God of Light and all Comfort, today I want to meet You anew, and discover Your joy in different ways and places.
Read Mark 1:40–45
Jesus Heals a Man With Leprosy
40 A man with leprosy[a] came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant.[b] He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen was the last time you reached out to someone in need?
Go into any hospital nowadays and you are confronted at almost every doorway with hand gel and warning signs about infection prevention. We recognize the need to prevent the spread of disease – we know that contamination can easily spread. In Jesus’ time, it was a similar concern which kept anyone with leprosy away from other people.
Unfortunately, the term leprosy covered a variety of skin ailments, many of which we now know not to be contagious. Isolated from other people, even from the Temple, lepers were ceremonially unclean.
A religious teacher like Jesus might be expected to keep His distance from anyone with leprosy. But when this man calls out for help, Jesus, moved with compassion (41), stops and reaches out to him.
When Jesus touches him, the unexpected happens. Instead of Jesus being made unclean, the leper is made clean and is healed, a reality which can be verified by the priest (Leviticus 14:2–32).
Because the man does not obey Jesus’ request not to tell anyone, word spreads that Jesus has touched a leper (45). This same Jesus who identified with the leper in order to make him ‘clean’ identifies with our sinfulness to make us righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Thank Jesus for the price He paid to bring you cleansing. Can you respond by reaching out to someone ‘on the margins’ in your community?
Loving Lord Jesus, Your touch still has power. I pray that my concern and compassion for those in need will be used for good by You.
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