February 19, 2018

Luke 5:12–13 (NLT) — 12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.” 13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared.

As a young lad I was assigned to clean out the pig pens on my uncle’s farm. My uncle gave me a pair of tall rubber boots, gloves and  a manure shovel and told me to get to work. I had to shovel up the filth and throw it out a window into a manure spreader. I remember sinking my shovel into this dirty filthy mess and pulling up this pile that have turned white on the inside, maggots were crawling around and the odor almost caused me to heave! I couldn’t believe the stench coming from that pile. After awhile my olfactory nerves go anesthetized to the smell and I went about cleaning up the pen.

I also remember going into the farm house for lunch and immediately my grandmother pushed me back outside and demanded that I take my clothes off and shower because the stench curled the cream she had sitting on the counter:) Just kidding about the cream but not the stench.

One cool thing about Jesus is that he is not afraid to get his hands dirty. I don’t care how dirty or unclean you may feel you are not too dirty or unclean for Jesus to touch you. Some people may feel that they are not that dirty or unclean and that it really wasn’t a big deal for Jesus to touch them; however I believe that if we could stand in front of a sin revealing mirror we would probably gasp at how filthy and smelly we really were before Jesus touched us and cleaned us up. The stench of sin didn’t cause Jesus to wrinkle up his nose or wretch and shove us out of the house until we got cleaned up. Does sin have a stench to it? This next verse is from the 1st edition New Living Translation concerning what the angels told Lot that the Lord was going to do to Sodom and Gomorrah:

Genesis 19:13 “For we will destroy the city completely. The stench of the place has reached the Lord and he has sent us to destroy it.”

Jesus welcomes us with open arms, no gloves and boots, and he scrubs us with his blood until we are clean and have the odor of heaven about us. When I relate the stench and filth of the pig pen to the stench and filth of sin I can really appreciate what Jesus did for me.

Think of the filthiest, smelliest situation that you can and then realize your sin was filthier and smellier. Now thank Jesus that he didn’t shy away from you but instead, because he was willing, he welcomed you into this family.

Matthew 11:28 (NLT) — 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Here is the Dan Mueller translation of the above verse, “Come unto me all of you who carry the filth and the stench of sin and I will clean you up.”

Be Inspired Hilltop!