Shaun Buckley

Mark chp1 V40 The leper who came to Jesus. 'If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.' 

Human nature cannot be clean. The nature God wants to give us is clean - we can trace it back to the sacrifice of Jesus. The hope of being clean is a blood-bought privilege because of the life of Jesus. 

I will speak a little about the evidence of the kindness of Jesus. Kindness is usually a spontaneous and voluntary thing and it is good if it can be noticed and thanked for. 

God's loving kindness - prompted by love. 

Examples of the kindness of Jesus. 

1). He met the leper. Some of our friends are lepers. A worker had a meeting in a leper compound and when they were gathered he asked if all were there. They answered 'One more'. The last one came in on his elbows and knees as his feet and hands were gone and he carried his Bible bag in his teeth. He chose the hymn 'O, for the peace of a perfect trust.' When the hand of life seems heavy on us let us think of that leper and that hymn. 

In Leviticus 13, it tells of lepers that they were to be bare-headed and cover the upper lip, live alone and be rejected and lonely. They had to cry ‘Unclean, unclean.' The leper asked Jesus to make him clean. Jesus touched one with the living death. Jesus reaches out to the rejected and shows great kindness. 

2) Transfiguration. Jesus' kindness to those who were afraid. One minute the disciples were saying that it was good to be there and the next they were terrified because of the voice that they had heard. Sometimes we fear when we hear the voice of God to our own heart. Compare Jacob and the ladder. Dreadful place. Fear when spoken to, but the compensation is the touch of Jesus in our life. 

3) There was a time when Peter failed and Jesus could neither touch nor speak; he just looked. Why did he fail? Peter had promised that he would never be offended or leave Jesus. We should not use the word never. Only God can use it. Never should not belong to us. We cannot promise that we will never do something. We can only say that up to this point in time I have not done it. God can say never - He will never leave us or forsake us. 

Matt 26. Peter felt he would rather die than deny. Luke tells us about the dialogue that went before when Jesus had a special message for Peter. 'Satan hath desired to have you and sift you as wheat.' - throw away the good. Jesus didn't pray that Peter wouldn't fail because he knew he would. He prayed that his faith wouldn't fail. Jesus' kindness when we fail. 

Roger Bannister was the first Englishman to run the mile in under 4 minutes. In Vancouver, an Australian did it in almost the same time. Later they ran together. The Australian was winning until he came near the winning line and then he looked to one side to see where Roger was. At that point, Roger passed him on the other side and went over the winning line. His margin of defeat was just while he looked to the side. The margin of Jesus' victory was one word - 'Nevertheless'. Jesus knew he had to drink the cup that was given him. Same message in garden and later - must drink of the cup given to Him. In the space of one hour, Peter denied Him again. All he simply needed to say to avoid the denial was 'Yes, I was one of them.' Later on in Acts, he did associate with Him and disassociated himself from those who were against Jesus. When he was before the council in Acts he said 'You men put Him on the cross.' He was proud to be a disciple then. At the third denial, Jesus just looked at him, didn't touch or speak to him. But it was a look of love. No matter what you do, I still love you. The love and kindness of Jesus are not a licence or encouragement to fail, but if we do, Jesus loves us in His kindness. As we go out, let us show the benefit of the love and kindness of Jesus in our lives.