Grace For Your Day February 26

The Greek term “leprosy” comes from a word that means “scales” due to the scaly appearance that the infection created on a person’s skin. According to some sources, it is one of the oldest diseases known to man and one of the most bizarre because it attacks a person’s body by obstructing the nervous system so that the victim cannot feel pain anymore. The way it worked is that, if a person contracted leprosy, he would begin to scratch his nose and scratch the skin right off without ever being aware. Or he would grab hold of a red-hot iron and burn his fingers down to the bone.

Such an experience would cause stumps to appear where a person’s fingers were supposed to be. Stubs would also form in the area of the feet. The hands would become claw-like as the muscles wasted away and the skin around them began to rot. Leprosy would also bring swelling to the face which made the person “look like a lion” as the ancient Egyptians tell us.
All of which was made more miserable by the fact that the disease had no cure. However, Mark 1:40-43 tells us that God found a cure for it. When Jesus came, He healed it by performing the following miracle:

And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

When it says that the leprosy left this man, that means that his fingers and feet went back to normal and his hands lost their claw-like appearance. The muscles that had wasted away were instantly repaired and so was the skin that had begun to rot. The swelling around his face subsided because the man’s health was fully restored.

Why? Because Jesus showed mercy to him. What caused Him to do this? Because He was “moved with compassion.” In other words, Jesus did not heal this man because He was moved with justice and He wanted to give this man what he deserved. On the contrary, He wanted to give this man what he did not deserve and that was grace.

God’s gifts are always this way. They always come to us in the form of grace because, just like this leper, we do not deserve them for we have all sinned and fallen short of His glory (Romans 3:23). However, Jesus reassures us that anytime a sinner falls down on his knees before Him with a heart full of faith and asks for His help, He will give it. As John 6:37 says, “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will … not cast out.”

I mention that because this week we are talking about “Jesus & The Leper” because that is how Jesus continues His ministry in the Gospel of Mark. He begins by preaching in Verses 14-15 and healing a demon possessed man in verses 21-28. Then He heals Simon Peter’s mother-in-law in verses 29-31. Then He heals many people in the town of Capernaum in verses 32-34. Now He will heal a man with leprosy.

In fact, this miracle will make Jesus so popular that, afterwards, verse 45 says “Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.” His fame became so renown on account of this event that the people would follow Him even unto the uncultivated regions of Israel far away from town because they believed that, if Jesus could heal this leper, He could heal them too. His grace was sufficient for anyone who asked for it and it is a good reminder for us today.

Do you need God’s grace today? You can have it. Would you like to know His mercy? It can be yours if you will fall down on your knees before Him with a heart full of faith and ask Him for it. His grace is sufficient for anyone including a leper which is what we are going to talk about this Sunday morning at Grace Fellowship Church.

If you would like to join us, the service will begin at 9:30 and the sermon will be recorded and placed on our You Tube Channel afterwards for all those who cannot make it in person.

Jeremy Cagle