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The Transforming Touch of Jesus


"And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He *said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere."
Good Morning my beloved,
We welcome you to worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a privilege it is to come together to study rich awesome Truths in God's Word. We are so thankful that the Lord lead you join us today.   People are responding to God's Word, because of your faithfulness and commitment to share the ministry website with all of your family and friends to reach even more people God's Word. Let us continue to pray for God’s mercy on our church families, extended families, our community, our country, and our world, as we seek His will in where He wants us to be, so that even more hearts are turned toward Jesus Christ.
As the Gospel continues to go out globally in multiple languages, we are receiving a significant increase in the number of responses from people who are coming to Christ from all around the world. It is a very sobering thought as a pastor to realize that so many have never heard the Gospel. It is devastating to even try to imagine how many people do not know Jesus as their Savior. Because that is the reason the church exists in the world, is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ by which the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of sinners, including fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, bisexuals, transsexuals, murders, thieves, coveters, drunkards, drug addicts, extortionists, gossips and et cetera, et cetera. That's why all of us here today exist in the world, is to point people to Jesus Christ for salvation and the forgiveness of sin. In fact, every church is a congregation of converted sinners, who have been transformed. That's our mission. Therefore, being a pastor, I feel a tremendous weight of responsibility to reach even more people.

When we talk about the church, we’re not talking about a building, a charitable organization or institution; we're talking about "ekkaleo," which means an assembly of called out of the world by God to salvation, for conversion and transformation,  justification and transformation, and ultimately leading to glorification.
It is a sad reality, that not everybody in the church knows how to present the Gospel. Although, I believe that many people underestimate their capability. Because if you are a Christian, then you had ought to know how you came to know Christ, even if you're unable to communicate it as well as you'd like.The Holy Spirit was sent into the world to bear witness to Christ, therefore He bears witness through us, who have been redeemed. Acts 1:8 says, "You shall be witnesses when the Spirit of God is come upon you," so we’re all called to communicate the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ and anyone who knows Jesus Christ, who has personally experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit firsthand should be able do that. If you’re a Christian, then your life testifies to the reality that you have experienced the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, even if you don't say anything. Let me tell you something, that is far more important than knowing all the doctrines of the Bible when bringing someone to Christ. Only a true Christian that has been transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit can be a true and effective witness for Christ. 

Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me."

What I find even more disturbing is the number of pastors and churches that operate out of the kingdom of darkness, who fail to understand the true meaning of salvation, that are trying to bring people to Christ, by deception making them feel better about their sin by tolerating and accepting every immoral conduct and behavior, straying from biblical Truth. Today's message coming from the pulpit does not match the Gospel of salvation that Jesus Himself taught.
False teachers want people to believe that they know God and that they represent Christ, when they really represent Satan and the kingdom of darkness. That's why Paul teaches us in 2 Corinthians 11, For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. that even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. No false religion can provide redemption, nor can it empower people to do what is right, because it is a corruption and a perversion of the Truth. If you're going to talk about Christ, you need to talk about more than just love, you need to confront the truth of sin and judgement.
That's why there are so many professing Christians who do not exhibit Christ-like behavior, they're not saved. If the Gospel is so powerful and your life has not been transformed, then Christ isn’t really that valuable, is He? Listen, the world is going to draw their conclusions about Jesus Christ based upon the testimony of your transformed life. A person who communicates a testimony about something they have never experienced is absolutely worthless. In order to proclaim the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ, you need to know Jesus Christ! So when you decide to testify about Jesus Christ, you need to consider if the changes in your life are really worth testifying about. Something I was never told or even considered when I first came to Christ, as I continued to live the life I had before. It wasn't until I truly came to Christ that my life began to dramatically change. It was like night and day! People started asking "What happened to you? You're not the same person anymore!"
The next thing you have consider is that you're going to have to make some sacrifices, because the world loves their sin, that means they’re going to react. Jesus said in John 3:19-20, "This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." You have to realize that by testifying about Christ in a hostile world that hates righteousness, that you might actually die. That’s the kind of sacrifice that we’re talking about. You literally have to say to yourself, "My life is expendable for the sake of the Gospel." 
All we need to do is look at the world's moral decline; and we can see the evidence that the church has failed, because they have change their strategy and abandoned God's Word. Sin has turned light into darkness and rules every heart and people are more interested in justifying their than they are in finding a solution for it. They are everywhere, even leading the church, claiming to represent God, living a life that doesn't match their claims. Jesus says in Matthew 7, "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?"
The greatest testimony of a true church is an assembly of transformed people who live their lives in awe of the power of the Word of God, that are unwilling to tolerate sin and immorality. 
Let us pray
Heavenly Father,
Father, as always we thank You for Your Word,
for the clarity with which the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts. With grateful hearts we rejoice that Christ willingly took our place and suffered the punishment that we deserve, that we might escape judgment and receive eternal life through Him. Thank You for the amazing work which You have done in our hearts. Lord, help us to understand that salvation comes to those who believe and respond in loving obedience to Your Word. Father, we ask that You would work in the hearts of everyone receiving this message, be gracious to them even before we're finished here today, that those who do not yet know this salvation would truly embrace Christ. We give You all the glory!
In Christ's name we ask and pray
Today's Message: The Transforming Touch of Jesus
If you look up the word touch in the concordance in your Bible, you will find that a good many of them involve Jesus, because His touch is so powerful, that it has dramatically changed many lives. If you or someone you've known has even been diagnosed with a life threatening illness or terminal disease, and having nothing left to lose, you cried out to Jesus for help and were either completely healed or were made well enough that you're still here. If you have ever had a real encounter with Jesus, chances are that you instantly knew that something had radically changed, and it significantly impacted the way you have lived the rest of your life. 
The man in our text was in bad shape, he had leprosy which was pretty common in Israel in those days, so it's likely that Jesus healed many of them. The account we have before us today, is one of two occasions that are recorded in the four Gospels, but that’s not say He didn’t heal many others. Leprosy is an infectious scaly-kin disease, affecting the nerves and the internal organs, known as Hansen's disease today. The disease was believed to have originated in Egypt, because the bacteria was found in a mummy of all places, and as the Israelites left Egypt, they carried this disease with them.When leprosy came to Israel, God wanting to protect them, in Leviticus chapter 13, God gave them clear directions as to how to treat it. It's rather lengthy, and since we've gone over it before in Matthew chapter 8, we won't go into great detail today, because I have a tendency to get wound up on these things, and before you know, we end up covering something all together different. A person with leprosy was an outcast, they were literally shunned by all of society, but this man, having lost all sense of shame, couldn't have cared less about what anybody thinks, in desperation he goes right up to Jesus, confident only of His ability to make him clean. 
If you have your Bibles, open them with me and turn with me to Mark chapter 1, verses 40-45. I encourage you follow along with me as I read to set the text in our minds and our hearts. I pray that the Lord would help us to hear and apply what He has to say to each of us today and strengthen our faith.  Mark 1:40-45.   
"And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, and He *said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere." 

Verse 1, "And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Mark tells us this man with leprosy came to Jesus beseeching Him, or the Greek verb "parakaléō," meaning he was begging; falling on his knees, Luke adds "he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." I believe this man knew he was in the presence of God, though we aren't told how he would have gotten his information, perhaps because the news of Jesus healing miracles had begun spreading throughout the area.  So he comes to Jesus with a worshiping attitude, a humble and reverent heart, saying  "If You are willing, You can make me clean." I love this man's confidence, he had no doubt that Jesus could make him clean, the only question was if He is willing to cleanse him. So he's pleading his case before the Only One Who had the power to restore him, as would a defense counselor would plea for leniency for his guilty client before a judge.

In biblical times, since leprosy was a visible despicable disease, God sometimes used as a judgment. Notice that Scripture only mentions cleansing lepers, never of healing them because that connects it with the true disease, for which one is rendered defiled, degraded and debased. Completely isolated, forbidden to interact with anyone except those who also have the disease. I imagine at this point, the horror at the sight of this man caused the crowds gathered around Jesus, to run off in fear because it would have been evident this man was unclean.

This man aware of his own wretchedness, may have been cursed by God for his sinfulness, he would have been well aware that he seen as despicable in the eyes of others, what right could he possibly have to ask God to make him clean? Yet, he's desperate enough to come Jesus and begging Him for mercy, pleading with Him to be cleansed. Jesus' deity was made manifest not only by what He said, but even more so through what He could do that no mere man could do, make the defiled, depraved and despised, dishonored before men clean, restoring their dignity, enabling them to live the kind of life that God wants them to live. Allow me to emphasize something here, this man didn't come to Jesus with a list of complaints, he didn’t even say he wanted to do anything, he simply said "If You are willing, You can make me clean," this is the right attitude in coming to Christ for salvation, in desperation, recognizing the utter wretchedness of our own inward sinful condition, acknowledging our unworthiness before a Holy God, begging for mercy, pleading for forgiveness. 

In Luke 5, Peter recognizing his own sinfulness before Jesus and fell down at Jesus’ feet, saying, "Go away from me Lord, for I am a sinful man!" The church today proclaims that God because is loving He must be the essence of tolerance; rather than acknowledging Him as the Holy God He says He is! When we preach the Gospel to spare human feelings, we do not seek God's greatest honor. In teaching that God is tolerant of our sin, are we truly worshiping the God of the Bible or only God that we wish Him to be? There is something terribly wrong with the way we study God's Word if we refuse to preach what we study. There is no place in God's Word where He does not tells us Who He is; a Righteous and Holy Judge, we have no excuse. Yet we have chosen to believe He is chummy rather than Holy, tolerant of sin rather than condemning, ignoring His clear warnings to the detriment of our own peril. Amnesia of our true sinful condition before God produces apostasy.

In verse 41, we see the heart of God, the God who feels compassion toward those who are suffering, willing to humble themselves, begging for mercy, pleading to be clean, "Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." There’s no record in the Scripture that Jesus ever contracted a disease from someone who was unclean, He can not be defiled by anyone. He was not defiled by a prostitute who wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. Nor was He made unclean when He touched a leper to make him clean. Throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus was known for touching the untouchables, those nobody else would dare to touch and never once was He defiled by touching anyone. When Jesus touched the lives of others, they changed, He did not. Moved with compassion,, Jesus stretched out His hand and made him clean. To be clear, it wasn't the man's attitude that moved Him to cleanse him, His compassion for his pain and suffering is what motivated Him. 
God is a loving and compassionate God, Who feels the pain of sin’s horrendous effects on sinners. That in no way implies He is accepting of their sin. I pray for those who superficially believe, where there’s no genuine repentance, leading to saving faith, lacking a true desire for hunger and thirst for righteousness. They may deceive themselves but they do not deceive God Who knows their heart.
Verse 42, "Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed." Mark loves to use that word "immediately." No one but God can reverse the dreadful effects of what sin does to a person, whether by vice or evil deed. Even if modern medicine could halt or slow the progress of disease, recovery often takes months, even years in some cases. But when Jesus, the True Healer restores a person, years of destruction instantly vanish as if the years were suddenly rolled back. Leprosy, like sin may not appear to look that bad in the beginning, but the devastating effects internally aren’t always visible on the outside until the damage is extensive. Sin typically begins with giving in to one little temptation that eventually leads to a much bigger issue. For example, a lingering look that leads to lustful fantasies, then lust leads to "harmless flirting," that leads to inappropriate messages being sent back and forth, that leads to an illicit affair that must be covered by one deceitful lie after another, to prevent your spouses from finding out. You're thinking everything is just fine, until one day you're sitting in divorce court, losing your spouse, your children and your home. Suddenly, you're alone and miserable, left wondering what went wrong. No one plans to be an adulterer, an addict or an alcoholic but one sinful act leads to another and then another. And it all started with one bad decision. Ultimately all sin lead to loss!  Only God alone knows your every thought, every word, and every action and He will righteously judge every man according to the intentions of his heart! This generation has taken the incomprehensible glory of God for granted, as if He is actually inferior to them.   
Verse 43, "And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away." Mark's choice of verbs here is interesting to say the least, "embrimáomai," which means to snort like an angry horse. That's very strong language. In other words, the Lord commanded him to go away expressing strong indignation or righteous anger, this was not a suggestion. Then, in verse 44, Jesus gives him a stern warning He *said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." John 8:35, says "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine." Jesus commanded him to do two things, establishing if the man really meant it when he called Him "Lord." While it may sound strange to modern ears, but Jesus isn't looking for publicity, He's looking for faithful obedience. Contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to paganism! Oh how must God long for the hearts of those who proclaim His name to burn with a desire to please Him. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ I strong encourage you to take your sin seriously! Do not be deceived, your obedience God matters.
By the way, this isn't the first time Jesus instructed someone not to tell anybody. In Matthew 16:20, He warned the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ. In Luke 8, after He raised the little girl from the dead, He instructed her parents to tell no one what had happened. In Mark 7, when He healed the man who was deaf and spoke with difficulty, "and He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it." And, in Matthew 17, after His transfiguration, He commanded them to "Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead."
At the end of verse 44, He tells him "but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." Jesus wanted this miracle cleansing to be confirmed by the priests, to indict them and let them know He followed Mosaic Law, and to convict them of their sin of rejecting Him. It’s important because if they reject Him after learning the leper has been completely cleansed, they will have condemned themselves by their own findings.

That brings us to verse 45, "But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere." Unbelievable, this man did exactly what Jesus was told not to do putting Him in a predicament. Remember verse 38, when Jesus said "Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, so that I may preach there also; for that is what I came for." There were over 200 towns and villages around Galilee and Jesus wanted to go to all of them. His disobedience drove Jesus into the wilderness, not to mention eliminated the opportunity for the testimony to the priests, which it what Jesus commanded him to do. 
In Closing..
Jesus became an outcast so that this man could be restored, accepted into the presence of others. And, isn't that exactly what He did for us by going to the cross?  This leper did not deserve to be restored anymore than we do! Jesus was forsaken, to take the place of sinners, so that we could be accepted into the presence of God. Because of we have been raised from death unto life!
If you have never come to Jesus, begging for His mercy, asking to be made clean from your spiritual leprosy, you are headed for eternal isolation. Jesus is your only hope, the Good News is, He is still willing to touch your life, and cleanse you of all your sin. In fact, He's the Only One Who can.

May it be so..

And now may the Lord bless you and keep you;

the Lord make His face shine upon you,

And be gracious to you;

The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.

Now and forever, in Jesus' name

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The Brian Monzon Ministries



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