Don't Celebrate Too Soon

“But to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth…”
Romans 2:8
In Mark’s Gospel in chapter 1 Jesus cleanses a man who was suffering from full-blown leprosy. It’s an amazing story of the love and compassion of God because the story ends with the leper, (I should say former leper), immediately disobeying the instruction of Jesus by following his feelings instead of the Lord’s clear instructions. At first glance at this story you might get the idea that this former leper was doing the right thing but in all actuality he was doing the wrong thing. In his zeal he was actually hindering the work of God and not helping it. He was blind to the truth because of the emotions he felt. The former leper was going around telling everyone about how the Lord had healed him. We might call this testifying. Some might even call it evangelism, yet to Jesus this was disobedience for the man was not called to this at this time.
You see, Jesus had instructed the man to go show himself to the priest and offer the sacrifice Moses had commanded. Had the leper done that the priest would have learned in his research of the Old Testament law that Jesus was the promised Messiah Israel was looking for. God knows what He is doing in our lives, loved one, and when He tells us to do something it is for both our good and His glory. That’s why when the leper came and threw himself at Jesus feet and asked Jesus if He was willing to cleanse the man, Jesus, having compassion for the man, reached down and touched him and the bible says the leprosy immediately left the man and he was made clean.
I love this story because I can relate to it in like the leper in the story I too get out a head of God at times. I see in the story how Jesus cleanses this leper of his leprosy and how the former leper turns right around and disobeys the Lord’s request by being zealous yet not obedient to the instruction the Lord gave him. This story clearly demonstrates the amazing love and compassion of our God in that being God He knew in advance the leper would be disobedient to Him and yet He still healed the leper anyway. In reality, it’s not our faith at all that brings about the blessings of God into our lives. The truth is, it’s simply the love and compassion of a merciful God.  
The message of the leper is simply this. Don’t get ahead of God. God heals us not so much that we will testify for Him. God does amazing things in our lives so that we can know of His love for us. Sure, we are called to go into the world to make disciples yet its so easy to get ahead of God like the leper and so quickly forget.  It’s not what you and I can do for God that matters. It’s what Jesus has done and still does for us that matters most. The leper was so happy for himself he went around saying look at me when the Lord wanted this former leper to experience so much more. Had the leper gone to the priest as Jesus had instructed he would have learned that Jesus didn’t just come to cleanse him of his leprosy but that Jesus came to cleanse him from even more, Jesus came to cleanse him from all of his sin. Jesus came to restore this leper back to life, but even more, Jesus came to offer him eternal life.

We’ll never know until we get to heaven if this former leper found eternal life even though he was cleansed of his leprosy. Listen to the Lord today, loved one, follow His voice and do as He says and you will receive so much more than you can think or imagine. Don’t walk by sight and for sure don’t be led by your feelings or emotions. Walk by faith in the Son of God who loved you and gave His life for you. Thats the best way to say thank you to God for the new life thats ours in Christ.  
“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever”
1 Peter 1:23

Michael Osthimer




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