Memphis Belle

Untitled Document
Mathew 1:17
Mathew 1: 18-25 Mathew 2: 1-23 Mathew 3: 1-17 Mathew 4: 1-11 Mathew 4: 12-25
Matthew 5:1-12 Part 1 Matthew 5:1-12 Part 2 Mathew 5:13-16 Mathew 5:17-26 Mathew 5:27-37 Mathew 5:38-48
Mathew 6:1-8, 16-18 Mathew 6: 7-15 Mathew 6:19-34 Mathew 6:25-34 Mathew 7:1-12 Mathew 7:15-23
Mathew 7: 24-29 Mathew 8: 1-17 Mathew 8: 18-34 Mathew 9: 1-13 Mathew 9:14-26 Mathew 9:27 - 10:31
Mathew 10:32-42 Mathew 11:1-31 Mathew 12:1-21 Mathew 12:22-50 Mathew 13:1-23 Mathew 13: 24-43
Mathew 13: 44-52 Mathew 13:54 -14:12 Mathew 14:13-21 Mathew 14:22-36 Mathew 15:1-20 Mathew 15:21-31
Mathew 15: 32-39 Mathew 16:13-23 Matthew 16:24-28 Matthew 17:1-13 Matthew 17:14-27 Matthew 18:1-14
Matthew 18:15-20 Matthew 18:21-35 Matthew 19:1-12 Matthew 19:13-30 Matthew 20:1-16 Matthew 20:17-34
Matthew 21: 1-11 Matthew 21:12-17 Matthew 21:18-22 Matthew 21:23-46 Matthew 22:1-14 Matthew 22:15-46
Matthew 23:1-39 Matthew 24:1-31 Matthew 24:32-44 Matthew 25:1-46 Matthew 26:1-13 Matthew 26:14-54
Matthew 26: 54-75 Matthew 27:1-26 Matthew 27:27-66 Matthew 28:1-20    
           

 

To log onto UNITYINCHRIST.COM’S BLOG, Click Here
Unity in Christ
Introduction
About the Author
Does God Exist?

The Book of Acts
Gospels
Epistles
Prayer
Faith
the Prophets & Prophecy
Psalms
Proverbs
Ecclesiastes

Song of Solomon

OT History
Early Church History
Church History
Sabbatarian Heritage
The Worldwide Church Of God
Messianic Believers
Evangelism

America-Modern Romans


Latin-American Poverty

Ministry Principles

Topical Studies
Guest Book
Utility Pages
Share on Facebook
Tell a friend:
 

Matthew 8:1-17

 

“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.  And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.  And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.  The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me:  and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.  But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.  And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.  And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever.  And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.  When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils [demons]: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias [Isaiah] the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.”

 

“…‘We are anchored deep in your great love, and we thank you that Lord, in this crazy world, Lord, the hurricane of unrest Lord, that seems to be blowing all around this whole planet, Lord, nations moving, war and injustice, and we thank you for the anchor, Lord Jesus, of your great love, of who you are, how you’ve worked in our lives, that we can come, Lord, and set ourselves aside for this time to sing your praises, to study your Word, and Lord, that you actually come in our midst, that you walk among us, that you breath upon us by your Spirit, that you give us rest and hope and that you challenge us and confront us, Lord, and reprove us, and cleanse us, and renew us.  And Lord, we wonder at your faithfulness, and what it will be like, Lord, to kneel before you one day and look into your face.  And Lord, until then, we know that we are all being conformed into your image and likeness, that we are, Lord, to be growing in grace and in the knowledge of who you are.  And Lord let the evidence of that be that our love for you ever deepens, that it deepens our commitment, that it lessens our compromise, that it purifies our thoughts, our walk.  And Lord, we believe that we’re praying these things according to your will.  Give us your Word this evening, Lord, we pray in Jesus name, amen.’

 

Jesus heals the leper

 

Matthew 8:1-4, “When he had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.  And behold, a leper came and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.’  Then Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’  Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.  And Jesus said to him, See that you tell no one; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”  Matthew chapter 8, coming down from the mountain, the Sermon on the Mount with Jesus, the crowds are astonished because he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes and Pharisees.  And they are filled with wonder with the things that he said.  Matthew now chronicles an encounter with a leper, an encounter with a Gentile, an encounter with Peter’s mother-in-law, three of those who would be held in low esteem, to say the least.  The leper was despised and considered dead.  A Gentile, the leper may have been outside the camp, but the Gentile was outside the Covenant.  And they prayed, every morning the Pharisees would pray thanking God that they were not born as a woman, believe it or not.  Gals you’ve come a long way.  And Jesus came and dealt with them.  And I think Matthew, God’s using that angst he has, his name was Levi, no doubt had been a Levite, disenfranchised and had seen the hypocrisy, given himself over to be a tax collector, and God redeeming that, and bringing him to seeing all the beauty and power of Christ, and all of the grace, certainly, understanding the Law so well, gives us these series of snap-shots.  Between chapters 8 and 9 there’s ten miracles, I believe, and this first one is this encounter with a leper.  It says “When he was come down from the mountain”, verse 5 says “when he entered into Capernaum”, so he’s on his way down from the mountain, not yet into the city itself, Capernaum.  “When he was come down from the mountain great multitudes followed him” again, they had followed him, he had gone up the mountain, his disciples followed him.  Now as he’s coming down the crowds are gathering again.  And Matthew says “Behold, there came a leper.”  And Matthew would say that, knowing his readers would understand that a leper coming to Jesus, he needs to say “Behold” before he says it, ‘Consider this, let this blow your mind, think about this, “there came to Jesus a leper, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.’  Jesus put forth his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will, be thou clean.’”  So, Matthew gives us this remarkable picture, this leper coming to Jesus.  Now there are about 5,000 lepers in the United States today, and tens of thousands around the world, ah, Hansen’s disease, because this man Hansen discovered a way to arrest the progress of the disease, but still incurable, though the progress can be arrested.  They’ve done a lot of research on armadillos, because armadillos, for your information, their body temperature is about three degrees cooler than 98.6, and they’ve noticed that the leprosy breaks out on the appendages, on the fingers, on the nose, the places actually where its cooler is where it seems to first manifest itself.  So, hope there’s no armadillo lovers here, because they’ve done some research with armadillos there.  But still a disease that is faced today.  Now of course the great Moravian cry came from two young men that were leaving to go to a leper colony to preach the Gospel to them, their parents and friends cried as they were leaving on a ship, ‘You know, if you do this you can never come back, because once you’re on that leper colony you could not come back to society’, and of course the great cry came from these two young men, ‘Let the lamb that was slain have the reward of the suffering’, their lives offered up, obviously.  So this leper coming to Jesus.  Now, the Talmud said that of sixty one defilements that they listed, that leprosy was second only to death.  The greatest defilement was death.  You were not allowed around a dead body, and out of sixty one defilements, the most defiled, a living human could be was to be a leper.  Now so, you remember, put that into our culture today.  What is the most defiled a human can be today?  To have AIDS or to be a prostitute, or to be a junky or to be a murderer or a child molester, or into pornography.  Or just let that roll-over, just think the most defiled human being, living human being today, what that person would be or what they’d be capable of.  In this culture back then the most defiled living person was a leper.  That’s why Matthew is saying “Behold”, ‘Consider this, a leper came.’  [That split the crowd up, they all moved away to a safe distance.]  The Jews taught that sickness was related to a person’s spiritual condition, and they called leprosy the finger of God, they said the leper was the walking dead.  And they believed that if you had leprosy, it was because of secret sin, and that God judged you openly and made an example of you, and that you weren’t getting away with your sin.  Very interesting, in the Torah, the center book of course is Leviticus, and the center chapters of Leviticus, 13 and 14, are two chapters specifically given to a disease.  There isn’t even anything equivalent of that anywhere in Scripture.  The 13th chapter, extremely long in Leviticus, 59 verses, and in those verses it tells you how to diagnose leprosy, because you don’t want to take somebody with psoriasis or eczema or poison ivy and stick them outside the camp and cut them off, you don’t want to make that kind of mistake.  So there’s a huge long description of this disease, and then how to diagnose that disease.  And if someone would come, and it would start as it says with a small spot, a shiny spot sometimes, a raised lump in the skin.  And that person would come then to the priest, and I’m sure when someone saw something like that on their body they initially covered it up, thinking ‘I hope this goes away, I’m not showing anybody…’  But as it became a sore and began to ooze and began to open, ultimately he would have been brought to the priest.  Now the priest in those days was Annus, who reigned as high priest from A.D. 6 to about A.D. 15, 16, when Caiaphus was introduced, was a son-in-law, and he reigned from about A.D. 16 to A.D. 36, but it was kind of a co-reign.  Annus representing Israel, Caiaphus representing the Romans, he was an appointee.  So these two priests were there then in power, and no doubt had inspected this man.  At some point he had a sore, it didn’t clear up, and it says then he would have to go to the priest (high priest), Annus or Caiaphus or both of them examined him.  Because life expectancy was under 15 years in this culture, and they had been in longer than that, so they had inspected this man.  And then they would wash him and cleanse him and put him away for seven days, and after seven days they would bring him out again and examine him again.  If it started to heal or the swelling went down, they would put him away for another seven days.  Or if it hadn’t gotten better, put him away for seven more days, bring him out after 14 days, examine him again.  If it was healed, he could be pronounced clean, if it still didn’t look good they put him away for seven more days, and brought him out again, and after 21 days if that sore hadn’t begun to heal, wasn’t getting any better, he was pronounced “unclean”.  He was put outside the camp, he couldn’t live with the rest of the people, couldn’t go inside of a walled city, couldn’t be around his wife or his children.  He had to wear a covering across his upper lip and his mouth, he had to live in a leper colony, was not allowed to sleep higher than ground level, because they didn’t want them in their sleep breathing or coughing up in the air, they had to sleep on the ground.  Any time he got near a crowd he had to cry “Unclean, unclean, unclean”.  Not “disease”, not “sick”, but “unclean” because they considered this to be some spiritual defilement that was manifesting in that sense.  There is the law of the leper in the day that he is cleansed, lepers never heal, his is cleansed, a leper is to seek out a priest, not a doctor.  It was highly spiritual in Israel.  So this guy some day wakes up and decides he’s going to go to the priest, and within, as it were, the next day or whether it was three weeks later, he was put out, away from his family, from his friends, he was living outside the community seeing other fathers hold their children, watching life in the normal, this was somebody who was outside, looking in.  And I specifically want to speak to anyone here this evening who may be thinking you must be the most defiled person in this crowd, you have the greatest defilement that a living person can have.  Maybe you haven’t told anybody about it.  You feel you’re the most defiled person in this room, and you feel like you’re the person outside, looking in.  You might be sitting in the middle of a crowd, but that’s the way you feel.  And you know there’s two things in this picture we want to see as we go on.  One is, the religious world did nothing for this guy.  And we have to be careful that we don’t’ become like Pharisees and Sadducees, ‘Oh that person is this’, or ‘That person does this kind of sin’, or ‘That person does that kind of sin’, or ‘This person does that, who wants them around.’  And we have to be careful that we don’t do that, because that doesn’t represent Jesus, Yeshua.  Because, no doubt as this leper made his way through the crowd, the people parted when they realized who, what he was, when they saw the way he was dressed, people scattered.  Luke tells us, and Luke always gives us the great details when he tells us about Peter’s mother-in-law, he says “She was in the fall of a great fever”.  You know, if you told the doctor, Luke, ‘Peter’s mother-in-law had a fever’, he would say ‘What do you mean, fever?  You mean a little fever, you mean low-temp, you mean high temp?’  So you know, Luke always picked up these details, and he tells us this leper was a man that was full of leprosy.  He’s in the later stages.  What happened in those stages was his fingers were no doubt gone, his toes, his nose had no doubt been gone for several years, the face would become very, very thick, and like a lion, would lay over in big folds.  Hair would fall out.  And they said, in this culture, if someone was full of leprosy, you could smell them from a hundred paces.  Their sores were oozing, his hand may have been gone.  He comes through the crowd.  No doubt, they all part.  There’s no evidence that Jesus even moves, doesn’t take a step away from this individual.  I wish I’d have known that before I was saved, with the leprosy of sin that I had, because the ‘Church’ sure didn’t portray Jesus to me that way.  I thought Jesus was right in the middle of all the rules, and all the regulations, and all the stained-glass windows and incense and omni this, and omnidomini that, and I didn’t think he’d want anything to do with me, and the culture I was in, taking drugs and living where I was living, my immorality and just where I was---I never thought that he would ever want to have any contact with me.  But this man, it’s before they get into Capernaum, maybe he heard Jesus say “Blessed are the poor in spirit, blessed are those that mourn.’  Maybe he heard Jesus say ‘Your Father whose in heaven’, maybe he heard Jesus say ‘Ask and it shall be given you.  Seek, and you shall find.’  Something inside of this guy said ‘I’m going for it.  I’m asking.  He’s different, his different than religion.’  Because religion had told him that God in fact had judged him, that the finger of God on his life had caused his condition.   And he pushes through the crowd, no doubt they stepped aside, and he comes, and it says, he falls down in front of Jesus, and he worships, and he says “Lord”.  It’s the first time Jesus is called “Lord” in the New Testament, and it comes from the mouth of this leper.  “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”  Not, ‘If you can, you will’, but “If you will, you can.”  ‘If you will it, I know you have the power.  If it’s in your will to do this, if you just will it, it will happen.’  “If you will, you can make me clean.”  And that’s the way we came to Christ too.  You know, leprosy is given so much press because it’s a picture of sin.  God through Isaiah when he rebuked the nation, he said “Why should ye be stricken any more?  You will revolt more and more, the whole head is sick, the whole heart is faint, from the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it, but wounds and bruises, and putrefying sores, they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with anointment.”  And he uses leprosy as a picture of sin, and it was that, because sin starts that way, it starts with a small spot, starts with a bright spot sometimes.  It starts with something that maybe looks good, but it gets into our nervous system, it desensitizes.  One of the authors I read said he had worked and spent his life at a leper colony, and one time he couldn’t get a door open, he was twisting the key, twisting the key, he couldn’t get the key to twist.  And one of the young men there, he had leprosy, he said “Let me do that”.  He said he twisted and twisted the key, and I looked down and blood was coming out of his hand, because he twisted the key right into his hand because he had no feeling, it was gone.  And sin does that to us too.  It takes away our feeling, takes away our ability to be rational anymore, to get a perspective anymore, it is  why we get so hardened and deadened by it, and cold.  But that never keeps Jesus away.  Look, the remarkable thing he said is “If you will, you can make me clean.”  And there’s a thousand eyes on this, and no doubt everybody is hushed, because Matthew is there, and as an eyewitness, and with the multitudes it was quiet enough for Matthew to hear what the leper said.  And you know that was gargled out, if you will, you can make me clean.”  [gargled out probably barely as a raspy whisper.]  And the remarkable thing, it says Jesus didn’t go, ‘Whoa, ok, you’re clean buddy.’  It says “Jesus put forth his hand and touched”, we read over that.  This guy had not been touched in years.  He put forth his hand and touched, this guy, oozing and stinking.  The crowd must have been staggered.  “He put forth his hand and touched him.”  That’s what he did in our lives.  He touched us.  Religion didn’t keep him away from us.  With our leprosy and our, what many people in our families thought we were the most defiled…I know my family thought I was the lost sheep of the family, whatever they thought sheep were, I don’t know.  And I had an idea of what God was because of religion, but when I encountered Jesus, he did not hesitate to touch my life.  He put forth his hand and touched him, and he said this, “I will, ”ethelo [Strongs #2309, desire…love…be willing], which is a great word of emotion, “Be clean”, which is a great word of authority.  He’s says “I will with all of my heart.”  That’s what he says to this man.  You know, when I got saved, God’s love overwhelmed me.  The thing that was shocking to me was his love washed over me and over me and over me.  Because, you know, I was kind of coming [to him] groveling.  I didn’t know who he was.  I came as, ‘If you’re really there, groveling through all of those things, and when he finally revealed himself, he touched me, and it was his love that overwhelmed me.  And Jesus says here “I will with all of my heart.  Be clean.”  And Matthew, the eyewitness says, “And immediately the leprosy was cleansed.”  Luke, the physician, tells us “Immediately he was made whole.”  Now try to imagine what we’re talking about.  That means immediately his fingers went pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, came back on his hands.  Immediately his nose came back onto his face, and all the big giant wrinkles of skin were pulled back flat onto his face again, nice and new, baby-skin.  Immediately his feet were made whole, immediately this man was made whole.  Amazing, amazing.  And Jesus said, “Don’t tell anybody.”  [Pastor Joe laughs]  Yeah, right.  ‘Ok, I’ll walk around yelling unclean because I’m a leper, even though I’m clean.’  We find out in Mark this guy is told not to tell anybody, and it says he went and told everybody.  And Jesus tells us to tell everybody and we don’t tell anybody.  [loud laughter]  Now all three Gospels say the same thing.  “Don’t tell anybody, but rather go to the temple, go to Jerusalem, and offer the offering that Moses prescribed in the Law as a testimony unto them.”  It says it in Matthew, it says it in Mark, it says it in Luke. 

 

Jesus sends a loud and clear message to the high priest

 

Because Jesus never broke the Law, and the Law said that in the day that the leper is cleansed, that he should go seek the priest and show himself to the priest.  Now you have to understand this.  This is the 14th chapter of Leviticus.  It had been written over fifteen hundred years before this, and the sacrifice had  NEVER been offered in the history of the nation.  Jesus said in the days of Elijah there were many lepers in Israel, but none of them were cleansed, except Naaman the Syrian.  Miriam is cleansed before the Law is given.  Religious Israel considered ‘You’re gone if you have leprosy’, there’s no mention in the Talmud anywhere of this offering ever being offered, it wasn’t even a thought.  You were just gone if you had leprosy, you were called the walking dead.  And here this guy all along thought it was God that had caused his leprosy.  Can you imagine the stigma, everybody that looked at him thought he had some secret sin.  How many times has this guy sat around and thought, ‘Man, Lord, did I do this?  What did I do?  Was it a lustful thought?  Was it anger?’  What would we do if somebody convinced us of that?  You know, Jesus at the last supper says “One of you here is going to betray me”, and they all said “Is it me?”.  What if  it’s me, just like us.  If the Lord appeared here tonight and said “Somebody in this room, I’m going to strike them with leprosy because of their secret sin”, we’d all be sweatin’.  [laughter]  Everybody.  ‘Is it me?  I’m glad he’s here, because he’s way worse than me, the spots should break out over there [laughter].’  You know, he may be way worse than you outwardly, but we’re talking about secret sin here.  And in fact the finger of God was much different, wasn’t it?  Because it reached out and touched him, and said “I will, with all of my heart.  Be thou clean.”  Now this guy enters into a remarkable process, and on your own you can read this in Leviticus chapter 14.  He has to go to Jerusalem, and show himself to the high priest, and he had to say to Annus and Caiaphus ‘Hey, remember me?’  ‘Hmmm, not particularly.’  ‘No, remember me, I had leprosy, you put me outside the camp.’  They said, ‘What are you talking about.’  He said, ‘No, no, no, no, here’s my name, these are my friends.’  And they must have been astounded.  And the Law said that what they had to do then is they had to get a stick made of cedar, they had to get some scarlet thread, and they had to get some hyssop, and then they had to get an earthen vessel, and they had to fill it with running water, living water.  And they took this guy looking at him, and they put this ‘living water’ in an earthen vessel, which is such a beautiful picture of Christ, they would take the hyssop and put it on the cedar stick and wrap the thread around it so it was there.  And then they would have these two doves, and they would kill the one dove and let it’s blood run into the this bowl of water, mix it in with the water, and then they would dip the hyssop with the scarlet thread and the cedar into this bloody water, and sprinkle the leper seven times, the number of completeness, the blood of this sacrificed animal.  And then they would take the other dove, and dip this white dove into this red bowl, and then set it free.  And this white dove would fly away, dripping blood, free, set free by the death of another dove.  And then they would take that guy, they would take off his clothes, make him put on clean clothes, make him shave his head, it says he would have to shave his eyebrows, shave his beard, shave his whole body like a cue-ball, they put him outside the camp for seven days.  On the 8th day they brought him back, they looked at him again, washed his clothes again, shaved him again, everything, and on this 8th day, they would pronounce him cleansed at the door of the temple, before the congregation.  And then he would bring two lambs, one a trespass offering and one a sin offering, and a hin of oil.  And they would kill the trespass offering and the sin offering, and they would take the blood from those sacrifices, and the high priest would take the blood and he would put it on the right ear of this man that was cleansed, and then he would put it on his right thumb, and then he would put it on the right toe, it says the great toe, (you don’t think of your big toe as your great toe, Bible is nicer to us than we are to ourselves), the great toe of his right foot, the blood.  Now this was only done to priests when they were installed.  Blood on the ear, that now I’m alive again, brought back to life by the blood of someone else, and my hearing then should be cleansed.  Blood on the right hand, the things that I do, under the blood, should be cleansed.  And then the right toe, where I go, where I walk should be different now that I’ve come back from death, from leprosy, come back to life.  Now of course, the problem is, that’s a great philosophy, we all agree with it, but who can do that in our own strength?  No, we can’t.  So then the priest would take of the oil, he would cup his left hand, take the oil into his left hand, and he would take one finger and he would sprinkle seven times with the oil towards the altar, and then he would take the oil and put it on the right ear, it says, on the blood he had already put there, he put the oil on top of the blood, picturing the Holy Spirit, on the ear, on the right thumb, and on the great toe of the right foot.  The picture of the fact, yes, we’re cleansed by the blood of Christ, but we need the Spirit.  But more than that, then it says that he took the rest of the oil with his hand and he poured that upon the head, so that’s a picture of the Spirit coming upon us, the greater power, the unction for the life.  And God’s done that with us, he set us free and he’s given us life.  And he’s asked that what we hear and what look at would be under the blood, what we do, where we go.  And he’s given us the Spirit to strengthen us to do those things.  But imagine Caiaphus and Annus, no one in the history of Israel had ever offered this sacrifice.  This means something very profound.  It means when Moses wrote this over fifteen hundred years earlier, that it was in the heart of God then that one day when his Son walked this ball of dirt, that Annus and Caiaphus would be the two men who would first look at this sacrifice, and enact it.  That’s why Jesus says, “Don’t go, don’t tell anybody, rather, go to the priests in Jerusalem, and offer there the offering that Moses prescribed in the Law, as a testimony unto them.  Because Jesus loved Annus and Caiaphus, and he loved the religious leaders in that nation, just as much as he loved the leper.  They were just lepers with something else, self-righteousness and religion, and he wanted them to know the truth too.  And there was great testimony in the center of the nation.  Imagine their conversations at the end of the day.  You know, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea heard about these things, and Saul of Tarsus.  Imagine this testimony given to the center of the nation, what a remarkable, remarkable picture we have in this, and of our lives also. 

 

Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant

 

Matthew 8:5-13, “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, pleading with him, saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.’  And Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’  The centurion answered and said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof.  But only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.  And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such faith, not even in Israel!  And I say to you that many will come from the east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness.  There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.’  And his servant was healed that same hour.”  Verse 5 says, “When Jesus was entered into Capernaum”, now he comes all the way down, after this leper is healed, and he comes into the town of Capernaum “there came unto him a Centurion beseeching him”.  Capernaum is all the way on the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, of thirty fishing villages it was the largest.  It was also on the trade route that came from Damascus through Capernaum, then down to Jericho, then up to Jerusalem.  Because of that there was a centurion stationed there.  This centurion was over 100 men, that’s why he is called a  centurion.  [Roman version of a company in our army.  Easy Company in World War II had 150 men, so this is roughly the equivalent of a Company in the Roman Army.]  He had command over 100 men, one sixth of a Legion.  And he was stationed there in Capernaum, where there were 100 Roman soldiers under his command.  When Levi collected taxes, he’d collect the taxes with a Roman soldier standing behind him with a spear, and those he collected taxes from couldn’t complain because they were always reminded of all the authority of Rome was behind that tax collector.  That’s why they hated Levi, they hated him.  So Jesus come into Capernaum, and an interesting thing happens now as he comes into town.  “There came unto him a centurion beseeching him.”  Now it’s interesting because Luke tells us that the centurion sent his servants to Jesus to beseech him.  The grammar allows either.  That the coming to Jesus to ask was done by the centurion, the grammar allows that it could be through his servants or it could be in person.  Matthew, grating on the religious bigotry of the Jews, wants to say in the first person ‘This man came to Jesus.’  He makes it as direct as he can.  And the centurion comes “begging him”.  Now this is a man with a lot of stature, a lot of integrity, this guy is on a 25-year hitch.  When you took the position of Centurion you signed on for 25 years.  You couldn’t do it 24 years or 23 years, you were in.  And this guy was a guy that’s powerful, and it’s interesting, he comes begging Jesus on behalf of his servant.  That tells us something about the man.  The Jews believed the Gentiles were strictly fuel for the fires of hell.  That’s what the religious Jews believed.  The Gentiles, God just made them for fuel, in hell.  That’s a strange philosophy, because on the other side of that they believe in annihilationism too, that you’re gone.  [Comment: The Sabbatarian Churches of God are also annihilationist.  The subject of hell is one of those doctrines where none of the Christian denominations or groups agree on all the specifics of it.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm to see what I am talking about. This makes the beliefs one chooses to hold about Hell a secondary doctrine, which does not effect one’s chances for eternal life (i.e. like belief in Jesus being God, that’s a primary doctrine, which if not held disqualifies you from eternal life).]  So I don’t know how those two go together real well, but this centurion comes.  He sends, it says in Luke, leaders from the Jewish community to Jesus to beseech him to heal his servant.  They come, and they say “Master, this man is worthy for you to do this, because he loves our nation, and he has built us a synagogue.”  Now that’s remarkable, because they detested the Gentiles.  They particularly detested the Romans.  And yet here are these Jewish leaders in the community coming to Jesus saying ‘This guy’s worthy.’  So indeed he must have loved Israel [the House of Judah, at this time in history, being composed of the tribes of Judah, Levi and half-tribe of Benjamin], and he must have believed in their monotheistic God to a degree [this may actually have been Cornelius, although we can’t be certain], and it says that he built that synagogue at Capernaum.  How many of you have been to Israel with us over the years?  And you guys, all of you who were there were at that synagogue with us in Capernaum.  And of course you remember when we were there, that underneath the foundation, the synagogue being there was built in the second century, but under the floor of that synagogue, which is white marble, you can see from the side because of excavation, you can see the black basalt floor that’s there from the synagogue in the day of Jesus.  So we’ve been there many times, and actually seen the floor that this particular Centurion laid there in Capernaum, and he had built them a synagogue for them to worship.  And they come asking Jesus to be gracious to him, saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented”, and Jesus said unto him, “I will come and heal him.”  Now Matthew loves to write that, because no rabbi would ever go to the home of a Gentile, ever.   He just loves to depict Jesus touching lepers, stepping over the boundaries of this and that, “I’ll come and I’ll heal him.”  “The Centurion answered and said,”, now Luke tells us as they are on the way the servants come and say “Lord”, the Centurion must have heard that Christ was coming, and he says “I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my servant shall be healed.”  This Gentile Centurion, building the synagogue, knowing the tradition of the Jews, knows that Jesus will be defiled if he comes into his house, says “Master, I’m not worthy that you should come, that’s not what I’m asking.  All you need to do is speak the word, and my servant will be healed,” verse 9 says, “for I am a man under authority.” 

 

God’s power exercised over distance---distance doesn’t matter

 

Now Luke writes it out, “For I am also a man under authority”, that is included in the grammar here in Matthew, but you don’t get it in the English translation, “for I am also a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this one ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  He says ‘Master, you don’t have to come, all you need to do is speak the word, because I’m also a man under authority, I know how this works.  I have soldiers under me, a hundred of them.  I say ‘Go do this,’ and they do it.  ‘Go here,’ and they do that.  I say to my servants ‘Do this,’ and they do it.’  And he says ‘I understand how you operate, and because of that, all you need to do is speak the word.’  And it says, “When Jesus heard it,” verse 10, “he marvelled and said, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great a faith, no, not in Israel.’”  Jesus marvelled.  Now he only marvels twice in the Gospels.  And you’ve got to do something to make God marvel.  [chuckles]  You know, what are you going to do to make him marvel, you’ve got nothing cookin’ that could blow God’s mind.  He only marvels twice, he marvels in Mark 6:6 at the unbelief, in as “He did not many miracles there because of their unbelief”, he marvelled at their unbelief.  And here he marvels at faith.  And he marvels at the faith of a Gentile, but he also marvels at the context of it, because this is what this man is saying, “I understand authority, I’m only a centurion.  But when I give an order, Caesar’s throne is behind me.  And I say ‘You go,’ and they go.  ‘You do this,’ and they do that.  The authority that’s behind me is the authority that I’m submitted to, and because of that, all I have to do is speak the word, Lord, and the authority of Rome is behind me.  I see in your life the Throne you must be submitted to, and that the authority of Heaven is behind you.  And like me, you need only speak the word, you’re operating in the spiritual realm in the same authority that I’m operating as a centurion, I recognize that.  And you need only speak the word.’  And Jesus marveled at his faith.  “And Jesus spoke the word, and his servant was healed.”  That’s good news for us.  This is God’s power exercised over distance.  You know, when we pray for someone in the hospital, or you pray for a friend, you pray for yourself, hey, Jesus is at the right hand of the Father ever, he makes intercession for the saints, he’s there.  But distance doesn’t matter, that’s the whole point here.  He need only speak the word.  And anytime any of us are healed, every time we are healed, it’s because he’s spoken the word.  I’ve always been healed, I’ve been sick lots of times, never died.  And whether he does that just through this space suit [ie through his own natural body immune system], or whether he speaks it and makes it happen, I don’t have to know, because I praise him either way.  You know, wouldn’t you like to have a car, that if you got in a fender-bender, and the whole thing was smashed up, you came home from work and your wife just smashed the car up [laughter], and you could look at it and say, ‘You know honey, don’t worry about it, I know you didn’t mean it, just put it in the garage, in a couple weeks it’ll be OK.’  [laughter]  And a couple weeks later you went out, the dents were gone, and it was all healed.  You don’t think that’s miraculous, what if it happened to your car?  It happens to us every time we’re sick, doesn’t it? 

 

You go in the authority of who you bow the knee to

 

“You need only speak the word”, you know it tells me something else.  Authority.  I hear lots of people in the Church talking about authority, and you know there’s lots of people out there that say they’re ‘apostles’, they say they’re ‘prophets’, ‘and you need to submit to my authority’, ‘and you need to do this.’  Let me tell you something, you don’t need to say that to anybody.  [And you don’t need anybody saying to that to you, in the legalistic sense.]  Because Jesus is saying, “The authority you walk in is directly related to the throne you bow the knee to.”  And if your knee in your life and in your heart is bowed to the Throne of your Father in Heaven, that’s the authority you walk in.  When he tells you to go witness to your old crabby aunt, you need to go in faith, because all the authority in Heaven is behind you if he told you to do that.”  If he tells you to love that neighbor next door that you’d rather [laughter], because they’re unlovable, you go in the authority of that conviction in your heart, if he’s telling you to do that.  Because you’ll go in the authority of the throne you have bowed the knee to.  And you don’t have to make anybody else demand anybody to listen to you, or submit to your authority, and nonsense like that.  “I am also a man”, he understands “under authority, having soldiers under me.  I say to this man ‘Go,’ he goes, another man ‘Come,’ he comes, and to my servant ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”  “And when Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said unto them who followed him, ‘Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great a faith, no, not in Israel!  And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and from the west”---because this man is a window into the Gentile world, where Jesus knows there’s going to be a tremendous ingathering a few years down the road---“many will come from the east and the west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the children of the kingdom” of Israel, many, “shall be cast out into outer darkness.  There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  And Jesus said unto the centurion, ‘Go thy way, as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee,’ and his servant was healed in that self same hour.”  Many shall come from the east and the west, and shall sit down at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the interesting thing, the rabbis, the scribes taught the people that the Torah, the Law [first five books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy] had really been given two thousand years before the world was created.  And that before it came to Moses, it was already known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  And they taught that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob submitted to all of the Torah and all of the ordinances and to all of the traditions that they were teaching the people in their day.  And they said that God had tried to give it to the Gentile nations, but they wouldn’t receive it, and only Israel would receive it, and Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and our fathers, and that’s the reason it’s come to us, but it pre-dated Creation, and the Gentiles were basically shut out, they were fuel for the fires of hell, and that only they were entitled.  Matthew enjoys writing ‘Jesus says, you know, many are going to come from the east and from the west, and they’re going to sit down with me at the table’, it’s interesting, that term, at the banqueting table.  We’ll hear about that in the Song of Solomon, where his manner over me is love.  They’re going to sit down at the banqueting table, at that great feast.  And it won’t be long, won’t be long.  I’m looking forward to that.  Won’t be long.  Think of the people that have gone ahead of us already that are going to be there.  If Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are there, that means my Grandpa is going to be there, it means lots of people we love and care for are going to be there.  What a day, that’s going to be some feast, I’ll tell you that.  [And since the Feast of Trumpet represents the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, and at the end of a major 2nd coming prophecy, Zechariah 14, Jesus commands worldwide observance of the Feast of Tabernacles, and that Feast is known by Jews and Messianic Jews, and many Christians to represent the Millennial Kingdom of God, that Wedding feast of the Lord will probably be on the Feast of Tabernacles, yes, what a Feast that will be.]  They’re going to come from the east, from the west, they’re going to sit down at the table of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, while the children of the kingdom are cast out into outer darkness.  As we move on in Matthew, there are those in the Church who have taken a position, and I’ll mention it now, we’ll look at it as we move on, of annihilationism.  Now some of the orthodox Jews in Israel believe in annihilationism, that when you’re, if you’re in heaven, you live there forever, but if you go, if you’re ‘lost’ you’re cast into hell, and you’re burnt up and you cease to exist. The Bible knows nothing of that.  [Comment: It would appear Revelation 20:6,14-15 seems to prove annihilationism pretty clearly for those who choose to believe in it.  Of course, these secondary doctrines that don’t effect one’s personal salvation won’t be conclusively proved one way or the other until we meet Jesus in the air, or later at the Wedding Banquet, and ask him.  That is why the doctrine about what Hell is or is not is such a secondary doctrine, because you have many different real born-again Christians and denominations all believing different things on the subject.  Again, refer to the link http://www.unityinchrist.com/plaintruth/battle.htm .  Dante’s Divine Comedy was written as a spoof, and the Catholic Church turned it into doctrine.  We all know the Catholic Church isn’t too good on interpreting real Bible doctrine.  Each to his own, though.  We’ll find out later.  Some of our interpretations may be right, or closer to the truth than others.  Time will reveal the actual truth, the time of the 2nd coming of Jesus, that is.  Some choose to get on their real dogmatic soap boxes and make a doctrinal mountain out of a mole-hill.]  Several of the well known theologians in our country have now adopted that position because of a verse later in Matthew, and one verse, and it doesn’t say that.  Eternal punishment is upheld as clearly in Scripture as eternal joy in God’s Kingdom in heaven.  And those are the stakes.  We are eternal, you’re not temporary, this space-suit is [he’s tapping his body], what’s inside of you is eternal, and it lives on, and it doesn’t need this space-suit to do it.  [Comment: that part of his statement is true.  If you are born-again, upon death and then the resurrection to immortality, you will be eternal.  The human body, just like the body of a butterfly caterpillar, is just a transitory shell, while what’s inside is in transformation into what we shall be eternally.  That has nothing to do with the doctrine of Hell.]  When you’re dreaming at night, and you have a dream, you see light, you see color, you hear noises.  Well your eyes are closed, there ain’t no noise in the room that you’re experiencing.  And you know when that monster is chasing you just as fast as you can run.  [laughter]  And you wake up, what’s happening?  You’re heart is going Ba-Boom, Ba-boom, Ba-boom, Ba-boom!  You can have a heart attack when you’re sleeping with that monster chasing you.  And [those who are not saved] will be cast out into outer darkness, continuing.  Jesus says to this man, “Go your way, as you have believed, so be it unto you.  And his servant was healed in that self same hour.” 

 

Peter’s mother-in-law healed of a severe fever

 

“Now when Jesus was come into Peter’s house”, Peter had a house in Capernaum “he saw his wife’s mother laid and sick with a fever.”  Now, when we go there to Capernaum, it’s interesting because they’ve unearthed this stone there from this century, and his name was “Simon Bar-Jonah”, “Simon son of John”.  And when Peter would have a son, they would name him Jonah Bar-Simon, and then the next generation would be Simon Bar-Jonah.  So they’ve actually found in Capernaum, as they’ve unearthed one of the homes there which they believe was Peter’s, they’ve found an engraving from that era in the First Century about Jonah Bar-Simon, which either would be his father or his son.  “When Jesus was come into Peter’s house he saw his wife’s mother” so the first pope was married here, it’s right here, “he saw his wife’s mother laid sick with a fever.”  Now, again, doctor Luke tells us “She was in the throws of a great fever.”  She was burning up, no Tylenol, no Aspirin, no antibiotics.  She’s in the throws of a great fever.  Malaria was in that part of the world in the First Century.  [Alexander the Great, while working on clearing out some swamps near Babylon contracted malaria and died from it, unlike some historic rumors that he died in a drunken debauchery.]  So we don’t know exactly what it was, but she is there, and it’s Peter’s mother-in-law.  Peter, we know, is older than many of the other apostles, so she’s aged at this point in time, and she’s in the throws of a great fever, no doubt, doesn’t stand a chance.  And it says “Jesus touched her, and the fever left her and she arose and she ministered unto them.”  Mark says that he took her by the hand, Luke says that he rebuked the fever.  So she’s there burning up, with great fever, Peter’s mother-in-law.  Jesus comes in, takes her by the hand, gently pulls her up, rebukes the fever, and immediately the fever leaves her.  Now Peter must have liked his mother-in-law because it doesn’t say he’s bothered by this [loud laughter], there’s no evidence there that [laughter], you know…”She got up and she ministered unto them”, and it says that in all three Gospels, and no doubt it’s in the sense that she got up and made a meal.  Now look, it’s interesting, and we’re going to see this through the Gospels, you know that if you’re in the throws of a great fever, today, with Tylenol, with antibiotics, when that fever breaks, you don’t feel like getting up and working.  You’re going to lay around for day or so to recover.  We’re going to see people that have been crippled for 38 years, and Jesus says “Get up, take your bed and go home.”  No therapy, no rehab.  The miracle is so much greater than what you see on the surface.  So this woman gets up.  Jesus takes her, rebukes the fever.  She sits up, gets up, and so she cooks.  What would you make for Jesus if he was coming over tonight?  Steak?  Lobster? [Don’t think so, Jesus kept the whole Law of God, including Leviticus 11:1-23, read it.]  You think you’re going to blow his mind, he’s the Creator, he made all the lobster, he made all the cows.  ‘Oh, made steak and lobster, really impressed, Surf’n’Turf.  And if you’ve got kids at home and Jesus comes over, first of all you say ‘Peter, I can’t believe you brought the Messiah here, you didn’t call, the house is a mess, all we have here is peanut butter and jelly, we have spaghetti-O’s, we have hot dogs…’, you know what the household is like when you have a house full of kids.  I don’t think he cared, he didn’t come to eat, he came to be with us.  I’m convinced Jesus would be happy with a Drive-Thru.  Lord, you want Taco-Bell?  Want Burger King?  MacDonald’s, what do you want?  Because all of that is a feast to him if he can be with us.  We don’t believe that, see.  That’s why the Bible says we grow in grace and in the knowledge of who he is.  His feast was to be with us.  She gets up, she makes something, didn’t matter what it was, just imagine what a great scene this was, sitting there at Peter’s house. 

 

Jesus heals all the sick and lame in Capernaum

 

And it says in verse 16, “When the evening was come”, now this is the end of the Sabbath.  “When the evening was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils [demons].  He cast out the spirits with a word, and he healed”, this is a great word ALL that were sick,”  Now there are places in the Gospels that really give us the sense that as fast as they were throwing down people in front of Jesus he’s healing them.  Wouldn’t you just love to go with Jesus, load him in the car, and head down to Chop, and just go from room to room, start in Emergency, go to every room, the Children’s Hospital, and just heal everybody?  [Chop must be a hospital in Philadelphia.]  He healed everybody in Capernaum.  He healed all of them.  You know, they’re amazed because he spoke with authority.  They’re amazed because of his teaching.  But can he back it up?  Man, just imagine what it was like  seeing this, his love, and his power, and his grace.  “He cast out the devils with a word”, I love it in Mark, he just says “Be muzzled, get out”, which is really just our way, he just said “shut up and get out.”  There’s no long fasting and formulas, he doesn’t do all this stuff.  And they’re amazed that he could cast out a demon with a word.  You see, they had exorcists.  Jesus said “If I cast demons by Beelzebub, then he said, who do your sons cast him out by?”  We know from history that the Jews would invoke the name of Solomon, they had these real long rituals like they do in parts of the Church today [think he’s referring to the Catholic Church], that went on for days and days.  When a demon hassled Jesus, he turned around and said “Shut up and get out!”.  [laughter]  I like that.  You know, you need to remember that everybody talks about ‘warfare and you’ve got the devil in your room, and he’s trying to make you do this and do that’, just remember, ‘Our Dad can beat their dad’, that’s all that matters.  That’s all that matters.  “he cast out demons with a word”, “and he healed all that were sick”.  Take note, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah [53:4] the prophet, saying, ‘Himself took our infirmities and bare our sickness.’”  Now that’s an interesting verse.  Because, growing up on the Pentecostal/Charismatic side of the Church, there was all this “by his stripes we’re healed”.  Well that phrase doesn’t have anything to do with disease.  It’s by his stripes we’re made whole.  The interesting verse is in Isaiah, if you want to turn to Isaiah 53, if not you can just listen.  It’s in verse 4 in Isaiah 53, where it says “Surely he hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken and smitten of God and afflicted.” “Surely he hath borne”, that word “borne” means to bear on the behalf of others, “borne our griefs”, that word “grief” there is the Hebrew word for “sickness”.  ‘He hath borne iniquity for others, he hath borne our sicknesses, and carried’, that again is to “bear for others” “our sorrows”, literally “our pains.”  Now it’s interesting because over in verse 11 and 12 we have the same two words.  We have where it says that “he bore our sicknesses” in verse 12, nasa, it says there, “therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he hath poured out his soul to death, he was numbered with the transgressors, and he bare” that’s our word, “the sin of many.”  It’s in a propitiatory way.  He bore our sin.  Here in this verse, using the same word in verse 4, it says “he bore our sicknesses” and then it says that “he carried our sorrows”, verse 11 it says “he shall see the travail of his soul, he shall be satisfied, by his knowledge shall my Righteous servant justify many, for he shall bare”, that’s our word “carry” “our iniquities.”  So these same two words are used later in the chapter of that fact that Christ in fact bore our sins and our iniquities, and we understand that.  But earlier in verse 4 it says “he bore our sicknesses and our pain.”  That’s interesting.  Because the exegesis of the Holy Spirit of that passage is here “That it might be fulfilled that was spoken by the Isaiah the prophet, saying, himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.”  Matthew says, the Holy Spirit says, “that is might be fulfilled which Isaiah had prophesied”, Jesus healing everybody in Capernaum, casting out demons, is a picture of the fact that he himself bore our sicknesses and our infirmities.  Now, does he heal everybody in this world?  No.  Does he heal people as much as we’d like to see him do it?  No.  Do I know why?  No.  [he laughs]  Does he do it sometimes?  Yeah.  And we’ve seen people healed in the church here.  We’ve seen tumors gone, we’ve seen things happen.  And we never put them up as a side-show, because we know they tell their friends, they tell their relatives, you know, that the Lord would get the glory.   Because it’s not an elder or a pastor or anything to do with the church, he heals.  He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.  He walks by the Pool of Bethesda where there’s a huge number of lame and impotent [meaning unable to walk or move] folk, and he heals one man.  That’s his choice.  One man.  And yet at Capernaum he healed everyone.  We’re all going to be healed, and we can claim it.  Whether it’s in this world, or when we step to the other side, we’re all going to be healed, and we’re going to be healed forever, of everything, all of us, whatever you got, we are gonna be healed.  And I would claim it, because it says he bore those things for us.  I think when we take communion, we remember the covenant of forgiveness of sins in his blood.  But it also says “in his broken body” there’s covenant also.  And I think when we take communion it’s a great time, we examine our hearts, we get ourselves right with the Lord, we make sure we ask forgiveness of things, and I think at that time if we’re sick, it’s a great time to say “Lord, I’m remembering also that you bore my sicknesses, you carried my pains, and tonight Lord, if you want, and I don’t understand this, Lord not because of my faith, I believe, but help my unbelief, because of your mercy, because of who you are, if you will, you can make me clean.”  And he just might say “I will.   Be thou clean.”  He still touches.  You know, healing’s a funny thing.  I would have been satisfied just to know my sins were forgiven, and that I was going to be in the kingdom of heaven, that’d been enough.  I wouldn’t have felt gypped.  Whatever life brought, I got sick, killed in a car accident, whatever comes, would be the thought, ‘Doesn’t matter, because he died for me and he paid for my sins, and when I get into heaven (or the kingdom of heaven, given eternal life), I’m going to meet my Father, my Savior.  That would have been enough.  But he was the one who revealed himself cleansing lepers, opening the eyes of the blind, healing the lame, and then saying to us “I am the same yesterday, today and forever.”  He was the one who dares our hearts to step out of the boat onto the water, even in regards to these things.  It isn’t presumption “Oh I wish we’d see it more”, and it seems it happens more on the mission field, on the front lines, but it happens.  And maybe, you know, before he comes, maybe we will see a great move of the Spirit.  You see all of this nonsense going on, they don’t want the Ten Commandments in this building, they don’t want it in that building, and they don’t want it here, they don’t want it there, they don’t want to hear God, they don’t want it here, they don’t want his name mentioned there, they don’t want him in the schools, they don’t want prayers.  Pretty soon they’re going to get their way, God’s just going to take us out of here.  They don’t want us around…But I hope, before that, because, you know it’s the unsaved world out there.  And we have to be careful, because it says God so loved that world that he gave his Son, that whoever would believe, would not perish but have everlasting life.  We can’t be sanctimonious and religious, because there’s a world out there just like we were.  It’s broken, and I pray, Lord, before you come, let there be a revival, let there be a genuine move, let the churches across the city be filled again, and let it be because your Spirit has awakened a bunch of lazy, sleeping Christians, like me.  Let it be because revival begins in us, and the Church is brought back to life.  And the by-product, Lord, let it be evangelism.  Lord, do what Washington and legislators and everybody else says ‘You can’t do.’  Heal people.  Do it Lord.  Show your power.  Demonstrate who you are, before you take us out of here.”  And I think that’s a good thing to pray.  I’m going to have the musicians come, and we’ll sing the last song.  I want to say this to any lepers that are here this evening.  If you think you are the most defiled person in this room, that God wouldn’t want anything to do with you, you know the Scripture says tonight, you’re wrong, you’re the one he rejoices over, to take the most defiled individual, and to touch that person, and say “be clean”.  You may be the person that when other people see you coming, everybody’s going to step aside and say ‘I can’t believe this guy’s here.’   You come.  If you want to be saved tonight, as we sing the last song, as we’re singing, you come down here and stand here, we want to pray with you.  And don’t worry about the people thing, just know that the Lord, the Lord is the same, and he will touch your life, and he will set you free, and give you life.  You’ve been living in compromise and sin and think ‘I’m so defiled’ no that’s not true.  Once your heart is right with him, and you fall down as it were, and you worship and you say this word again, ‘Lord, if you will, you can clean me up again.’  He receives you back.  In fact, it says of a prodigal, he runs, and he weeps, and he embraces, and he kisses, and he restores.  And maybe you felt so far away because something you think is defiling in your life.  Don’t ever let that keep you from him.  If your heart is broken, whatever your leprosy, you come, you be healed, you be cleansed, you be renewed.  Let’s stand, let’s pray, and let’s worship…[connective expository sermon on Matthew 8:1-17 given by Pastor Joe Focht, Calvary Chapel of Philadelphia, 13500 Philmont Avenue, Philadelphia  19116]

Click to Print

 

content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
Questions or problems with the web site contact the WebServant - Hosted and Maintained by CMWH, Located in the Holy Land