LISTEN: The Story of the Disobedient Leper (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 585 since Jan. 20, 2017 / Day 952 since Jan. 1, 2016 with Daniel Whyte III)


Daniel Whyte III
Daniel Whyte III

TEXT: Matthew 7:28 – 8:4

28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:

29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him.

2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

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Today, I want to share with you why Paul was the greatest evangelist of all time from a message by Charles Spurgeon titled, “What is it to Preach the Gospel?” Spurgeon said:

1 Corinthians 9:16 says, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”

“The greatest man of apostolic times was the apostle Paul — no question about that. Paul was the greatest man in everything he did, and if you go back to the time when his life was not lived in Christ, through Christ and for Christ, he was even great in what he did then. Someone said Paul was great in everything he did, whether it was good or whether it was bad, because he did nothing half way. If you consider him as a sinner, he was exceeding sinful — that’s what he said, ‘exceeding sinful.’ If you consider him as a persecutor, he was mad against Christians — he persecuted them even in strange cities. He was not content to persecute those at home — he had to travel even to Damascus with letters giving him permission to destroy the people of Christ. If you consider the apostle as a convert, his conversion was remarkable; he met Christ in a real and personal way on the road to Damascus, blinded by the light, falling into the dust, looking up into that light, crying, ‘Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?’

“If you consider this man as a preacher of the gospel, he stands out as the prince of preachers, the greatest of them all, crying, ‘I am ready to preach the gospel to them that are at Rome also; I am determined to know nothing among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified.’ ‘God forbid,’ he said, ‘that I should glory save in the cross of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.’ Whatever Paul did, he did with all his heart; he did nothing halfway. if he was rebelling, he was rebelling; if he was bowing, he was bowing; if he was worshipping, he was worshipping; if he was preaching the gospel, he was preaching the gospel.

“There was no nonsense in anything he did when it came to speaking about God. When he wrote this text, ‘for though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of, for necessity is laid upon me, yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel,’ he writes it with an unshaking hand; he writes it with a firmness, with a dedication and with a determination! ‘I preach the gospel. Yea, woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel.’ No nonsense in anything connected with the praise of God, with the worship of God, with the glory of God, or with the gospel of God. Now we need to learn this.

“Psalm 89:7 says, ‘God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Him.’ In the Old Testament, when one spoke of a genuine believer, when one spoke of a man who worshipped God and walked with God, do you know how he was described? ‘One that feared the Lord.’ Do you know how the rebels of our day are described? Do you know how men are described, women, boys and girls who do not know God, who are not children of God? They are said to be those who have ‘no fear of God before their eyes.’

“Now what I’m saying is, the apostle Paul, whatever he did, he did it one hundred percent; whatever he did, it was no half-way measure. And particularly when it came to the gospel; when it came to worship; when it came to preaching Christ; when it came to the praise of God, there was no nonsense about this man. Ecclesiastes 5:1 says, ‘Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.’ Habakkuk 2:20 says, ‘But the Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth keep silence before him.’ Now the words of our text are applicable to every minister of the gospel and to every church where the gospel is to be preached. In our text, 1 Corinthians 9:16, Paul says seriously, sincerely, in simplicity, in boldness, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, ‘though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of.’

“What is it to preach the gospel? Is everybody preaching the gospel? No! Is everybody who claims to preach the gospel preaching the gospel? No! What is it to preach the gospel?

“Very simply, to Preach the Gospel is…
– To Tell The Truth About God
– To Tell The Truth About Man
– To Tell The Truth About Christ
– To Tell The Truth About Salvation”

—-

As we approach Billy Graham’s birthday celebration, I want to share something from the evangelist whom God made great regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, “An evangelist is like a newscaster on television or a journalist writing for a newspaper, except that the evangelist’s mission is to tell the Good News that never changes.”

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After an extended period of teaching, Matthew’s record of Jesus’ ministry moves into a period of much activity. The next few chapters show Jesus interacting with people from many walks of life and ministering directly to their needs through miraculous means. Regarding this period of Jesus’ ministry, Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “Why did our Lord perform miracles? Certainly He wanted to meet human needs. God is concerned about the temporal well-being of His creatures as well as their eternal happiness. It is wrong to separate ministry to the body and ministry to the soul, since we must minister to the whole person. Certainly our Lord’s miracles were additional credentials to prove His claim as the Messiah of Israel. Along with His compassion and credentials, there was a third reason for His miracles: and that is His concern to reveal saving truth to people. The miracles were ‘sermons in action.'”

The first miracle Jesus performed was healing a leper. Matthew informs us that, as Jesus came down from the mountain where He had preached His sermon, “great multitudes followed him.” At the same time, “Behold, there came a leper…” These two things happening at the same time — “great multitudes” and a “leper” approaching — would have been cause for alarm among those hearing this story for the first time. The reason why is because lepers were the most outcast of the outcasts. Their disease was incurable and contagious. One who had leprosy was pushed beyond the margins of society. They had to remain outside of any city, and if anyone came near them, they had to cry out, “Unclean! Unclean!” in order to warn them away.

Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, There were a number of afflictions that our Bible categorizes as leprosy. This dreaded infection forced the victim to live apart from others and to cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ when others approached, so they would not be defiled. That the leper ran up to Jesus and violated the code is evidence of his great faith that Jesus would heal him. Leprosy is an illustration of sin. The instructions given to the priests in Leviticus 13 help us understand the nature of sin: Sin is deeper than the skin; it spreads; it defiles and isolates; and it is fit only for the fire. When Jesus touched the leper, He contracted the leper’s defilement, but He also conveyed His health! Is this not what He did for us on the cross when He was made sin for us? The leper did not question His ability to heal; he only wondered if He were willing. Certainly God is willing to save! He is ‘God our Savior, who will have all men to be saved.’ God is ‘not willing that any should perish.'”

When the leper came to Jesus, he made this simple statement: “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.” The leper does not make a request: “Lord, please make me clean.” Nor does he frame his desire as a question: “Lord, can you heal me?” This leper has such confidence in Jesus that he does not question Jesus’ ability to heal him; the only thing standing between him and his healing would be Jesus’ WILLINGNESS to heal him.

Now most of us, when reading this story, probably think, “Well, of course, Jesus wants to heal him.” We are so used to hearing about these miracles that we assume their outcome. We think of Jesus as a miracle-working healer who will obviously heal all who come to Him. But here is the thing the leper understands that most of us do not: Jesus does not HAVE to heal him. This leper gets something about God’s nature that most of us reject. We are not owed anything from God. God is not obligated to bless us, heal us, or provide for us in any way. We should never say, “I shouldn’t be having these problems. We shouldn’t be struggling like this.” Who are you not to have problems? Who are you not to struggle? Who are we to make demands and assumptions of God? We are rebellious ants skittering around on the earth; He is the massive, omnipotent Lord who owes us nothing.

That is the beauty of this story. The leper — a sick, diseased, outcast man — is humble enough to realize that God owes him nothing — that Jesus was not obligated to make him clean. And his humility sets us up for Jesus’ beautiful response. “I will. Be thou clean.” “Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, and immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” We ought to model the mentality of this leper in our daily life — in the way we pray and work and live. We ought to realize that God owes us nothing because we deserve nothing. But at the same time this story, and much of Scripture, lets us know that he WANTS to bless us. He WANTS to heal us. He WANTS to provide for us. He WANTS to save us. It is His pleasure to do so.

John E. Roberts wrote:

Have you heard the joyful sound?
Jesus heals, Jesus heals;
Through the Spirit we have found
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.
Yes, He heals the blind and lame,
And His pow’r is just the same
As when first to earth He came,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.

Jesus heals and makes us whole,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals;
Heals the body and the soul,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.
Yes, He heals the sick and sore,
And our suff’ring days are o’er,
Praise His name forevermore,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.

Blow the trumpet loud and long,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals;
Chant the sweet, melodious song,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.
“I’m the Lord that healeth thee,”
Just believe and you’ll be free,
Praise His name, He healeth me,
Jesus heals, Jesus heals.

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Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.


Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.

He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.

He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.