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9th february 2016 The disobedient leper

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The disobedient leper

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9th february 2016 The disobedient leper

  1. 1. The Disobedient Leper – 9th February 2016 “Jesus sent him awayat once witha strong warning: 44 “Seethat you don’ttell this to anyone.But go, show yourselfto the priest and offerthe sacrificesthat Mosescommandedfor your cleansing,asa testimonyto them” (Mark 1: 43–44). Legal regulations pertaining to ceremonial purity was abound in the law of Moses, with the laws about leprosy being perhaps the most important of these rules. Under the old covenant, in the Scripture it refers to a variety of skin conditions—rendered a person unclean. Consequently, lepers had to take precautions to prevent the spread of their disease. They had to keep their distance from others and live outside the camp, away from the place of God’s special presence: ““Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt,[a] cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp. (Leviticus 13:45–46). Leprosy was a dreaded decease and recovery was almost unheard of and those affected were rejected and kept away from the community. The leper could reenter the camp once healed, but first the priest had to conduct a close investigation of the leprous man or woman and offer sacrifices to restore the person to ritual purity. But the law could only provide regulations for recognizing the disease, verifying if and when it was gone, and there were specified ritual procedures for restoring the person’s ceremonial cleanness. It could not actually cure the person of leprosy, which was required “if the leper was ever to be restored” to the community. The impotence of the Mosaic law to effect cleansing is seen in Mark 1 when Jesus provides the healing that the old covenant stipulations never could. There is much to observe in this occurrence. We can learn that although contact with a leper could make the non-diseased person be effected by the decease and thus unclean as well, Jesus when ahead and healed the person. He was not worried of touching the person when He touches the leper to heal him. Jesus seeing the desperate need of the sick person healed Him. We can learn this in Mark1:40 – 42,“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. At that time no one would ever dare to physically touch a leper! The leper had humble faith that Jesus’ can heal him. The leper does not come demanding that the Lord heals him or the request was in absolute faith without doubting whether Jesus could restore him; rather, He states his belief in Jesus’ ability: “If you are willing, you can make me clean”. So the man’s faith in Jesus was absolute…I believe you can! After healing him, Jesus “sternly” told the man not to tell anyone in Galilee but to go to the priest right away: “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.” (v.43-44). But the cleansed man
  2. 2. disobeyed Him as we can read in verse 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”. We are presented with a question. Why did Jesus sternly tell the man “See that you don’t tell this to anyone”. We know that due to our human tendency we like to exemplify even the minutest of things that we achieve. We like to boast to the family, friends and as many as possible...for glory!. Jesus was not looking for glory…In His heart He felt the man’s need and hence simply wanted to heal him. But the man disobeyed Him. In verse 45 we can learn: “ 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”. From this we can conclude that Jesus sternly wanted the man not to make a song and dance about it because he knew that His mission would be jeopardized. Because when people around heard that a leper was healed, which was absolutely unheard of at the time, everyone wanted to meet Jesus. “As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places” Our Lord’s grace and compassion is also seen in His reaction to the leprous man. In the passage in Mark 1:41 we can read that: “Jesus was indignant”. This states that He was moved by anger, not pity! Dr. R.C. Sproul explains our Lord’s anger: “He was filled with a righteous indignation against the ravages of the fallen world, such as disease. He hated disease, but He cared for the person afflicted by the disease.” Christ hates what sin has done to His creation. Therefore as Christians we must know that Jesus Christ is full of compassion for those who suffer. We must also know that those who have absolute faith in Him, just as the leper was healed, any one of us can be healed through Him. As Christians we can learn what Jesus said in Matthew 17:20, “He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
  3. 3. “If youare willing,youcan make me clean”(Mark1:40)

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