thanks for the help in the delivery and and you want to give them praise that the message connected in the people were moved in fact they have never heard such great teaching in their lives. Verse 20 not the teaching came as one who had authority from one who had authority, and not as described. The sermon is ended, the people are amazed Jesus makes his way down the mountain and looked look, there's the crowd again. Except now, with larger is very little time it's past and more people together from all around more, he came down from the mountain look closely. Large crowds followed him earlier we read large crowds followed him maybe as far as he could see there were more people and more some way in the back going help me help met came all the way all the way from beyond the Jordan help my son. Now you got life doesn't stop because a preacher prepares and delivers a message, it doesn't even stop after it's over. In fact, one of the most significant things that ever happened happens now out of the crowd emerges a leper crowd must backed away the ultimate outcast is in their midst is a picture of depression and humiliation and complete lack of self-worth. You and I cannot imagine the desperation that accompanies leprosy. One cannot describe in the Scriptures.
Leprosy is often compared to sin.
That's why leprosy is not cured, it's cleansed.
That's important whenever cured of sin were cleansed of sin when Jesus Christ comes into a life to save that life, he cleanses us from sin doesn't cure us from sinning. We still have an old nature that sends we wish to be cured that awaits us. That's an eternity. All that we could be cured of it, but only cleansed and that's what he asks for. He came down from the mountain. Large crowds followed him and a leper when it landed in full force a leper came to him and worship the new American Standard renders this bow down before him. The Greek is one word worship he worship bowed low and uttered the word chorion's lowered what respect is a great moment, Lord, literally. The verse reads from Matthew's P and behold, a leper approaching worship him, saying, Lord, if you are willing you are able to cleanse me look at the statement. If you are willing comedy say why he sent nobody. He's an outcast.
He's alone with only other lepers except now he is in the crowd and they must have been frowning, mumbling, wondering how he got loose. Years ago there was released a magnificent film titled the elephant man. You will remember it is a fine film of man who suffered that tragic disease that turns the face into what appears to be a beast for callous scan, loosely hanging slits for eyes and horrible in the crowd is chasing him and he winds up in the latrine and the eloquent moment of the film in my opinion, is when he stops and turns and looks at them and said I that's the way this man filled Lord I mean nothing to no one. I don't matter to anybody. Everyone runs from me. I am disease.
I am unable to cleanse myself every day more and more of me becomes less and if you are willing, you concludes I want you to hold your place right here. I want everyone of you to turn to the book of Psalms and locate number 51 will be back shortly, but a brief excursion to Solomon 51 YSL 51 because these are the words of a man who had lost all self-worth strangely isn't an unknown. He's not a nameless man in the crowd like the leper who is never named, this is David this is King David. This is after Bathsheba after the deception after the adultery after the murder of her husband Uriah. After going through the motions of rulership not writing any songs I read of no place in the Psalms he wrote during the adultery.
Adultery takes the song out of a life and he lives in the humiliation of the confrontation from Nathan. You are the man. And David admits guilty as charged. I've sin sometime between that moment and later when the baby dies, he picks up the stylus to write again and he writes the song. This is a song of heartbreaking humility, but how it begins. Be gracious to me. Oh, according to your lovingkindness.
According to the greatness of your compassion blot out my transgressions. You feel the shame you feel the self blame you here, the humiliation wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse it.
Look at it, cleanse me from my then I know my transgressions and my sin is a verb before.
This is a broken man.
We had longer I would go through the song, but verse 17 we must turn right away to that the sacrifices of God are one everyone of you to see the words especially you, who are proud, you who have not recently been humiliated or you who are hiding your own shame and sinfulness. Look at the words the sacrifices of God or a broken heart.
A broken spirit, a broken a contrite heart, O God, you will not despise said negatively what he is saying is you are pleased with brokenness and the word we seldom use a contrite heart. What is it that makes a contrite heart.
Such a beautiful sacrifice. It makes no demands it. Nurses no blame or grudges. It entertains no expectations. It offers no conditions. It anticipates no favors.
It is that attitude that God loves math. The attitude of the leper, we would say today. Nothing in my hands. I bring soup into the cross I cling. I have nothing I've done nothing, I am nothing that would make you even look in my direction, but oh God, if you if you want to you can cleanse me FF Bruce puts it well men more easily believe in miraculous power than in miraculous love is that a beautiful statement. I know you have the power. I believe that but I don't know that you never give me the time of day people stop doing that when the first soar broke out of my four and my here shortly thereafter turned white and fell out in my lips dropped off, but if you were willing you concludes the compassionate response of Jesus is disarming. By the way, who knows how long the man is been a leper two years 1219 were not told he's been a leper long enough to know that he's never felt a handshake. He can't remember the embrace. Maybe when he was a little boy he doesn't remember someone who loves him, holding his hand never had a reassuring arm around her shoulder. You didn't touch a leper which makes the response of Jesus all the more eloquent very first response. He reaches out and touches you have to do that if we were to take the other healings in this chapter, you would find Jesus sometime heal from a distance as a sensory input that you can just speak a word like I do to a group of men admits my command and they do it. Just speak a word you can heal with the word Jesus doesn't do that. He reaches out he touch is the man may be the first human being that's touched him in here what the crowd must've thought, but rather than contaminating the one who touched him cleanse the one who has to Matthew has captured this intimate moment between Jesus and the man suffering from leprosy and there's much more that Chuck Swindoll wants to draw from this passage so please stay with us for the remainder of the study. You're listening to Insight for living and to learn more about this ministry. Visit us email@example.com.
Even at this moment is encouraging to realize people all over our country and even around the world are learning about the healing touch of Jesus. For example, we were encouraged to read a recent comment from a listener in Minnesota who told us her dramatic story. This woman described her lifelong journey with epilepsy that began at age 4, well into her teenage years and beyond. She kept her disease. Private because she didn't want any of her friends to witness the horrific seizures. She said my days were long secretly dealing with the seizures, homework teachers and family, but I knew I could hear Pastor Chuck on radio every night. Now I'm a 33-year-old woman wife and mother.
I had surgery and today I am seizure free. My faith in God is unshakable because in my worst moments I could tune in and hear an encouraging word from Pastor Chuck Swindoll.
Thank you for such an encouraging note from one of your co-listeners. Matthew chapter 8 describes the emotion filled moment when Jesus reached out and touched the leper while he still touching lives today and got uses your financial support of Insight for living to play a key role in these wonderful moments to give a donation today. Scholars if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 again that's 1-800-772-8888 or you can easily give a gift by using our mobile app or by going online to Insight.org. Thank you for your generous support Insight for living. You've heard him teach about the holy land using word pictures to make us feel like we are actually strolling through the old city learning about Jerusalem is fascinating for sure but see the land of Israel with your own his his life changed. In fact, is absolutely magnificent.
And now you can see Israel with Chuck Swindoll and the gracious hosts and experts assembled by Insight for living ministries.
Join us on an unforgettable 12 day tour March 6-17, 2022 at special sites along the way, I will teach from God's word will worship at the Mount of Beatitudes and share the Lord's table at the garden to impact will Sail the Sea of Galilee together and will visit places where Jesus walked and talked to learn more or call 1-888-447-0444. Just imagine walking along the sacred sites and seeing the Bible to come to life before your very mark your calendar for March 6-17, 2022 and make your reservation by calling 1-888-447-0444 or go to Insight.org/events Insight for living ministries tour to Israel is paid for and made possible by only those who choose to attend. I'm Dave Speicher inviting you to join us. When Chuck Swindoll continues to tell the dramatic story of the leper tomorrow right here on Insight for living. The preceding message out of the crowd. 11 was copyrighted in 2015 and 2021 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2021 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited