THE GOSPEL OF MARK – THEY STILL CAME FROM EVERYWHERE

THEY STILL CAME FROM EVERYWHERE

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 Jesus was indignant. 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. Mark 1:40-45

Jesus had reasons for everything He did, but it is also understandable why people did not always obey Him. The “leper” who came to Him must have been through years of feeling helpless and hopeless, stricken with a disease which would never get better and condemned to be an outcast for the rest of his life.

Jesus was his one chance to be delivered from his isolation and his deteriorating condition. Did he wait for Him to visit his area or did he seek Him out? Whichever way it happened, he came face to face with his Healer and grabbed his opportunity!

Faced with a man in a pitiful condition, Jesus spontaneously reached out and touched him – something no-one would do and especially a rabbi because he would not want to be tamai. But it was never an issue with Jesus. Every touch transformed tamai to tahor in an instant.

What was it in the heart of Jesus that responded so spontaneously to the man’s plight? It was His compassion that brought immediate action. Psalm 103:13“As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.”

What is this compassion that brings a response from the heart of God? Does He see, not only wasted potential, but also the possibility of restoration because the sufferer has turned to face Him rather than doing nothing out of hopelessness and despair? What makes the difference between staying broken or walking in wholeness? A simple act – turning the head to face the one who can bear the burden – changing one’s awareness.

This leper acknowledged his condition. He was tamai – unclean. He also recognised that Jesus had the power to cleanse him. He turned to Jesus and made his request – “If you want to, you can cleanse me.” He put his confidence in the one who could do it. It was up to Jesus and He responded in pity. Done!

Luella Campbell


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