"…earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" Jude 3.

Study 7 – THE TESTIMONY OF A CLEANSED LEPER TO THE WHOLE NATION

Gleans from Monday Bible Study with Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.

DLBC Gbagada HQ

18th March 2019

Study 7 – THE TESTIMONY OF A CLEANSED LEPER TO THE WHOLE NATION

Text – Mark 1:40-45

The leper came to Jesus, our Lord, Saviour, Healer and Deliverer, beseeching, pleading and praying to Him to be cleansed (Mark 1:40). “And Jesus, moved with compassion” (Mark 1:41). His compassion will not fail on your side. This significant healing and cleansing of the leper is very instructive to each sinner, believer, the whole church and nation, especially the nation of Israel. We learn from here –

  1. He came, pleaded and prayed unto the Lord, “And there came a leper to him….” (Mark 1:40). If we are going to receive the touch and cleansing from the Lord we must come, out of our own volition, to plead and pray.
  2. He knelt down and worshipped Him in humility, “and kneeling down to him…” (Mark 1:40). When we come into the presence of the Lord to receive salvation, cleansing, forgiveness, healing, deliverance and all that heaven has in store for us, we need to come in humility.
  3. He was specific and definite in prayer, “make me clean” (Mark 1:40). So must we in our request unto God in prayer.
  4. He expressed faith in Christ’s power, “thou canst make me clean” (Mark 1:40). When you come to the Lord, you must express your faith in the Lord.
  5. The Lord expressed His Will and willingness to cleanse the Leper, “I will” (Mark 1:41). So we must be sure of the Will of the Lord and His willingness to answer our request when we come before Him in prayer.
  6. The miracle of his cleansing was real and verifiable – his skin that was frog-like had become smooth, fingers, toes restored – hence Jesus said, “go shew thyself to the priest” (Mark 1:44). The miracle you receive from the Lord in this forthcoming Power Night and tonight as we pray will be real and verifiable
  7. He was to be a testimony to the whole nation of Israel, that this is Christ, our Lord and Messiah (Mark 1:45). The Lord is going to do something for you that will not be confined to your locality but your testimony will go far and wide in Jesus’ name.

3 points:

Point 1. THE PLAGUE AND THE DESPERATION OF AN UNCLEAN LEPER

Mark 1:40; Luke 4:27; Leviticus 13:43-47; 22:3-4; Romans 1:24-32

Leprosy was a plague and nobody could heal him; but there was only one person in the whole Nation, His Name Jesus Christ, and the leper was desperate to touch Christ. As you are desperate today, the Lord will heal you in Jesus’ name.  “And there came a leper to him” (Mark 1:40). You must come to the Lord, and exercise your will and volition to establish a connection between you and the Lord. It is that connection that will be bring the cleansing, eternal life, forgiveness, salvation, freedom and breaking of every yoke into your life.  “And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:27). The Lord was telling the religious and spiritual history of the nation that no leper, except Miriam, was healed before Naaman (a non-Israelite), and none after him. The miracle of cleansing of a leper had been scarce in the nation of Israel. Therefore the cleansing of this leper was special. Leprosy was pathetic, shameful, brought reproach and lepers had to stay outside the camp. “He is a leprous man, he is unclean: the priest shall pronounce him utterly unclean; his plague is in his head” (Leviticus 13:44). The implication was that he would not be allowed in their temple, synagogue and community; he must stay alone for the disease was contagious. Wife and his children cannot get to him. “…he shall dwell alone” (Leviticus 13:46). That was why the man was desperately seeking for Jesus for healing and cleansing. Is there any problem in your life that people know, and they keep you at a distance, you must realize that it is a plague, and desperately come to seek the Lord for cleansing and healing. This reproach will not remain in your life. “Say unto them, Whosoever he be of all your seed among your generations, that goeth unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from my presence: I am the LORD. What man soever of the seed of Aaron is a leper, or hath a running issue; he shall not eat of the holy things, until he be clean. And whoso toucheth any thing that is unclean by the dead, or a man whose seed goeth from him” (Leviticus 22:3-4). If a leper is brazen and disregards the commandment of the Lord to go into the temple and tabernacle of the people, or touch the holy things, the people will stone him dead, it does not matter the parentage. If the seed of Aaron is a leper, then all the privileges and possibilities of the priesthood will be denied him. As we study this, you understand that sinners are spiritually unclean, defiled and barred the presence of God and from His holy, eternal and everlasting sanctuary. “Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (Romans 1:24). Unclean character, language, behaviour, conversation and lifestyle define the natural man. “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections” (Romans 1:26). Moral, spiritual and social uncleanness, homosexuality, are the vile affections of the unclean, and this is one of the causes of HIV/AIDS, which is likened to leprosy, for it is incurable, makes people unclean and sometimes isolated. This is not the will of God, and as we come to the Lord He touches our spirits, hearts, souls, lives and makes us clean in Jesus’ name. But we must be as desperate as this man, and come to Christ as the Only One that can cleanse and heal with His power.

Point 2. THE POWER AND THE DEMONSTRATION OF AN UNCOMMON LIBERATOR

Mark 1:41-42; Luke 17:12-14; Matthew 9:33; Mark 2:12; Psalms 51:2,7,10; Isaiah 6:5-7; Ezekiel 36:25-27; Ephesians 5:26-27; 1 John 1:7,9; Revelations 19:7-8 

Jesus Christ is unique and incomparable with any other. He is our Saviour, Healer and Liberator. He demonstrated this uncommon liberation here. “And Jesus, moved with compassion…” (Mark 1:41a). He was moved with divine love and sympathy for this man. Whatever you are going through, understand that the Lord’s compassion never fails and that compassion will touch and transform your life. He is more concerned for you than you are for yourself. “…I will; be thou clean” (Mark 1:41b). He wills your blessing, miracle, transformation and total deliverance tonight and you will experience this in Jesus’ name. “And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:42). Immediately, your miracle and healing will come to you in Jesus’ name. His power and compassion have never changed. He will manifest them today. Jesus does not restrict Himself to one method of healing. “And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:12-14). If it is only one leper, cleansing is sure, and if there are ten or multitudes of lepers, cleansing is still sure; one word from Jesus will cleanse them all. So Christ does not need to come and touch us individually for us to receive our miracles and healing. One word from Jesus is all we need, and we shall be cleansed and delivered. He is going to do it for you. You will notice that the prayer of these ten lepers was different from the prayer of that single leper. You don’t have to copy the prayer of another person, pray as it comes from your heart unto the Lord. God understands everybody’s language and desire, and will give attention to your voice today. As you are going back home, that miracle and the prayer you have prayed will reach you, and you will get something. “It was never so seen in Israel” (Matthew 9:33). The cleansing of the leper too was never so seen in Israel, for it had been a very long time since the cleansing of Naaman. A new day has arrived for you; you will smile and rejoice this new year. For what people have never seen in your community will come to you; you will be carrier of the miracle working power of God in Jesus’ name.  “And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (Mark 2:12). This was a man borne by four desperate men that came through the roof to lay the paralyzed man in the presence of Christ. Once you come into the presence of Christ, all your problems – physical, spiritual, and matrimonial are solved in Jesus’ name. And that difficulty that you are ashamed to tell people of, tell Jesus tonight and He will take it away in Jesus’ name. Cleansing, and purification have come, in Jesus’ Name.

Leprosy makes people lose feeling and sensitivity and because of this they will feel no pain of harm done to their body. As the leper came to the Lord and was physically cleansed from his leprosy, He will do same for you spiritually in Jesus’ name. There is no impossibility in your spiritual life that the Lord cannot take away. Maybe you have a particular habit that you are not sensitive to, and it is destroying your prospect and future in life, praise the Lord, tonight the Lord will cleanse you. No matter how dirty, polluted, unholy and unrighteous we have been; cleansing, purging, renewal and righteousness have come today for everyone in Jesus’ name. You don’t have to pray a very long prayer, just simply pray, “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin”, “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalms 51:2,7). He will cleanse and set you free from everything that is unclean in Jesus’ name (Psalms 51:10). Leprosy or uncleanness is not limited to just the flesh but also character, behaviour and habits. “Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: …” “And he laid it {a live coal} upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged.” (Isaiah 6:5,7). Your time has come for real and verifiable moral cleansing, purging, renewal, revival, total washing and being made whole in Jesus’ name. People around you will notice that change has come in your life in Jesus’ name. “Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you” (Ezekiel 36:25). The Lord will cleanse you from all those dirty things tonight, He will give you a heart of flesh, and take the stony heart away (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Cleansing has come; our soul, spirit, heart, life and church will be cleansed in Jesus’ name. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27). This is a deeper cleansing, holiness, sanctification. Your life will be as white as the lily, and the Lord will do this for us in Jesus’ name. The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7,9). We will be ready for the Rapture (Revelations 19:7). “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Revelations 19:8). This is a gift coming from the Lord, and He will give everyone that comes to Him in Jesus’ name.

Point 3. THE PAIN OF DISOBEYING OUR UNCOMPROMISING LORD

Mark 1:43-45

The leper was a stranger to Christ, meeting Him for the first time. The Lord gave him a commandment which he did not understand and he did not ask any question from the Lord; but in the joy of his healing, he went to publish his miracle everywhere in disobedience to the Lord’s commandment. The consequence was that Jesus Christ could no more openly preach in the cities; He went away to the desert and the people had to go far away to reach Him for a touch too. The commandment of the Lord might look strange to you, but just obey because there is pain and consequence when we disobey. “And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them” (Mark 1:44). Here is the situation. This cleansing of leprosy had not happened to any Israelite from the time of the Law of Moses given in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14, except Miriam. (Naaman was a Syrian not an Israelite, and did not have to go to a priest in Israel for verification.) This was the first leper that was cleansed in more than 1,000 years. So if this man had done what Jesus told him and gone to show himself to the priest and offered for the cleansing, then the people would have been surprised and it would have been a testimony to them that this was not an ordinary prophet or preacher but Christ the Messiah, and they would have been forced to announce that the Messiah had come. That was why Jesus told him to go to the priest and do all that was necessary for the cleansing. As we look at this passage –

  1. The Peculiarity of Silence before the People – Mark 1:44; Matthew 17:9; Luke 8:54-56; John 12:10-11

“See thou say nothing to any man…” (Mark 1:44). He was not the only one that Jesus had given such charge. After the Mount of Transfiguration experience Jesus told the three disciples with him, “….Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead” (Matthew 17:9). If they did, and the Jews  heard that Moses and Elijah came to testify to Christ as the Messiah, the children of Israel would have come and force Him to be king in Jerusalem, and He might not go to Calvary to sacrifice His life for the salvation of humanity, the reason for which He came. Even when He raised that dead child (Luke 8:54-56), He charged the parents not to tell any man. When He raised Lazarus from the dead as an adult, many of the Jews believed on Him, and this angered the Pharisees that they wanted to kill Lazarus (John 12:10-11). So when He raised that little daughter of Jarius from the dead, not to endanger her life before the Pharisees He told the parents to keep quiet about the miracle so that this girl will live a happy and peaceful life. There might be a situation here today that people of the other religion have come to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to apply wisdom and be silent on this so as not to endanger their lives. As they grow in the Lord and become stronger and courageous enough to stand for Christ, then the time will come for them to share their testimonies of faith in Christ Jesus.

  1. The Purpose of Showing himself to the Priest – Mark 1:44b; Luke 17:12-14; Psalms 78:5

“…..but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them” (Mark 1:44b). This was actually going to be a greater and more effective publicity, because he would tell the priests, who would perform the ceremony, and announce to the whole nation that they had performed the ceremony and rite for the cleansing of a leper which had not been performed from the time of Moses. It would have been a time of testimony that would affect the whole nation of Israel, coming from the authoritative mouth of the priest. I pray that our testimonies will be given out wisely and properly in Jesus’ name. “For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children” (Psalms 78:5). This was the purpose; that the priest will make it known to their children and the whole nation. But the man disobeyed the charge of Jesus.

  1. The Publicity that Separated the Saviour from the Populace – Mark 1:45; Isaiah 55:8,9; Mark 16:15-16,20; John 4:34-38; 17:17-18; Acts 8:4; 11:19,21; Romans 1:14-16; Mark 5:18-20; John 4:28-30,39-42

“But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter…” (Mark 1:45a). This was not what the Lord told him to do. Something there are some people that do what appears good, great, enviable, glorious or beneficial, but if it was done in direct contradiction to the word of the Lord, it is still disobedience and sin. See the consequence of this man’s disobedience, “insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter” (Mark 1:45b). It restricted and confined the Lord that He could no more enter into the city openly; it separated the Lord from the people He could touch, save and deliver. It changed the programme of the Lord Jesus Christ. He went into desert places where there was no protection, shelter and accommodation there but He was exposed to all the dangers of the wilderness because of what this man has done. When we hear the word of God, we must not insist on our own selfish desire and will; but we must do the will and command of God. That will be a blessing to us and everyone around us. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD” (Isaiah 55:8). The thoughts of the Lord were different from that of the leper. Disciples of Christ, you cannot forget what Christ has said. We may not understand yet we must obey His will; He has a reason. We will follow the thoughts and ways of the Lord and benefit from them in Jesus’ name.

After He died on the Cross and resurrected He has now given us the Great Commission to go and preach the gospel to every creature, and what He has told us to do, we will do. Now everybody will hear. Has He saved and healed you, go and tell everyone, and as you tell them the Lord will do what He did with the people of old in Jesus’ name (Mark 16:15-16,20). Now we will go and declare it everywhere in Jesus’ name.  The fields are ripened and white already for harvest, so we need to go and reap the harvest of souls for the Lord (John 4:34-35). Go and tell them. “As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world” (John 17:18). We are going to spread the gospel message abroad, bring the sinners to the Saviour and the Saviour near to the sinners. We are going to bring the Healer near to the sick, the Deliverer to the oppressed, the Helper to the helpless, and the Hope of the whole nation near to the hopeless. We are going forth! “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4). Now they realized that there was no restriction to the gospel propagation. They were to tell everyone. Our time has now come to go forth, and we will not be ashamed. “…. My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (John 4:34).  We will go and declare the salvation of the Lord, and the hand of the Lord will be with us (Acts 11:19,21). “I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also” (Romans 1:15). I am ready to preach the gospel of Christ. “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee” (Mark 5:19). Here is the commandment, and you must know what He has ordained for you. He told the Leper not to tell any man, but to show himself to the priest who will now tell the whole nation; but for this other man He told him to go home to his friends and tell them the great things the Lord has done for him. You will do what the Lord has commanded you to do and tell your friends and all men what the Lord has done for you (Mark 5:20). You will say something for the Lord and publicize Him and many will come to know the Lord through you in Jesus’ name. You will bring someone to Christ in Jesus’ name. He will cleanse, heal, deliver and save you tonight, but after the healing, renewal and revival, go back home and tell your friends what the Lord has done for you. Lord, I will. Rise up and receive, and then you will go out and reveal.

Ponder on this! Is there any problem in your life that people know, and they keep you at a distance, you must realize that it is a plague, and desperately come to seek the Lord for cleansing and healing. This reproach will not remain in your life. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi. 

Ponder on this! We are going to spread the gospel message abroad, bring the sinners to the Saviour and the Saviour near to the sinners. We are going to bring the Healer near to the sick, the Deliverer to the oppressed, the Helper to the helpless, and the Hope of the whole nation near to the hopeless. We are going forth! Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi. 

Hard Sayings – Sinners are spiritually unclean, defiled and barred the presence of God and from His holy, eternal and everlasting sanctuary. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.

Reflection – When we hear the word of God, we must not insist on our own selfish desire and will; but we must do the will and command of God. That will be a blessing to us and everyone around us. Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.

Words on the Marble – Rise up and receive; and then you will go out and reveal.  Pastor (Dr) W.F Kumuyi.

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