My Meditation on Mk 1:40-45


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Here is a blog that I wrote. It is a meditation on Mark 1:40-45. There is something very beautiful at the end but in order to understand it, please read it all from beginning to end. You won’t be sorry I promise.

And the blog begins…

Before we begin, please know that this story has a beautiful ending to it that most of us have not seen. After the ending is revealed, your eyes will be open and it will be like seeing a magic trick. Please be patient and read this in its entirety from beginning to end because there is something beautiful to see at the end. I hope you enjoy this. Let’s begin the meditation by first reading it:

Mar 1:40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
Mar 1:41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean."
Mar 1:42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
Mar 1:43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,
Mar 1:44 and said to him, "See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
Mar 1:45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

We will take this verse by verse but first we have to begin with the background in those days about people who have leprosy. Most people know that people who had leprosy in those days were outcast and lived outside of the city. They were not allowed in because people were afraid to catch the disease. They were not allowed to worship in the Temple. This is very important to keep in mind for the sake of the meditation.

In verse 40, we read that the Leper approaches Jesus. This is very important to understand. First we have to ask ourselves, where was Jesus? If He was in the city, then how did the leper approach him if they are not allowed in the city? Well if we go back just 1 verse to Mk 1:39, it reads “And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.” So we can see that Jesus was in a public place where there are many people around him. He was preaching in the synagogue before the leper approached him. How is that possible? Well, Mark doesn’t tell us how the Leper got there, but we know that he somehow got there. Perhaps he covered his skin and sneaked into town? To me, that seems to be the most reasonable explanation. What great faith! He basically took the chance of getting caught by the people. He took a greater chance when he approached Jesus and showed himself to be a leper in front of all the people and said “If you will, you can make me clean.” Notice how Mark tells us that the leper kneeled in front of Jesus. This is a sign of humility. If there is an issue in your life that needs healing (whether it be forgiveness of sins, salvation, an addiction from porn/alcohol/sex, anger problems, etc…) you must approach Christ with humility and complete trust. We have to learn from the leper. He trusted in Jesus to heal him and that is why he went out of his ways and took a huge risk just to come to Jesus. What a powerful scene! We cannot approach Jesus with pride. We have to come to Jesus with a mindstate of trust.

There is something important to notice on what the leper said to Jesus. First of all, he didn’t say “if you can. you can make me clean” but rather he said “if you will” or “if you want to” because he had great faith that Jesus could heal him and make him clean. Do the words “if you can” remind you of anything else that you’ve read? Perhaps from Mark 9:22-24:

Mar 9:22 And it has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you can do anything, have pity on us and help us."
Mar 9:23 And Jesus said to him, "If you can! All things are possible to him who believes."
Mar 9:24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said,“I believe; help my unbelief!”

It’s interesting to compare the two. One says “if you want to” and the other says “if you can”. But both instances, Jesus works a miracle.

Let’s look at what the leper says. He tells Jesus “you can make me clean.” Let’s focus on that for a minute. What does he mean by clean? Well, lepers were considered to be unclean and unclean people were not allowed to worship in the Temple. They were looked down upon by the Jewish people. They were not allowed to eat with “clean” people. Being unclean doesn’t necessarily mean that you had some kind of disease. The Jewish people looked at the Samaritans as unclean people.

Now if a clean person touches an unclean person, then the clean person becomes unclean and the unclean stays unclean. Let’s look at what happens in verse 41.

Mar 1:41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

Notice how Mark tells us that Jesus touched the leper. Now if you were a Jew in those days and you were watching this happen in front of you, you would consider Jesus to be unclean. For Jesus to touch an unclean person, that would make him unclean as well and would not allow him to worship in the Temple and whatnot. Notice also how Jesus was moved with pity. He had compassion on the leper. So too for us, we can approach the God of love who is Love Himself with faith and trust and he will look at us with compassion like we are children looking for a Father. God loves all of his children no matter what they have done. We have to approach Him with faith and he will have mercy on us.

Moving on to v.42, it states:

Mar 1:42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

We see that the leprosy left the man and he was made clean. Now as we stated above, if a clean person touches an unclean person, then the clean person becomes unclean and the unclean stays unclean. But we see a reversal happen here. The unclean person (the leper) is touched by the clean person (Jesus) and instead of Jesus being unclean, it is the leper who becomes clean. Keep this reversal in mind because it will serve a great purpose at the end of the story.

Now let’s look at verses 43 and 44 together.

Mar 1:43 And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once,
Mar 1:44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.”

Jesus tells the Leper not to tell anyone about the miracle. He tells “go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for you cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people.” In order to understand what Jesus is talking about, you have to look to the Old Testament. Jesus is referring here to Leviticus 14. It talks about what the leper must do when he is healed from his leprosy.

Let’s not forget, Jesus tells the man not to tell anyone about the miracle. Let’s look at the very last verse of our meditation and bring everything together. Bare with me, all this is going to make sense.

Mar 1:45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

So the man did not obey what Jesus told him. He went out and began to talk freely about the miracle. Now I don’t know about you but if I had something like that happen to me, I’d be telling everyone! We can’t look at the man as being disobedient (even though he did disobey). But I’m sure most of us would do the same.

Let’s bring it all home. What does Mark tell us next? Well, after the leper goes and tells people about what happened, something happens to Jesus. Mark tells us “Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.” Now let me ask you this. In the beginning of the story, who was it that couldn’t openly enter a town? Who was it that was an outcast? It was the leper. Now, here, at the end of the story, who is it that cannot openly enter a town? Who is an outcast now? It is Jesus. What a powerful scene! Christ took the leper’s wounds and put them on his back and bore them and set the man free. Free to worship God in the temple and free to live a normal life. He set him free. This is a small foreshadow of the cross. Christ took on our sins and put them on His back and set us free when we were the ones who deserved to be on that cross. He heals those who come to Him with humility, faith, and complete trust. If we want to obtain salvation, we have to go to Jesus that way.

We see two reversals happen in the story. First, the unclean becomes clean when touching the clean instead of the clean becoming unclean when touching the unclean (it makes sense I promise!). Also, we have the leper being outcast and not allowed to openly enter a town and Jesus being free to enter a town and not be outcast to the leper being free to enter a town and living the city while Jesus was the one who was outcast at the end.

Let us approach Christ with the same humility that the leper approached Him with. We all have something dirty that we need healing from. Sin. Leprosy is something very disgusting and horrible to have. Sin is infinitely even more disgusting and horrible to have. We have to cleanse ourselves from sin and the only way we can do that is going to God. Let us fix our eyes to Jesus and He will forgive us our sins and cleanse us and give us everlasting life!

May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

-Elijah (www.myspace.com/twinrecords)

http://romanrevelation.blogspot.com/


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