Mark 1:40-45

Throughout the season of Lent our daily devotions have been written by members of the Faith Lutheran community. Our theme this Lent is “Jesus Our Healer.” Today’s devotion comes from Jan Zunker.

A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter. Mark 1:40-45

Earlier Mark records that “everyone was searching for Jesus” and “the whole city was gathered together and Jesus healed many who were sick with various diseases”. The leper had obviously heard this good news and he comes and humbly kneels before Jesus saying “if you will, you can make me clean”. The leper had faith that Jesus could heal him if he would but he was also aware that he might not.

Leprosy was a dreaded disease that rendered one unclean and untouchable. Those who had leprosy were forbidden to come into the presence of others to avoid defiling others by their touch. This kept them isolated and separated from others in the community. It is probable that this man had not felt the loving comforting touch of another for a long time.

Jesus casts aside all of the social taboos surrounding leprosy and casts aside his own concerns about defiling himself. He reached out and touched him with his loving hand and immediately he was made clean and restored.

This healing is a reminder that we cannot put up man-made boundaries or limits around the mercy of Jesus. Jesus sternly charged the leper to say nothing to anyone until he first went to the priests who would issue a certificate in writing to certify that he was indeed healed. This would allow him to rejoin the community. He could not contain his excitement and he went about sharing the good news freely and the word began to spread rapidly.

This healing was a sign that Jesus had come into the world to restore all creation to wholeness. It pointed to a time when there would be no sin, suffering and death that would keep us separated from the love of God and others.

There are many who still suffer today and we know all too well the devastating effects of any number of diseases. We hold fast to our faith and hope that nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God, which is ours through Christ Jesus, our Lord. When God looks into our eyes he sees us through the eyes of the loving compassionate grace of Jesus.

Let us pray: Gracious God, We pray that you will send your healing grace and mercy to all those who are sick. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen

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2 Responses to “Mark 1:40-45”

  1. kirk921 Says:

    A men

  2. Carolee Groux Says:

    Matthew 4:23 “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.”
    And He can and does heal those who ask for His merciful hand in their healing. Bless all those who suffer that they might be healed through Jesus Christ. Amen.

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