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THE WILL OF GOD  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:21
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In the text before us this afternoon, we have been made aware that Jesus is concerned about the the human perdicament.
Colossians 1:21 describes the problem as human estrangement and hostility. The NT prominently portrays the need to be reconciled because of broken relationships and active enmity (Rom. 5:1–11; 2 Cor. 5:17–21; Eph. 2:13–16). But this is only one of a number of ways the problem is described. The following must be included in the broader picture of human need, combining explicit terminology used in the Scriptures and some implied descriptions of the human situation that requires God’s action in Christ:
Colossians 1:21 NASB95
And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,
Romans 5:1–11 NASB95
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:17–21 NASB95
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Ephesians 2:13–16 NASB95
But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one and broke down the barrier of the dividing wall, by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace, and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
domination (by evil)
despair/without hope
Each of these descriptions helps to complete our understanding of why the gospel of Christ is needed. Christ meets persons in their hurting experiences. From whatever point of need persons encounter Christ, God wills to transform them so that they become holy, blameless, and irreproachable before him. Or, as Ephesians 4:13 puts it, God’s intent is that we all come to “the measure of the full stature of Christ.” (Cf. Shank: 137–156)
Ephesians 4:13 NASB95
until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Martin, E. D. (1993). Colossians, Philemon (p. 84). Scottdale, PA: Herald Press.
What is Humanity's greatest need?


The text introduces us to a man with a serious problem. Mark says that he is suffering from a debilitating disease called leprosy. Leprosy was a
Generic term applied to a variety of skin disorders from psoriasis to true leprosy. Its symptoms ranged from white patches on the skin to running sores to the loss of digits on the fingers and toes.
Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Leprosy. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (p. 1025). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers
When you read the “tests” for leprosy described in Leviticus 13, you can see how the disease is a picture of sin. Like sin, leprosy is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3); it spreads (Lev. 13:5–8); it defiles and isolates (Lev. 13:44–46); and it renders things fit only for the fire (Lev. 13:47–59). Anyone who has never trusted the Saviour is spiritually in worse shape than this man was physically.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, p. 114). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Central Idea

The Lord's Readiness (Verse 39-40)

Turn to Mark 1:39-40
Mark 1:39–40 NASB95
And He went into their synagogues throughout all Galilee, preaching and casting out the demons. 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's narrative lets us in on the readiness of the Lord to attend to human need. Mark makes this point by informing us of that before Jesus did anything, he got ready. Mark says that Jesus was baptized in the Jordan, filled with the spirit, and tested in the wilderness. it was only after He had gotten ready that he started preaching, casting out demons, and healing.
Several centuries ago, a Japanese emperor commissioned an artist to paint a bird. A number of months passed, then several years, and still no painting was brought to the palace. Finally the emperor became so exasperated that he went to the artist's home to demand an explanation. Instead of making excuses, the artist placed a blank canvas on the easel. In less than an hour, he completed a painting that was to become a brilliant masterpiece. When the emperor asked the reason for the delay, the artist showed him armloads of drawings of feathers, wings, heads, and feet. Then he explained that all of this research and study had been necessary before he could complete the painting.  Our Daily Bread.

The Lord's Able-ness

When the man with leprosy came to Jesus, he was fully confident in at least one thing. He made it perfectly clear that he believed that the Lord was able.
look at Mark 1:40
Mark 1:40 NASB95
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.”
I know you all say that you do; but, I just really need to do a house check today and see how many people in here really believe that the Lord is able. Because if you really believed that He is able it ought to take away the stress, the pain, the hurt, the worry, the complaining. So many are suffering from the unbelief syndrome and as a result are on the verge of nervous breakdowns, strokes, and heart attacks. But, not the man in our text. He hears of what the Lord has been doing in other places and for other people and comes to the conclusion that if He did that for them...He is able to do this for me.
I love that today, because his was not just a small case of leprosy. From Matthew we learn that it took place after the sermon on the mount; and yet not at the very close of his missionary circuit. St. Luke (5:12) says that the diseased man was as “full of leprosy” (πλήρης λέπρας). The disorder was fully developed; it had spread over his whole body; he was leprous from head to foot. And yet this man cries out "You Can"!
Let's be sure that we have our facts straight. In Mark 9:22 we read about a father whose son is being severely tormented by the devil, who in his desperation remarks to Jesus : "if you can do anything". Look at the stark difference between the two: One was doubtful and the other was confident.
Mark 9:22 NASB95
“It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
Which one are you?
There's no question of His greatness, no searching of His Power. Oh the wonder of His glory, to Him 40 years is but 1 hour. His knowledge is all encompassing, to His wisdom there is no end! Of Course "He is able"
Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Mark (Vol. 1, p. 7). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

His Willingness

The Leper, in violation of the law, come near to Jesus. The text says he came beseeching and bowing, bending and begging. He is not requested material things, His is asking to be cleansed. He says to the Lord, I know you can...Will you? The writer Mark says that the approach and the request affected Jesus: "He was moved with compassion". The interpretation here became challenging because this verse contains a more important textual problem. The vast majority of textual witnesses, including those usually considered the most reliable, have a word meaning filled with compassion. Only one Greek manuscript, four Old Latin manuscripts, and one early Christian writer—all of medium value—have a word meaning having become angry (“In warm indignation,” NEB; “Jesus was moved to anger,” REB). Why scribes would have changed the latter to the former is easy to see, but that they would have changed the former to the latter is inconceivable. Despite the massive external attestation for “filled with compassion,” internal considerations are so strong that “having become angry” probably is the original. Furthermore, several other references in Mark refer to Jesus being angry, although they use different words (see 3:5; 10:14). Whether Jesus was “filled with compassion” or “moved to anger,” he displayed human emotion. Mark had no reservations about depicting the humanity of Jesus.
Brooks, J. A. (1991). Mark (Vol. 23, p. 55). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
He was moved to action: the text says that "He stretched out His hand and touch him. Watch carefully the portraiture of Christ’s personality in this Gospel, Mark’s specialty.” Luke, describing the same incident, does not have the words “moved with compassion,” but has the same construction that Mark uses “having stretched out His hand,” an aorist participle, and “touched him,” an aorist verb, but instead of using the finite verb “saith” of Mark, he uses the present participle “saying.” This gives us a wonderful truth. The rule of Greek grammar that governs this construction is that the action of the present tense participle goes on simultaneously with the action of the leading verb. That is, Jesus was saying “I will” at the time He was touching the leper. But the thought “I will,” the determination to follow out His desire to cleanse the leper, and the act of cleansing him, all preceded the spoken words and the outstretched hand. All of which means that our Lord did not touch the leper in order to cleanse him, but to show him and the people around, that he was cleansed of his leprosy. The Levitical law forbad a Jew to touch a leper. Our Lord lived under that law and obeyed it. The first kind touch of a human hand that leper ever experienced, was the gentle touch of the Son of God.
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Mk 1:41). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.


turn to Mark 1:42
Mark 1:42 NASB95
Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
So What, What does this mean to me? All this illustrates the sweet old story of the gospel. Leprosy is a type of sin. The sinner comes crying, “Unclean, unclean, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” And the Lord Jesus, moved with compassion, stretches out His hand and touches him, saying, “I will, be thou clean.” And, as in the case of the leper, He cleanses us from sin before He touches us. In John 1:12, justification precedes regeneration in the divine economy. Mercy is only given on the basis of justice satisfied. So it is, “But as many as appropriated Him, to them gave He a legal right to become born ones of God, to those who put their trust in His name.” And so, as the sinner recognizes the Lord Jesus as the One who through His outpoured blood on the Cross, procured for sinful man a legal right to the mercy of God, he becomes the recipient of regeneration and of all the other parts of salvation.
John 1:12 NASB95
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
Be thou clean. The verb is in the aorist passive imperative. That is, “be cleansed at once.” It was an immediate cure.
Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: for the English reader (Mk 1:41). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.
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