Key Word:- GRACE
Title:- Desperate Defilement
Mark 1:40,41 Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”
Spurgeon the, ‘Prince of Preachers’ , makes a wonderful devotional observation on today’s text. He says “This unclean person had broken through the regulations of the ceremonial law and pressed into the house, but Jesus so far from chiding him broke through the law Himself in order to meet him.”
Two lawbreakers touch and one is delightfully delivered of his desperate defilement. Now isn’t this interesting? Jesus broke the ceremonial law. “Command the children of Israel that they put out of the camp every leper.” Numbers 5:1
This leprous man is desperate in his faith. He breaks all social and ceremonial boundaries to get to the Saviour. Friends today, even today if we let Him, Jesus will still break all social and ceremonial boundaries in receiving those ‘desperate in faith’. Unfortunately, there are still those amongst us so settled and seemingly untouched and untroubled by sin and the conquest of the same, that they are ‘sleepy stories’ once told a long time ago, who to remain undisturbed, ensure that they possess their Christianity in the far right separatist colours of black and white.
I wonder if the increasing defilement of sin, amongst the desperate dwellers in this dark age will once again drive such folk to daring believing faith? When they hear of Jesus will they come running to Him, and when they do will they break our ‘ceremonial rules’ of black and white?
I remember, many years ago, once seeing a young Brazilian woman stand at the end of a sermon in the church I attended (the pastor later related to me that her face seemed to shine like the face of an angel) and publicly pouring out her heart with such thankfulness and tears she was heard to say, “Pastor O Pastor, I believe God has called me to be a missionary.” A long-standing member stood up and with grumbling thunder forming on his brow, took himself and his family striding out of the church because the service had been interrupted and the Pastor, rather than admonishing the outburst, had publicly thanked the young woman for sharing her heart. Like Jesus, the Pastor was moved with compassion. Like the Pharisee, the member stoned her with his silence and wounded her with his walking. A woman interrupting the service, unchecked and unchided in her misled call to ministry. What was the church coming to!
Friends, many of us still have such ‘iconic-like’ rules and laws in our assemblies, that God needs to be compassionate toward us and coming with iconoclastic passion, wielding His hammer of grace He needs to smash them all to pieces! Maybe when our bloody feet stand amongst the irrelevant shards of man-made rules, then those desperate with defilement, will see the blood and bear witness to our brokenness and then to theirs, and finally may dare to approach the reaching hands of the compassionate Christ in us. The hope of glory.’
Listen:- For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Pray:- Compassionate Saviour, rid us of the irrelevant, that reaching grace may reach out through us. O Lord, stretch out your hand and cleanse Your church. Amen.