Outline of a Sermon by James Stewart
Mark 1:40-45. “And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean. . . . “
To the eye of Christ, as He travelled through Galilee on this occasion, the scene which presented itself must have been like that of a country laid waste by war etc.
1. Of the many miracles which Christ performed on this occasion, one only is here recorded, that of a lepers being cleansed.
(l) Leprosy, one of the most dreadful diseases to which the Israelites were subject.
(2) As it was contagious and rendered the individual unclean, it was well fitted to represent sin.
(3) But a true representation of sin would be a combination of all the diseases to which the human frame is liable.
2. The leper came to Christ as a suppliant.
(1) He felt the painfulness of his malady.
(2) He felt the hardness and humiliation of separation from all society.
(3) Nothing else was needed to induce him to apply to Christ.
(4) Were a sense of the misery of sin possessed, no delay in applying to Christ would occur.
(5) But the sinner is like the dead body corrupting, rather than the living body suffering.
3. But the manner, as well as the fact, of the lepers application to Christ, was instructive.
(1) He was earnest “beseeching Him”.
(2) He was humble “kneeling down”.
(3) He acknowledged His power “Thou canst”.
(4) He acknowledged His sovereignty “if Thou wilt”.
(5) Each of these is a necessary element in successful prayer.
4. The appeal of the leper awoke the sympathy of Christ. “He was moved with compassion.”
(1) Compassion is the form into which goodness is thrown when its object is miserable.
(2) How constantly did it dwell in the breast of Christ! His people in misery were ever before Him the spring of all His work.
(3) The aspect of Christ to the sinner “compassion”.
5. Christ out of compassion healed this leper.
(1) The human body was His own formation.
(2) Diseases were the arrows of His quiver.
(3) That which He inflicted, He could remove.
(4) We should carry temporal ills and bodily diseases to Christ.
6. Christ healed the leper in a manner fitted to instruct.
(1) His stretching out His hand indicated His own agency not that of natural means, as they are called.
(2) His words expressed the sovereignty in the cure “I will”.
(a) Christ acts immediately. (b) He acts sovereignly.
7. Christ enjoined silence upon the leper.
(1) A test of obedience.
(2) A preacher of Christ must be commissioned by Him.
(3) The leper not qualified.
(4) Christs freedom from ostentation. “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause His voice to be heard in the streets.”
(5) His hour must not be hastened.
8. The leper disobeyed Christ.
(1) A proof that he was not qualified to preach.
(2) A blind ill-informed zeal may lead to a transgression of Gods commandments.
(3) The precepts of the Word, and not the dictates of human zeal, are the rule of duty.