Thursday, November 5, 2015

Then Came Jesus

Matthew 8:1-3
“When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him.  2 And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
3 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”
Jesus had just finished his Sermon on the Mount. His words were spoken with an authority and power that none had known before.  It had been a long time since a prophet had entered the land of Israel and spoke the oracles of God with such power.  John the Baptist had come preaching but even his powerful preaching could not compare with the power behind the words that Jesus spoke.
I have often wondered what it must have felt like to have been there to hear Jesus speak.  What power and anointing there must have been in His voice!  This was God in the flesh, not just a mortal man.  I believe that the closest we can come to that experience is when we hear the Word of the Lord preached and taught under the anointing of the Holy Ghost.
I think that it is a shame that many people today do not regard the preaching of the Word as important as they should.  I often wonder how many miracles people miss out on because they aren’t close enough to see them, how many blessings they miss because they aren’t hungry enough for them, or how much anointing they’ve lost because they didn’t give place to the leading of the Holy Ghost.
As he descended from the mountain to enter into the city of Jerusalem, the crowds pressed into hear and see what he would do next. Would he perform some great miracle?  Would He heal a sick body, or maybe even raise someone from the dead?
When the Holy Ghost is moving and people are being healed, set free from sin, delivered from the oppressing powers of hell, being saved by the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of God is preached with the anointing power of God upon it, you won’t have to beg people to come. They will come just to see the fire burn.
As he walked along there came a leper and fell at his feet with a humble spirit, seeking to be healed and cleansed.  From a natural perspective, there was no hope for the leper.  He was trapped in a prison of rotting flesh and was slowly dying. No doctor, no priest, or any power on earth could release him from this death sentence.
But then came Jesus!  Oh how I love that phrase!  When all things seem impossible and all hope seems lost, I have learned to lean upon that phrase, “Then came Jesus.”  The disciples were out in the middle of the sea in a raging storm, then came Jesus!  There was a woman with an issue of blood, then came Jesus!  Three Hebrew children were thrown into a fiery furnace, but then came Jesus!  Lazarus was dead and buried in a tomb for days, but then came Jesus!  I was lost, had thrown my calling aside, most everyone had written me off, but then came Jesus!  He can do what no one else can.  He is your answer, not some man.
The leper was unclean! According to the Law of Moses he could never enter the gates of Jerusalem for it was the Holy City, dedicated to God. That leper had to get to Jesus before he entered the gates and so he came as fast as he could. With every step he took, faith would grow a little stronger! With every step hope grew stronger!  Hope – that little 4-letter word that carries such a powerful meaning.
Hopelessness is a terrible empty feeling.  And hopelessness is what those who are held captive by the chains of sin face every day.  There is no hope for a better life, no hope for eternal life, or for deliverance from the bonds of sin that have trapped them to their lifestyles.
The Alcoholic is taught that he will always be an alcoholic!  The drug addict is taught that he will always be a drug addict!  The thief is taught that he will always be a thief!  All the world can do is attempt to control how much alcohol, drugs, or criminal activity that people do. The world does not have the power to set men free from anything!
But then came Jesus – there’s that little phrase again!  Jesus can set them free, and Jesus will set them free!
When that leper, representing the absolutely hopeless condition of the sin-sick soul, came to Jesus and fell down before him, and worshipped the Lord, and confessed that Jesus was the only one who could set him free, and cast himself upon the mercy of Christ, he was showing us just what it takes to be set completely free from all the bondages of sin that hold us back.
You can’t whip the devil on your own, but Jesus has already conquered him! You can’t defeat all the powers of darkness in your own power, but Jesus’ blood has already beaten them once and for all.
We must cast aside everything that holds us back. Cast aside your pride! Cast aside your own abilities! Cast aside your hopelessness! Cast aside the teaching that you can’t be delivered that has been given by the world! Cast aside every little weight and every sin that so easily drags you down and then worship the Lord Jesus Christ!
I believe that Jesus not only has all power in Heaven and in Earth to set you free once and for all but I also believe that it is his perfect will do to just that!  Jesus looked back at that leper and said, “I will, be thou clean!”  
What power there was in those words! Instantly the prison bars of leprosy were broken!  Instantly, that leper was a leper no more! Instantly he was made whole!  He may have been told, “Once a leper, always a leper,” but Jesus set him free!
Jesus doesn’t deliver halfway! If we aren’t completely delivered it’s because we are holding something back ourselves! We can’t expect Jesus to set us completely free if we aren’t completely surrendered and committed to him.   All too often we come to the Lord seeking deliverance, but all we want is just enough deliverance to make life tolerable again. We don’t want to commit fully so we just take what Jesus will give and go back to doing what we want to again.
It’s so wonderful that Jesus is full of grace, mercy and love, so much so that he will reach out and touch us sometimes, even when we really don’t mean what we say! But he knows the heart, and if we will fully surrender, then he will fully deliver!
I’m not saying that every Christian who has a problem in some area of their life is lost. I’m not saying that they won’t make Heaven their home. What I am saying is that, until they are fully committed to serving the Lord, placing him first in their lives, they will never know what it is like to be completely delivered and fully walking in victory!
What do you need from the Lord right now?
Healing?  Jesus says I will - Isaiah 53:5, "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."
Rest?  Jesus says I will - Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Deliverance?  Jesus says I will - Isaiah 46:4, "And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you."
Encouragement?  Jesus says I will - Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee."
Salvation?  Jesus says I will - John 3:16-17, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved."
Cleansing? – Jesus says through the Apostle Paul, I will - 1 Corinthians 6:11, "… but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."
Wisdom? – Jesus says, I will - James 1:5, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
Faith? – Jesus says I will - Romans 12:3, "For I say… to every man that is among you… God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith."
Power? – Jesus says I will - Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you..."
Guidance? – Jesus says I will - John 16:13, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth..."
Jesus says I will meet your need but don’t just focus on the miracle, focus on the Miracle Worker and give it all to me.  The leper was in a prison that he didn’t choose and didn’t want but one that he could not get out of, but Jesus had the key.
What do you need from the Lord right now?
Are you willing to cast yourself at his feet in total surrender?
If you are willing, then Jesus will give you the desires of your heart!

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