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Matthew 8:1-4

Get to Jesus

  • Samuel Wilson
  • Weekend Messages
  • October 21, 2018

  • Sermon Notes
  • Scripture

Get to Jesus 

Matthew 8:1-4

Intro: One last try.

As we enter into the next section in the book of Matthew, we will not only see many miracles of Jesus, but, the recognition that Jesus is the way, when there is no way. He is hope for the hopeless.

When Jesus came down from the mountain where He gave His sermon on the mount, multitudes followed Him. In large part, they were curious regarding what this teacher, who spoke with great authority would do next. What they would witness, was the Savior coming down to bring about restoration and healing to those who realized He was their only hope, and did whatever was necessary to get to Jesus.

Read: Matthew 8:1-4

The crowds followed Jesus down the hill and we understand from the end of Matthew chapter 4:24-25 that the news about Him was spreading. People were bringing Jesus all who were ill, they had never seen such miraculous healing, and knew that He was speaking as One with such authority (Mt. 7:28-29).

Since He was the one with the authority, He was the One those in need would need to get to in order to find healing and restoration. Out of a camp of leper outcasts and into the crowd of people following Jesus comes a leper, one who was afflicted by a disease that for most would deem them as good as dead, yet He knew there was One who could save him. While there would be obstacles, this man would choose to let nothing stop him from getting to Jesus.

There were many obstacles, cultural norms, and declarations of His situation that might cause him to stay as far away from Jesus as possible. Yet he pursues Jesus and let’s nothing hold him back.

Whatever reason you might have for staying away from Jesus I want to encourage you, regardless of your situation He can change the narrative of your life with just one touch.

I. Let Nothing Hold You Back

Matthew 8:1-2, When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down…

  • The man who comes to Jesus has been diagnosed with leprosy.
  • From Luke’s account (Lk. 5:12), we understand that this leper was covered in, or full of, leprosy. This means that he was in the advanced stages of the most feared disease in the ancient world.
  • When it was determined that a person had leprosy, that person would be declared unclean and would be immediately banished from their home and city.
  • The leper would then leave immediately and go live in a community with other lepers. Essentially, it was a death sentence.

Illus. Leprosy for an individual.

It is fitting that the first recorded miracle in the New Testament is the healing of a man with leprosy, because in Isaiah 1:5-6, it is made clear that leprosy is a picture of sin.

Illus. In Leviticus chapter 13 we understand that leprosy is a picture of sin in many ways: It begins beneath the surface, it spreads throughout the body, a person could and would attempt to cover it up for a season; but ultimately, it defiles and separates from others and the leper ended up living outside the camp.

  • The man coming to Jesus in the advanced stages of the most feared disease in the ancient world.
  • If a leper were to leave the leper community, they would enter the city crying out. “Unclean, unclean!”
  • When a leper entered into a city yelling “Unclean,” those in the city were to keep a distance of 150 feet on a windy day, and no closer than 6 feet on a clear day.
  • Certain religious people would carry rocks on hand so that they could begin throwing them if a leper came near.
  • With the crowds surrounding Jesus as He comes down the hill, a voice was heard… “Unclean, Unclean!”
  • Cast out, rejected, avoided, looked down upon. Open wounds, sores, perhaps tears and fears…more hurt, pain, and damage had been done to him, his person and his body than he was likely even aware of…
  • But he knew one thing. He knew there was One who could heal him.

Matthew 8:2-3, And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

  • Despite the embarrassment, despite the fact that all were repulsed as he hurried through the crowd, despite there being no record of a person being healed of leprosy in hundreds of years and the thousands he lived amongst who were afflicted and without hope…This man got to Jesus. “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (v. 2)
  • He bowed before Jesus, knowing that He was his only hope.

Illus. Impossible walls.

  • Whatever you are carrying today, let nothing hold you back from getting to Jesus.

     A.  Know that He can, ask for His will

Illus. In Leviticus chapter 13 we understand that leprosy is a picture of sin in many ways: It begins beneath the surface, it spreads throughout the body, a person could and would attempt to cover it up for a season; but ultimately, it defiles and separates from others and the leper ended up living outside the camp.

  • The man coming to Jesus in the advanced stages of the most feared disease in the ancient world.
  • If a leper were to leave the leper community, they would enter the city crying out. “Unclean, unclean!”
  • When a leper entered into a city yelling “Unclean,” those in the city were to keep a distance of 150 feet on a windy day, and no closer than 6 feet on a clear day.
  • Certain religious people would carry rocks on hand so that they could begin throwing them if a leper came near.
  • With the crowds surrounding Jesus as He comes down the hill, a voice was heard… “Unclean, Unclean!”
  • Cast out, rejected, avoided, looked down upon. Open wounds, sores, perhaps tears and fears…more hurt, pain, and damage had been done to him, his person and his body than he was likely even aware of…
  • But he knew one thing. He knew there was One who could heal him.

Matthew 8:2-3, And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

  • Despite the embarrassment, despite the fact that all were repulsed as he hurried through the crowd, despite there being no record of a person being healed of leprosy in hundreds of years and the thousands he lived amongst who were afflicted and without hope…This man got to Jesus. “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” (v. 2)
  • He bowed before Jesus, knowing that He was his only hope.

Illus. Impossible walls.

  • Whatever you are carrying today, let nothing hold you back from getting to Jesus.

     B.  Know that He can, ask for His will

Matthew 8:3, Jesus stretched out His hand and touch him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

  • He could have said a word, could have told him to wash himself in water, could have prayed, He could have found some other way and it would have been enough.
  • Jesus chose to touch this man who had not been touched a man that no other would come near.
  • No matter what has taken you out, no matter the sin that has separated you, don’t be like so many other lepers saying, “I’m unclean and need to stay with the other lepers.”
  • Jesus is not worried about how you come to Him. He is not surprised, repulsed, or embarrassed. Rather, His will reach out to you in the way that no one else can or even would.
  • Know that He can, ask for His will.

      C. Don’t go back the way you came

Matthew 8:4, And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

  • Once upon a time it would have been a priest who declared this man unclean, and would be declared “clean” once it was confirmed by the Jewish establishment.
  • Jesus then pointed the man toward living his life as a testimony.
  • The testimony would tell the story of how against all the odds, he left the life he was living, destined for death and made his way to Jesus because he heard of one who called the poor in spirit blessed. Nowhere to go and nowhere to hide, he went to meet Jesus, face to face he met Him and was cleansed…Never to return to the life he once lived.

Luke 5:15, The news about Him spread all the more…

Isaiah 43:18-19, Do not call to mind the former things,Or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.

Matthew 8:1-4

When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, "See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them."

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