Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 625 · 3 months ago

The Gospel of Luke #19

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Luke 5:12-16

And now, Lord, we do come to a word, recognizing indeed, God, that this is your word and God, what I will read to your people here in a moment is the very words of God. How privileged we are to have the words of God. What a joy it is, Lord, and help us to be more filled with the desire to read it and study it and memorize it and learn it, Lord, for there is, it is indeed meet for our souls. It is life to our bones, God, and we thank you for it. We thank you that you have endowed us with such a gift that we should have it. Forgive us for our neglect, Lord, when we neglect that, we should we should never neglect it. Forgive us for that. But now, this morning, we are going to read it, Lord, and we pray indeed that you would enlighten it to us, that you would help my words to be faithful to the text, that you would keep me from error and, Lord, that I may indeed lift up your son and the message of the Gospel. And I ask your blessing upon it in Jesus name. Amen. We had a long call to worship. We have a short text, so it makes up for each other. So, Luke Chapter Five. As we continue on in the gospel of Luke, I will get there, and then also you and again Um. We're just reading a few verses, beginning with verse twelve and going through Verse Sixteen. But here is God's word. While he Christ was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy and when he saw Jesus, he fell on his feet and begged fell on his face and begged him, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying I will beat out clean, and immediately the leprosy left him and he charged him to tell no one, but go and show yourself to the priest and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them. But now, even more the report about him when abroad and Greg crawls gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities, but he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. That's all, and the reading of God's Word Please be seated. Up to this point the gospel of Luke, Luke has been trying to show us how our Lord is Master and Victor over everything that he meets. He has faced the temptations of the enemy and he has emerged victorious. He faces a demon who has possessed a man and conquers the demon. He faces a high fever in the home of Simon with his mother in law, and he is victorious over that. He shows himself, in the miraculous catch of fish, to be a victor over all of nature. And so now in our story this morning, Jesus faces what in that day was considered to be one of the most impossible and means to conquer, that of...

...leprosy. Re Read in the Gospel of John that the blind man said it has never been heard from the beginning of the world that anyone has healed a man born blind. That's how amazing that healing was. But leprosy is somewhat similar. Now it is true that there could be those that would recover from leprosy, but it was considered a very terrible disease and very difficult. No no one could heal it. It could heal of itself, but no one had the power in that day, in that day, to heal it. And so we find, especially in the advanced state that this man has, this leprosy, that it just was not dealt with by anyone else. Even the Apostles who went forward after Christ were never told that they cleansed the lepers in the book of acts, although I can certainly believe that they did, but we're not told about that. So again, it is a short passage but it's full of meaning and so I want to try to bring that out to you this morning. It concerns, as I said already, a man who is a leper. Now, in the description or the concept of leprosy and exactly what leprosy was, there is ambiguity. Today we're not exactly sure what the disease was, but most of the writers that I used for my studies believed that this was a disease was called Hanson's disease and Um it's identified because of a man that discovered it, or found it what it was, Dr Gerhard Hanson, and that's who the disease was named after, as I mentioned. But he was the very first person in history to identify bacteria as a causative element or agent of a human disease, and so doing he actually proved that leprosy, or Hanson's disease, was not a hereditary disease, but was actually a contagious disease. Dr Paul Brand, who came later, discovered what seemed to be the main effect of this disease, is numbness of affected areas of the skin, which in turn leads to other effects. If you're numb in your extremities, there's things you don't think about. Sometimes it's easy. Perhaps something falls into the fire and you just reach into the fire because you have no pain sensors, no warning system to alert you. UH, said in some parts of the world that rats would gnaw off extremities of leopards because or those enhanced this disease because they couldn't feel it because they were absolutely numb. People could actually pour scalding water on themselves not knowing it and could be damaged with burns and all of these things and many other things could happen, and so Dr Brand described the disease as a painless hell. Now we don't know that every case of leprosy in the Bible, or indeed we can't prove that any case. Perhaps is this Hanson's disease? We don't know for...

...sure and there are differences in that. But uh, the lepers life, we can say was not very good. Uh, it involved a lot of isolation. They were usually reduced to begging because they weren't supposed to come into the areas where people were as far as normal things, so they had to beg for their food. They couldn't work, they didn't have ways to work and often they would live together in bands, as we see in other places in the Bible. Josephs, the early historian at the time of Christ, describes lepers has dead men. We would describe him in our lingo as dead men walking, because that's what they were. Michael Wilcox Rights, the leper was not just ill, he was outcast. He had not simply lost his health, he lost his family, his friends, his home, his livelihood. No one would, indeed no one was allowed, to associate with him. This story is actually found in all of the Synoptic Gospels, Matthew, mark and Luke, but all we have described in Matthew and mark is that he's a leper. Ah, but our writer was a doctor, Dr Luke, and Dr Luke says he wasn't just a leper, he was actually full of leprosy. Now what does that mean exactly? We don't know, but I think at the least we can say is that he had an advanced case of leprosy. Something about him knew what we caused luke to know where the apostles of this man has been a leper for quite a while and has been very seriously affected by it. In verse twelve, Jesus is in one of the cities, but it doesn't specify what city is in. It has been suggested that, since the lepers rarely came into town, that Jesus was in fact that the outskirts of a city. When this happens chronologically? When this happened we don't know, but it appears from comparing the three gospels. Sometimes between Jesus giving a sermon on the Mount we find in Matthew five through seven, and the calling of the twelve apostles, that would seem to be the right time. And again we have a word here in verse twelve that the e S v UH totally omits. I don't know why they do this and Um, I love the S V but there's times I just don't quite understand it. And it's the word I mentioned before that they omit, and that is the word behold. And you might say, well, it's not necessary, but luke uses the word to tell us that something extraordinary is about to happen or is happening at that time. And what is extraordinary? Well, the healing itself will be extraordinary, but what is also extraordinary is that the leper is coming into the presence of Jesus. And because Leviticus says of a leper he shall remain in unclean as long as he has a disease. He's...

...unclean. He shall live alone, his dwelling shall be outside the camp. Later in Luke will read about ten leopards who come to Jesus, but it tells us they stood at a distance to ask him. This man comes up to Jesus and he learns. We learned when the lepers saw Jesus, he fell on his face. Now that represents both worship, as we do that when we kneel, but also uh worship, but also reverence for God and humility. All of these things. And Matthew's account simply says the man knelt before him. Mark said the man was imploring him kneeling, but Luke says he also fell on his face. This is a great way to come to the Lord when we have needs. It's good to come to him and humility and recognize our position as we come to him and not coming, as I used to believe in my days and the word of faith movement, that you come demanding God to do something. It's not a good way to do things at all. And he actually begs Jesus as he comes before him, and he doesn't just call Jesus master or Sir, which we have encountered already in this book, but he actually uses a Greek word, Curios, which means Lord and is the word often used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament scriptures to refer to God, Yahweh. So the Hebrew word Yahweh the Greek often translates as Curios. So he comes to the Lord and he uses the word curious. Now what did he understand? I don't know for sure, but it is indeed a tell him thing. And then we have to note carefully the way he words his request. He says, Lord, if you will you can make me clean. He has complete faith in Jesus that Jesus can indeed rid him of this disease. He knows Jesus has the ability and the power to do it. But he just isn't sure if Jesus is willing to do that. I'll come back to that in a little bit. Let's look at versus thirteen to fourteen. In verses thirteen and says Jesus stretched out his hand and touched them and touched him. Now that statement has caused quite a bit of controversy through the years in the church and you might have come upon that at some point in your study of the Scriptures. The question is, by touching the leper, isn't Jesus in effect violating the law of Moses levinnicus five three says? Or if he touches human uncleanness of whatever sort, the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean and it is hidden from him when he comes to know it and realizes his guilt. So accordingly, it was against the law to touch anything that was unclean. So isn't Jesus guilty then, by touching someone who was unclean? I think of all the answers, I would probably go to John Kelvin answer. He says in the law...

...the touch of the leper was contagious, but as there is such purity in Christ, he absorbs all on cleanness and pollution. He does not contaminate himself by touching the leper, nor does he transgress the law. Others would say that the Leper was even clean before Christ touched him. So often in the Bible and the New Testament and the gospels we find instances where Jesus heals by a touch. Remember, in fact, the other way it would be not just Jesus healing by a touch but others being healed by simply touching Jesus. Can remember the story of the woman with the issue of blood and that she came and said, if I can just touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole. And Uh, that has been used through the years by UH supposed faith healers. Maybe I don't know. Some of you that have been back in that world at some point in your life received a little piece of claw in the mail that the faith healer said, if you send him a donation, that cloth will be a healing cloth and you can put it on whatever particular ailment uh you have. But uh, this is they have no call for that. But but again, um do. Even though the woman touches him, it wasn't just touching Jesus that did it. Even though that's what she did, it wasn't just doing that. Because remember when Jesus Said who touched me? The disciple said, there's people jostling all around you, everybody's touching you. Why would you ask that question? But Jesus knew one person had touched him with faith in their hearts. In fact, he'll say to her daughter, thy faith has made the whole, and so we recognize it as the touch of Jesus in faith, believing in him. But more often in the Bible it is the case that Jesus touches those whom he heals. He was four fifteen, says, in the King James Origin. We have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities. And Matt Mark adds the detail that when he stretched out his hand he did it with compassion. We don't know for sure about this. I'm speculating a bit, but I think it's very possible that for ten or twenty years the leper had not felt the touch of a human hand. So what a wonderful feeling that must have been that day when our Lord reached out and actually touched him, and then we have the reply of Jesus to the lepers plea. In Greek it is simply two words. The words are fellow, Catharistheti, fellow means I will, and Casti means be cleansed. Two words our Lord otters. We have a correspondence between our Lord's words and the words of the Leper. If you will, you can make me clean. Jesus response. I will be clean now, immediately, we are told...

...the leprosy left him one moment full of leprosy, the next moment no leprosy anywhere to be found. That's the kind of healing our Lord does. He does instantaneous healing. Now I know there are examples in the Bible, a couple at least, of showing them people that were healed later. The ten lepers that were healed on their way Um is one example of that. Some would mention the blind man that Jesus touches once and then he has to touch again, or does touch again. I shouldn't say he has to, but he does it again, and this has been used also by faith healers through the years when they pray for people and of course of the time nobody's healed. So they always tell the Moll it's like the lepers. You can be healed as you leave this building. And of course then he doesn't have to be there to find out they didn't get healed. So that that is the problem there. But normally, I mean the two times where there's something delayed, there's a reason. There's a spiritual lesson. Jesus is trying to get aside, something he's teaching, and so there's a reason for it. But normally the healings of Jesus are instantaneous. They happened right away. Peter's mother in law is sick with a great high fever. Jesus rebukes the fever and she gets up and starts serving him instantaneously. That's the kind of healings our Lord does. In verse fourteen we have a very strange command that the Lord gives to the Leper. He says tell no man. presuably, don't tell anybody about the healing that you've just had. Now, why does our Lord say that? There are different speculations about that part of it. I believe my own personal belief, and you can disagree with me on this. This is okay, but but I believe part of it was that Jesus knew when his hour was and the more attention he drew to himself, the more dangerous it was for him in these early days, and he had to follow his father's timetable, and so he didn't want this going out. And so I believe it. It has part of that. But again it also could be that the Lord just didn't want the leopard to claim to be healed until he'd gone to the priest and the priest had indeed confirmed that he had been healed. And so again, by going to the priest, the priest's weren't friendly to Jesus in these days. So by going to the priest he was giving a testimony to the power of Christ healing ability. And here was the procedure we found of the leper, and this is important. But, as mentioned, the priest shall go out of the camp and the priest shall look in the case of leprous disease is healed in the leprous person. The priest shall command them to take for him, who is to be cleansed, to live, clean birds and Cedar Wood and scarlet yarn and his hip, and the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds and an earthenware vessel over fresh water. He shall take the live bird with the Cedar would in the...

...scarlet yarn and his it and dip them in the live bird, in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water, and he shall sprinkle it seven times on Him who is to be cleansed of the lepros disease. Then he should pronounce him clean and shall let the living bird go into the open field. That would have been the procedure that the priest would have done to the leper when he came to them. Now there's more, but I'm saving that for the end because I think there's a good application there. But it doesn't all happen that first day. There's more to come and it's clear from the Gospel accounts that when the man does go to the priest, he does indeed pass the test of being free from leprosy. So in versus fifteen and sixteen, we find Luke phrasing diplomatically what mark is much more blunt about. Luke says, but now even more report about him. Went abroad, but mark says, speaking of the Leper, but he went out and began to talk freely about it and spread the news. So Jesus could no longer openly enter a town but was out in desolate places and people were coming to him from every quarter. In other words, the leper disobeyed a direct command of Christ. Now I suppose of all the disobedience one could do, we might personally be inclined to forgive the Leper this indiscretion, this sin, because, after all, aren't we commanded in the Bible to proclaim the works of God? We're saying it this morning, we're saying it in some one, oh three. Aren't we commanded to do that? Aren't we commanded to proclaim his greatness on one, oh five, one, give thanks to the Lord, call upon his name, make known as deeds among the people? is now what the Scripture says. But yet we can't avoid the simple fact that God had given a command and this man disobeyed it. So we cannot excuse him. We might be able to understand it, we can't excuse it. But we also note this is a third time that Luke mentions something going out, some kind of report that goes out about Jesus. Now in all three times when Luke mentions that, the e S V translates the word has report, report of him, report of Jesus in all three cases. But what is interesting in the Greek it is it is three different words, a different word each time. The first word in look for fourteen is the Greek word faming, which the King James translates as fame. We could also say a rumor of him when about. So it's just kind of starting out. The second word uh, in Luke four thirty seven, which again the S V translates his report the King James Against his fame, but it is a different word. The word is a cost, where we get our word for echo, and it means now more of a resounding. The first one was...

...was perhaps a faint sound, a little bit of a rumor, but now it is the stronger sound and the word in our text is a very familiar word even the most people who don't know Greek. It is the word Lagas, which means word and uh again. This is perhaps indicating that not only now are people realizing and hearing of Jesus, but they're beginning to make a rational decision about who Christ is. So in Verse Sixteen, the result is Jesus now has to withdraw to a desert place and even though matthew and mark don't mention it. Luke is the Gospel writer who, more than any other, stresses prayer and it tells us. Luke tells us his purpose is to go out and to pray, to commune with his heavenly father. William Hendrickson says Jesus gave it, gave us an example by not allowing anything to stand in the way of regular seasons of prayer, and there's much we could say about that, but I'm not going to deal with that this morning. But I do want to make some applications. I look at the Healing Ministry of Christ has not only, of course, wonderful as far as physical healing, it is, of course, but I look at it beyond that, I think every healing miracle of Christ has a spiritual application. I believe not only was he conquering and showing the power that he had, but he was also trying to teach us something in each one of the healings, and that I would say almost every single one, if not every single one. I didn't look at them all, but but I have to do with what happens to us in regeneration and salvation. The healing of the blind would transfer over to US spiritually that, as Paul tells us, the God of this world has blinded our minds, those that are in darkness, and so Jesus removes that blindness from us when he regenerates us. The raising of the DAD speaks of what happens to us in regeneration, because Paul tells us in e Fesians to one, that we were dead in trespasses and sin. And so the raising of the dead speaks of our raising out of trespasses, out of the death of trespasses and sin. And so leprosy in the Bible has long been looked at as a type of sin. Now, you could say to me, and you'd be right. Well pastor nowhere in the Bible does it ever say leprosy is a type of sin. You would be right. It never says it. However, let me quote G Campbell Morgan here. He says, if that be so that it's never mentioned, it is nonetheless true that the common consciousnesses of men and women who are believed in God for ages, the Hebrew expositors and theologians, the Christian expositors and theologians, have all seen in leprosy. Even though the statement is not made in the Bible. The most revealing symbol in the material real of what sin is in the spiritual and I...

...think there's many parallels we could draw between leprosy and sin and I'm not going to go through all of them this morning, but I want to talk about a couple for sure. One parallel about leprosy and sin is leprosy, like sin, affects us in every part of our body. And he fees, excuse me, Isaiah one six, and we read out of that chapter earlier, but we didn't read this verse. In Verse Six, God describes the wickedness of Judah in this way, from the soul of the foot even to the head. There is no soundness in it but bruises and sores and raw wounds. They are not pressed out, out out or bound up or softened with oil. Let's the affect of sin or the effect of leprosy. We're not partially Lepros we are as this man is described. We are full of leprosy. We are not a little bit of a transgressor we are not one who just, you know, maybe just a regulation or two. We are entirely sinners. We are, as it says, dead in trespasses and sin, and just has lepers are dead men walking, so are sinners. Sinners are indeed also dead men walking the wages of sin, the Bible says, his death. Living in sin, like living in leprosy, leaves US outside the camp. We are not a part of the congregation of the Lord when we are living in sin and living without God's regenerating power. And there are many other ways. But I want to mention one more this morning that to me is very telling and and you may not go with me there, but nonetheless I'm going to talk about it for a little bit. And that is what I mentioned earlier, that when the leper went to the priest to have the test done to see whether he is healed of leprosy, we had those instructions. That happened on the first day that he comes, but there are instructions for later on as well. At the end of the first day, Sarah Money, the man is to wash his clothes and shave all the hair on his body and bathe himself, but then he is told to go away from the priest and he can live in a camp, but he has to live outside his tent for seven days and then verse nine of Leviticus Fourteen, it says on the seventh day, followed this carefully, on the Seventh Day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his bathe his body and water and he shall be clean. That is the seventh day. On the eighth day we read that he has to bring three lambs, to Male, one female, both without blemish, and some grain and oil. I won't read the whole text out of Leviticus, but you can. And then the priest would perform several functions, including the sacrifice of the lamb and disposal, in the sacrific ficial manner, of...

...the grain in the oil, and then, after all that was done on the eighth day, the man would be pronounced clean. Now I think there's several numbers in the Bible that have importance. One I've told you about before, right the number seven. It's very important. I said, if you answer that to most of my questions, you'll be right at the time. Three is a very important number, of course it's the number of the Trinity. Forty is a very important number. We've already come across at once in Luke of the trial or temptation of Christ, and we have the forty days, forty nights of rain in the forty years in the Wilderness and all those scriptures that speak of trial. But I would say another number that I think is important. I try to kind of walk a middle ground when it comes to Biblical numerology, but I do think there is some interest in it. But I don't again, I don't expect you to have to follow everything I say here, but it's interesting that it seems in the Bible that the number eight represents resurrection to us. At the end of seven days we come to the eighth day, and I remember that because I was a Beatles fan and they're saying eight days of week, so I remember that. But the end of seven days we come to the eighth day, which begins a new week. The old week is gone and so the eighth day becomes a new week for us to live. And of course you know what day our Lord Jesus rose. He rose on the first day of the week, which was also the eighth day, and he was resurrected from the dead. All males were commanded to be circumcised on the Eighth Day, speaking of the Covenant Life that God gives. Pentecost, which is the day the Holy Spirit was given, was the eighth day of the seventh week. And, of course, when God wanted to repopulate the Earth by people that could come out alive, how many people did he put into the Ark? He put eight people in the Ark. And also, again, trying not to go too far, afield, but if you do add up the numerical value of the letters of Jesus name and Greek, it equals eight, eight, eight. Well, there's more, but that's enough for now. But on the eighth day our hearts are circumcised. On the eighth day we are made new creatures, the day of our resurrection. We are cleansed from our sin on that eighth day, just like the leper would be declared cleansed on the eighth day. So we are declared cleansed on that day. And I want you to notice something different here, something that Christ does that the law cannot do. You See, the law fails in a sense when it comes to leprosy, because what did the law do to cleanse leprosy? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The only thing that the law could do was give a means to test whether or not a person actually had leprosy. But what did Jesus to the Leper see? He...

...healed those that were lepers and he made them totally clean. What does the law do in regards to sin? It points out our sin to us, it tells us we're sinful, but that's it. That's where it ends. There's a famous poem attributed to John Bunyan. Run, John Run. The law commands but gives me neither feet nor hands. Far Better News The Gospel brings. It bids me fly, but gives me wings. The Gospel gives us the power to do what the law could never do. And so we see the greatness of Christ. And I want you to notice again the request of the Leper. I said I'd come back to it. He said, Lord, if you will, you can make me clean. That's so typical of us when we come to the Lord with our petitions. I don't think very often we really doubt that God has the power to fulfill that petition that we have. We don't come to God thinking, well, Lord, I know this might be a little beyond you, but no, we know, we believe that we accept, that we believe that, Jeremiah, oh Lord God, it is you who have made the heavens and the Earth, by your great power and by your outstretched star, nothing is too difficult for you. But we often doubt that God is willing to answer our prayers. That's our problem. Hebrews Eleven six says whoever we draw near to God, must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who diligently seek him. That's the problem we have, the believing that God actually rewards us when we come to him. Kelvin says that the request of this man, this is not inconsistent with a certainty of faith which God demands in our prayer, for men ought not to expect more than God promises, and indeed we can do that. But our problem often, like the leper, is I know God can do it, but is he willing? Is he willing? But we need to trust in God, believe in his love and His mercy, that he's willing to forgive us and decleanse us. Jesus touching the leopard not only speaks of the healing of sin, but it speaks to us of his incarnation. It says we see in this story that Jesus was willing to come in contact with unclean flesh in a way. But again I'm not saying he touched unclean flesh, but he who now knows sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ. You See, the most amazing thing happens here when Jesus touches the leper, the exact reversal...

...of everything else. We know happens mothers, when your child comes in from playing in the dirt, maybe a mud once in a while here in Tucson. I haven't seen it, but I've heard about it, but you know. But when they come in and they're covered with that dirt of the desert all over them and you touch them, they don't become clean, you become unclean. That's the normal way things work. Haggy explains that. He says if someone carries holy meeting the fold of his garment and touches with his full of bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy? The priest answer and said no, it wouldn't do it. Then Heggy, I said if someone who is unclean by contact with the dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean? And the priest said it does become unclean, because that's the normal course of events. That's how it always works, except when God is oft and so Christ, who is clean, touches the unclean, but instead of Christ being defiled, the leper becomes clean. And that's how it is. In the incarnation, Jesus, the holy one of God, takes flesh and the end result is that the unclean can be made clean. Have you ever noticed Paul's words and Romans Chapter Eight, where he says that Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh? Do you know of those three words, likeness, sinful and flesh? If you take out any one of those words you're a heretic. It changes the entire meaning. But Paul says he didn't say he didn't come in flesh, which is the light. He didn't say the likeness of flesh. He came in flesh and he doesn't say he came in sinful flesh, because he didn't become in sinful flesh. And so we realize that Jesus comes in the incarnation. Calvin again says for assuming our flesh he has granted us more than the touch of his hand. He's brought himself into one and the same body with us in order that we should be flesh of his flesh. He does not only stretch out his arm to us, but he comes down from heaven even to the very depths. Yet he catches no stain thereby, but stays home, clears all our dirt away and pours upon us his own holiness. Now, while he could heal the leper by his word alone, he adds the contact of his hand to show his feeling of compassion. No wonder, since he willed to put on our flesh in order that he might cleanse us from all our sins. So the reaching out of his hand was a sign and token of his vast grace and goodness. Here is the thing which we pass over without much impression at an idle reading, but most certainly ponder with much awe when we take it properly, that the son of God, far from abhorring contact with the Leper, actually stretched out his hand to touch his uncleanness. What a glorious thing our Christ, our Savior, is done.

So. If we're affected with the leprosy of sin, what do we do? The first thing we do is we recognize our condition. As a leopard, did we come to the Lord and say, Lord, I'm unclean, I'm unclean, I have sinned in so many ways. We recognize who we are. The Leopard doesn't come and say, well, I have a little bit of a problem in my big doll. We say no, I have a problem in my entire being, Lord, I am sinful. We are like Paul, who says in Roman, Oh, wretched man that I am. When we realize, like the leper, that we are totally sinful, we are in a perfect position to be received by Christ. We recognize at that moment that their only hope we have is in Christ atoning death, in his blood, and we will celebrate to night in the Lord's supper. We realize that we're helpless, but by his blood he can make us whole, he can heal us, he who touched our flesh, can make us clean so that we come into his presence and can say, Lord, I am clean, not of myself but of the precious blood of Christ, which purifies and cleanses me to stand in your presence. We bar our heads this morning. Lord, we thank you for your word we thank you for the truth of our sinful condition, but you don't just leave us there. You show us the way out. You tell us, if we can just humble ourselves before you and admit our condition, that you are willing and ready to receive us and, as you did to the leper so many years ago, to stretch out your hand to us and say I will be clean. We thank you for so great a salvation that I'm sure most of us here this morning, I've obtained. We thank you God for that. We give you praise for it, and I pray, if there are any hearing this message who do not know what it means to be cleansed from their sins, that they may know so this morning by reaching out to you, Lord, and crying out woe is me, I am unclean, and Lord, you can touch them. We thank you for this, for we prayed in Christ's name. Amen.

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