How to Approach Christ in Order to Obtain Mercy
Matt. 8:2

"And behold there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean." (Matt. 8:2.)

     I'm not sure that the number of times a truth appears in the Scripture has anything to do with the importance of it, but it is interesting to note that this incident is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

     I would say that the manner in which this man approached the Master is an example to be followed by all who would seek His grace and mercy. If you are an unsaved person whose sins are very great and very heavy – this is the way to approach Christ. If you are a believer going through great trial, sick in body, unsettled and unsure of your interest in Christ, or needing wisdom - this is the way to approach Christ. He is the fountain of life. He is the source of all mercy, grace, and blessings. God, the Father, has given all things into the hands of Christ. He is able to perform all that He promised. He is able to save to the uttermost them that come to God by Him. He is able to keep us from falling. He is able to raise our vile bodies and make us like Himself. If you receive anything from God it will be in and through the Lord Jesus Christ.

     But how do I come to Christ? How can one so unworthy, so sinful and so diseased approach the Lord of Glory? You can and should come like this leper came.

     (1) He worshipped! Mark said, "he kneeled down," and Luke said, "he fell on his face." Our Lord is to be worshipped! It matters not who you are, your place or problem, your age, condition, or persuasion - God is to be worshipped! Someone said, "Christians ought to worship God!" No! My friend, every creature ought to worship God: "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." Here is where we start. Bow down and worship Him: whatever He is pleased to do with us will be right. There are to be no arguments before the throne – only worship. It is, "Even so Father, for it seemed good in Thy sight."

     Justice is ours to demand! We have earned the wages of sin and can expect to be paid in full. But mercy and grace are His to give according to His sovereign will. God must deal with you in righteousness; He may be pleased to show mercy!

     (2) He called Jesus Christ "Lord!" He recognized the Lordship of the Son of Man. The Bible knows nothing about a door-mat named 'Jesus." The Bible does not present a person called Jesus Who will be your Savior while you reject His Lordship! What distresses me most about so-called fundamentalism today is the low esteem and pitiful opinion they have of Jesus Christ. He is everyone's buddy and no one's Lord! Don't tell me who your savior is; tell me, who is your Lord?

     "If Thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus to be Lord," said the apostle, "and believe in thine heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." "What think ye of Christ?" Even in His greatest humiliation, marred and spit upon, the thief recognized His glory, greatness, and Lordship!

     (3) He acknowledged the sovereign will of Christ! "Lord, if thou wilt," he said. I know that the whole religious world has for centuries argued about free-will, man's will, whosoever will, and God's will. You can go on with your debates, arguments, and essays, but I know whose will shall be done! "He worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1: 11). In the model prayer our Lord taught us to pray, "Thy will be done." We are born "not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God!"

     The essence of sin is "I will" (Isa. 14:13-14). The essense of holiness is "Thy will be done" (Luke 11:42). If we approach the Master in order to obtain mercy the prayer of our hearts and lips will be, "Lord, if You will You can save me!"

     (4) He recognized the ability of Christ to heal. "Lord, if you will, You can make me clean." This man, like the woman with the issue of blood, recognized his own inability, the inability of all others, and laid himself at the feet of the only One in heaven or earth Who could relieve his distress. "Lord, you can and you are the only one Who can make me whole!"

     He can make us clean, righteous, and acceptable before the Father because of Who He is, what He has done in our room and stead, why He did it – that God might be just and justifier, and because of where He is now – at the right hand of God. Not only is our Lord willing to save, but, thank God, He is able to save. He has "all authority over all flesh that He should give eternal life to as many as the Father hath given Him."

     (5) He asked for the right thing! "Make me clean!" I know that the preachers of the "health and wealth gospel" talk of long life on earth and prosperity, but this is not my need! I don't need to be healthy or wealthy, but I must be clean! "Who shall stand in His presence? He that hath clean hands and a pure heart." I have neither by nature. God cannot receive me without a perfect righteousness and a clean bill before His law and justice. In Christ I have both!

     "Make me clean." Purge me and I shall be clean, "wash me and I shall be whiter than the snow." It is the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanseth us from all sin! Come in the right way, to the right one, for the right thing, and you will hear Him say, "I will; be thou clean!"

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