Luke 5:12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”
13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
I love to watch horsing racing on tv and the Saratoga Racing Group is now being featured daily on regular TV. I love it. It is a good thing I don't bet on horses because I would lose almost every time. I will pick a horse and sure enough, the horse will finish a miserable last, but no loss because I know betting is wrong! Another form of betting is when we decide whether or not to buck the odds about something like Covid-19 transmission. We now deal with social distancing and shaking hands, or for sure, hugging is a non-starter. The other day one of those long shots in the horse racing came through as the trainer had taken a chance on this horse and poured his life into training it. The racing experts decided this horse was a 48 to 1 long shot, so the race was not supposed to even be close for this horse. Of course, the favorite for the race took off and started blowing the others away, but....as they rounded the last corner I saw the horse who had been dead last begin to pick up steam. The jockey brought the whip up and quickly whipped one time and the horse seemed to shoot forward and made the other horses, including the lead horse, look like they were walking. I leaned forward in my chair and I thought "look here" if this horse can keep going he will win!! They sped closer to the finish line and sure enough, the 48 to 1 loser horse passed them all. This all came out of no where and it was a welcomed win for the horse and for me as I watched the improbable become a reality. For a moment I was so stirred it brought tears to my eyes. Why? Because in a time when we are supposed to social distance the jockey rode over to where the owners were waiting and jumped off the horse and they embraced and celebrated the victory without any regard for Covid-19. There was just too much to celebrate and it couldn't be contained!!
Back to the scripture we can see some revealing things about the leper Jesus encountered. First of all, the scripture says the man had "advanced leprosy" and this seemed to be a case where the odds were not in his favor. The leper didn't care about odds. He cared about the healing power of Jesus and bowed down and said these words in verse 1 if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean. Here is the next verse 13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” The next scripture uses the word "instantly" to describe how quickly the leper was healed. Keep in mind that in advanced leprosy the fingers and possibly the hands of the leper were probably compromised to the point that some of his fingers were missing. But.....he was healed! A longshot who is unclean is made clean. Oh the joy that leper must have felt in his heart to know that he was made right and he was made right instantly. Jesus reached out and touched him and he was healed!
If you are a born again believer you can relate to this leper if you will just think and remember when Jesus healed your heart and made you clean. I know I can and it stokes my fire every time I think about it. The sin condition of my life guaranteed me a place in hell and a life of desperation, but Jesus. But Jesus. But Jesus embraced me with my sins and made me clean. Instantly clean and now what to do with that? In verse 14 of the above scripture Jesus said "this will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed." Jesus cared for me...me...me and changed me from a longshot to a winner. Thank you Jesus. Jesus told the man not to tell anyone what had happened, but it couldn't help but get out. Jesus heals!!
Two words we see from time to time on a billboard or from someone holding up a sign are Jesus Saves! Maybe we need to rethink about the seriousness of those two words and let that public testimony be our battle cry in a world that needs some hope and some "saving." Of course, it is wise to follow the guidelines of social distancing and we want to be super responsible about all of these crazy things we are dealing with right now. But we still need to reach out and touch people with the living Word of God and let that word and our testimony be something that reaches deep in their soul and give them eternal hope. Hebrews 4:12 says 12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires It is the power of God that reaches and touches people anyway and the Holy Spirit is moving whether we realize it or not so remain faithful to the task at hand and the glory of God and the hope of salvation will spread once again to the masses. People are looking for that horse that was counted out to come through and Jesus is the one who comes through for each of us. I call it victory and that is what we need to focus on.
Please be encouraged by the fact that Jesus still gives instant life healing to those who ask and He gives that great victory to all who believe. Just reach out and touch those who are wandering around with no hope and give them the hope of the gospel, because that hope is within you if you are a believer. Reach out and touch someone!!!
The Pilgrimage continues.....