WHAT AN INCREDIBLE GOD WE HAVE! 20181011
You sat just outside the Temple at Kephar Nahum (Capernaum) this afternoon.
You could not go inside because they would stone you and then beat you with sticks. You had been hurt many times before, and then chased around by fearful people. Your own family had abandoned you. Your friends, when they saw you would hurriedly cross to the other side of the street. Society shunned you like the plague. You slept in nooks and crannies just at the edge of town, depending on food thrown from a distance by some kind women. Your wounds oozed in the hot sun, and your body odour was offensive, even to your own nostrils.
You were a leper.
Some did not recognise that you stayed in this town once. Your fishing business was snatched away from you by your own son. At times you would stand far and watch your children working, and you’re your grandchildren playing on the sand, their laughter and their voices echoing through the wadi. You longed to go up to them and hold them close to your chest. But alas! Your leprosy was the separation you could not bear any more. Thank God your wife was not alive anymore to see you in this pathetic state.
This morning you sat outside this great synagogue. The white stones were hot in the afternoon sun, but your disease gave you no feelings. The strands of torn cloth tied around your head, hands and feet had blotches of pus and stale blood. But thankfully your cloak covered all that up.
You heard the man preaching. Never a man spoke like this man. He was sitting in the ‘Moses Seat’ the most important place in the Temple, but his voice deeply penetrated your soul. His voice moved your heart. His voice touched your emotions and tears ran down both your cheeks almost non-stop. His voice gave you hope!
You had followed him. You heard what he said earlier on the mountain side. You took to heart when he said, “If you do what I say you will be like the wise man who built his house on the rock. If you disobey my words, you will be like the foolish man who built on the sand and when the storms came everything was washed away.” He was not teaching like the Scribes did. He said things with amazing authority, and people listened. Yes! He is the Messiah!
Suddenly you saw him stand up! He walked the aisle with a deliberate gait. People gave him way as he walked past them. You saw Andrew and Peter with him. Matthew just behind him had stretched out his hands keeping those that ran to him from blocking his path.
You saw your opportunity. He was walking straight to you. Suddenly this was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ chance! So, you lunged forward and ran. Your sick body straining every muscle. Then he saw you! And stopped right there!
You fell at his feet. Your cry coming from deep within your chest and your soul. Your tears mixed with sweat now almost blinding you. Your head touched his feet. Your leprous hands clutching those same dusty feet with all your strength. You knew he would never stone you, or even harm you. Immediately, you felt his hand on your shoulder. He helped you stand up to your feet. You look into his eyes. Oh! Those eyes! You have never seen eyes like that. No never. Love was flowing out of them like a river!
You could not pronounce your words properly, but through the spittle from your mouth, through the pain in your heart, through the blindness of your sweat and tears, you said in with loud cry., “Lord! Lord! I know…I know…will you make me clean?”
He reached out and cupped your face with both his hands. His eyes fully on you now. he said, with the same authority he taught earlier, “I will make you clean, go now, do what needs to be done as Moses taught us. You have a great testimony, my son!” then he turned around and walked away.
You fell back again on the sandy road. Lying face-down. You wailed like a child set free. Then you felt strong hands pick you up out of the sand once more. And suddenly after years you looked into the face of your only son. And you hugged him for life!
What an incredible God we have!