Sunday, September 21, 2008


I am now in the New Testament. What a glorious new chapter as Jesus Christ is born into this world. He came for us!! He did not leave us here with no hope for a savior from our sin. He lowered himself in total humility in order to rescue us because we couldn't rescue ourselves. There was no other way. The genealogy in Matthew 1 is the record of the blood line that Jesus came through beginning with Abraham. At the end of this list you find a beautiful verse. The verse that changed everything...
"and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called the Christ." (1:16)

In the next few chapters, we see Jesus born in a manger, escape murder by Herod while a baby, introduced by John the Baptist, His baptism, His temptation, His sermons and His healings. There is so much good stuff in every chapter but I want to share a verse about a man with leprosy that touched my heart.

"And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean. Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed." Matthew 8:2,3

Let's try and understand as much as we can about leprosy. Leprosy is a slowly progressing bacterial infection that affects the skin, nerves in the hands and feet, and mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and eyes. Destruction of the nerve endings causes the the affected areas to lose sensation. Occasionally, because of the loss of feeling, the fingers and toes become mutilated and fall off, causing the deformities that are typically associated with the disease. Back then, it was considered highly contagious and you immediately became an outcast from society with no more human touch. Lepers were very sick and very ALONE with no hope of a cure.

This man had just finished listening to Jesus speak when he courageously made his way to get close enough to worship Him and to ask Him to heal him from this terrible disease. **Note that the man was worshiping while covered in leprosy and BEFORE God healed him. He worshiped before he knew whether Jesus would heal him. That is powerful stuff for those in the midst of suffering. It IS possible to worship God while covered in trial... before you are delivered. He just worshiped Jesus for Who He is. I think that when we worship while suffering that it is a sweet smelling incense that travels straight into the throneroom as a true sacrifice of praise.

It says that Jesus reached out His hand and touched him and he was immediately cured. Wow. In an instant this man was given a new life and freed from the bondage of leprosy.

I love this story because I believe God still performs miraculous physical healings today. But let's look at leprosy in comparison to sin and spiritual healing. There are many parallels. All of us were born with a disease called "sin". We inherited it from Adam and Eve's bad choice in the garden. From that bite of fruit in the garden, we were all cursed with a sin nature. In the same way that this man had no way out of his condition, neither did we. Until... JESUS.

He came for us.

The leper heard the truth of Jesus and immediately went to worship him and asked to be healed. Jesus reached out to him and touched him even though he was covered with disease. What an act of compassion, humility and mercy! Jesus reached out His hand to us from the cross while we were covered in our disease... to heal us, to redeem us, to save us. If you don't know Him as your savior from sin, if you are still covered and bound by sin, run to Him, worship Him, be set free by Him. He is willing to immediately set you free. He is your only hope and He loves you so much.

There is also a cool warning for those who have already committed their lives to Christ in comparing leprosy to sin. Leprosy starts out with a small red spot that seems insignificant. Isn't it so easy to allow "little" sins to hang around that seem like no big deal?
It's just a little red spot. I am sure it is nothing.

The problem is that the little red spot slowly grows under the skin to a deeper level and a much bigger problem. It eventually can deaden us so that we are severely hurting ourselves and we don't even know it... until we are missing a limb. Satan is very sneaky like that. He can take the little red spots that we allow in our lives and cause MAJOR damage. Ephesians says "Do not give the devil a foothold" meaning do not allow him an opportunity or a place to step into your life and take over. I am well aware of MANY little red spots in my life that need to go and I am asking God to show me the ones that I don't yet see.

This makes me so thankful for the Holy Spirit and His conviction. It is for our protection when God shows us our sins. He doesn't want us to suffer the consequences that come along with them. This passage has really reminded me of the power sin has to destroy me and the people I love. It is NEVER worth it. Sin is fun for a short time but it always eventually leads to death.
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
Acts 4:12
"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God."
2 Cor 7:1
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:36
Jesus, thank You that You came for us while we were sinners . Thank you that You reached out Your hand to us when You died on the cross so that we could be set free. Thank you that You are willing to touch us when we are covered in filth in order to heal us. You are so willing to speak the words, "Be clean". Please help us to see any small red spots in our lives and repent before our sins severely damage us and the people around us.
We are so undeserving but so grateful for such an amazing love. Your healing is so powerful and so near.
May we listen to You, worship You and long to just be near You like this man with leprosy.
Be blessed~


"God became man... the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. And there was no illusion or deception in this: the babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as is this truth of the Incarnation."
J. I. Packer
"Sin will take you further than you want to go, keep you longer than you want to stay, cost you more than you're willing to pay."
My Mom
(quoted everyday when I was in high school :)


Diana Simpson said...


lots_of_love_four_kids said...

Thank you Steph! You blessed me just now as I read. I needed that!
You are blessed by God with many gifts- one of them being writing. I hope that you are doing well today. take care,

Taylor said...

You're words have blessed me. Thank you so much!


Abby Davis said...

Wonderful post, Steph! Thank you for sharing. How can you not smile all day knowing how great our God is!?!