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When You Touch the Untouchable

Lepers were to be treated as though they were dead. You took them to the edge of town and you left them there. And yet Jesus touches the untouchable. Who needs our touch?

Jesus the Rule Breaker

In the story of Jesus healing a leper in Luke 5:12-16, we hear the man begging Jesus, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Verse 13 tells us of Jesus’ response. “And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, ‘I will; be clean.’ And immediately, the leprosy left him.”
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Anyone reading the story in that culture would have been shocked, not by the healing, but by Jesus doing something that was absolutely forbidden. He touched the leper.

Leviticus 13 tells how the priests were to diagnose leprosy and then treat the leper. They were to examine the sores but never touch. Once diagnosed, the leper was cast out of the community, beyond the city walls. You treated him the way you would treat a corpse.

He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

Leviticus 13:46

But Jesus Broke the Rules

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Where Does Jesus Want to Meet Us?

Luke tells us essential things about the ministry of the Son of Man:

“The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” – Luke 19:10

“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking.” – Luke 7:34

Jesus didn’t run projects, establish ministries, create programs, or put on events. He ate meals. If you routinely share meals and you have a passion for Jesus, then you’ll be doing mission. It’s not that meals save people. People are saved through the gospel message. But meals will create natural opportunities to share that message in a context that resonates powerfully with what you’re saying.

Tim Chester in A Meal with Jesus
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Prepare the Way of the Lord

The Gospel of Luke is full of stories of people encountering Jesus, but in chapter three Jesus encounters John the Baptist. Through the gift of baptism, we all encounter Jesus.

Thirty-six years ago I made a decision to follow Jesus. The first place I followed him was into the waters of baptism. Had I been in charge, I might have chosen to do that in June rather than January, or at a church that had a heated baptistry, or–better yet–at a church in the Bahamas. Oh well. Live and learn.

For me, that moment of baptism has always carried the significance of the moment when I became a Christian. While others might point to a prayer they prayed or a feeling they felt, my Christian life has been indelibly marked with January 6, 1984, at about 6:30 pm. And seriously, you people could NOT have sprung for a baptistry heater???

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2020 in the Gospel of Luke

A new calendar year with a connotation of 2020 vision calls to see Luke’s message for our community.

2020 Vision

If I were a betting man, I would put money on the title “2020 Vision” being used by a lot of preachers this past week. The title writes itself. The real question, though, is how many different passages were assaulted with the title?

I will confess, I looked at Acts 20:20, “I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house,” specifically because of the verse number. It felt very cheesy, but I could have done worse.

I’m talking about YOU, Leviticus 20:20!

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