Jesus Is Willing To Reach Out And Touch You

Matthew 8:1-3—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.

The Jews lumped all types of skin diseases under one category. God had given Moses specific instruction about quarantining those who had a skin disease. They were to live apart from others. If anyone approached them they had to warn them by shouting, “Unclean!”. To touch a person that had a skin disease required the one who touched them to go through a cleansing ritual to see if they had contracted the disease. This man’s disease must have been quite obvious. He may have had what we call leprosy. There was no need to tell Jesus what it was that he needed cleansing from. It is hard to imagine not having the touch of another person for a long period of time. The man must have been not only suffering physically but emotionally as well. As he yelled, “Unclean!”, the people parted as if an invisible wedge cleared the way to Jesus. “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” The man expressed His faith in the ability of Jesus. He called Him a master. Jesus does not have servants and great wealth. He is a different kind of lord. He is master of His creation. Then Jesus did something that required faith. He touched the man. If the man was not immediately cured, Jesus would have been considered defiled. Jesus would have to go through the cleansing ritual. Jesus responded, “I am willing. Be clean!” His touch and words made the man whole. We cannot defile Jesus. His purity overcomes our defilement. He is willing to touch and cleanse you. Are you suffering? Know that He is willing. He will touch you. His purity is greater than your defilement.

True Life

Exodus 20:17—Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that is thy neighbour’s.

The first five commandments deal with our relationship with God. The last five deal with our relationship with mankind. They are very clear outward actions like not murdering, not stealing, and not lying. Every one is an indication of a problem with the heart. This last one, however, deals directly with the desires of the heart. The Law is a schoolteacher that brings us to Christ. When we consider this last one, we realize that something in us must change. It is not an action that we do but our very desires that must change. We can want to change our desires, but new desires only come out of a new heart. A new heart can only be given to us by the indwelling life of the Son of God. He’s the only One that can fix our ‘wanter’. The old heart is always thinking a little more will satisfy it, but no matter how much more we get, it never does. When Jesus’ life indwells us in an unhindered way, we find the problem, we call “keeping up with the Joneses”, is gone. In its place is a desire for the heavenly. We are glad for the prosperity of the Jones’ family, but we desire things above. “Set your affections on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1) When we sense ourselves breaking this tenth commandment, we are being warned that we are stepping out of the new life of the Lord in us and back into the old self that is motivated by greed, which is idolatry. Then we should yield again to the new life and move back into a walk in the Spirit. Is your ‘wanter’ fixed?

Obey God

Exodus 19:4-6—Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Redeemed from the oppression of slavery; now what? Now obey, and you won’t go back into slavery. As a people free from the things that enslave the world, they can be priests to the world. That was God’s intention. He wasn’t just building a little social club. Instead of becoming inwardly focused on themselves, they were placed on the trade routes of the world to be an example of what a nation led by God looked like. God was about to give them the Ten Commandments. First He asked if they wanted to accept the call. Then He instructed them, through the Law, how to be that example the world needed to see. If they could live that way, they would be priests to the world. In the days of Joshua and some of the reign of David, that was true of them. David’s conquest of Israel’s neighbors brought the influence of the Law to the surrounding nations. You have been redeemed from slavery too. It is not just to hang out in your church social group. It is to affect the world around you. Though you are not under the Law as your guide, you have a more intimate Instructor, the Holy Spirit. If you have dedicated yourself to being the LORD’s vessel in every area of life, you will need His constant instruction to be the example the world needs. You become a priest to those your life comes in contact with, directing them to the Word of God and showing them an eternal perspective (1 Peter 2:5). You are an heir of this promise through the indwelling Holy Spirit.