Read Luke 5:12-16, Matthew 8:2-4: Mark 1:40-45
Where is Jesus “Fishing”?
Who is He fishing for?
What is Jesus modeling about “Fishing for men” in a city?
How is Jesus “Fishing”?
As Jesus makes His way from city to city and from town to town, He encounters a little bit of everything; in one of the cities, He meets a man covered with leprosy. Who had told Luke heard this story? Maybe it was the man healed who was then active in the church? Who knows! We know that whoever told Luke was an eyewitness to the event (Luke 1:2).
In the Old Testament, in Leviticus 13:1-59, God gives the official test for leprosy. It is very detailed and lengthy to determine if someone has leprosy. Leprosy was a very contagious disease, and the priests, the keepers of the community’s public health, were responsible for protecting the people from the spread of this disease. God gave them concrete things they had to do and observations they had to make when confronted by the reality of this deadly disease. The people were deathly afraid of contact with lepers, so much so that they made leper colonies outside the city to keep all the people with this disease together and away from the healthy people. They also made the leprous people yell “unclean” whenever anyone approached them. Can you imagine this kind of existence?
Interestingly, Luke says this man approached Jesus in the city and doesn’t record that he cried out “unclean.” Why not? How did this leper make it to the city? However it happened, he must have made it past the city fathers at the front gate. He is in front of Jesus with his face in the dirt, begging for a touch from the Master. Jesus moved with compassion and, unafraid of this man with leprosy, extended His hand and touched him. Can you imagine the look on the disciples’ faces? “What is Jesus doing reaching out to a leper? Doesn’t He know that if He touches this guy, He will get leprosy?”
What a lesson to His young followers! Don’t miss it. Jesus Loved the outcast, the unlovely, and the socially rejected and fished for them as well. Fortunately, this is not the only leper Jesus heals. Jon Welch was a leper, spiritually speaking, spotted and stained with sin when Jesus found me, reached out to me, and saved me from sin’s deadly disease of self-centeredness that covered me. I’m so thankful He saved a sin-covered kid from Cynthiana, Ky.
Jesus embraces this leper and removes his leprosy at once from him. HE heals him on the spot and orders the healed man to tell no one but to go and show himself as clean to the priest. Meanwhile, Jesus slips away to spend time with His Father and ask for direction and the next steps in His ministry (Luke 5:16). This was His habit, way of life, and lifestyle. Jesus modeled a lifestyle of meeting with the Father, listening to His voice, and obeying Him in everything.
Think about this for a minute: Who are the lepers in your life? Who are the people in your life that you treat like lepers? We all know a group of people that are outcasts. We avoid them like the plague of leprosy. Go ahead- take a moment and identify the group. God calls you to reach out and fish for lepers. Jesus modeled for you how to do it. You have to reach out and touch them. Maybe God would have you make your “fishing Trip” to a group of lepers?
Now think about this: You are a leper for some other person. That’s right. As good-looking, as popular, and as great a person as you think you are, you are a leper to someone else. We were all lepers at one time too. Yet He loved us, touched us, and paid the ultimate sacrifice to make us clean. He paid with the life of His only Son–Jesus.
So how is your “fishing trip” coming? Keep moving forward. Spend time praying with and talking to your friends about how you will “Fish for men.”
I’m so thankful for this fishing trip Jon.I am guilty of avoiding someone who has problems so I need to stop treating them like a person with leprosy.I have felt that way for sometime so I know how it hurts to feel avoided it’s a new day a new Dawn Thankyou Jesus for this do over Godbless this mininistry to continue moving in the right direction keep it simply real and start fishing hope we reel in some biggins my eye site ain’t what it use to be
I see the dependence that Jesus has in His relationship with the Father. Sometimes I read the Bible and walk away and don’t remember what I read. It’s the relationship it’s communing it’s letting His presence, His love, His compassion and power flow through me. Instead of relying on myself to find the pond I need to let God show me where the good fishing hole is.
The leper comes to Jesus , asks Him “are You willing “ Jesus answers…. I am willing!
Thank you Father!
When I encounter a” leper” I want to respond with.. compassion, empathy and willingness to do what i can . These responses that will Glorify GOD