Text: Mark 1 "As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance." 1 Peter 1:14
"As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance." 1 Peter 1:14
GLIMPSES OF THE HEALING MINISTRY OF JESUS
Once people knew that Jesus possessed the power to heal, He faced a deluge of people who were ill from different diseases. Mark singled out an example of how Jesus healed a leper.
“Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him,
Kneeling down to Him and saying to Him,
‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.'”
1. The focus was not on the power of Jesus to heal.
The power of Jesus to heal consistently had already been established. There was no more need to emphasise the fact that Jesus possessed this power.
2. The question was whether there were limitations to His power.
Leprosy was one of the most dreaded diseases in ancient days. Could Jesus heal lepers?
a) More than just a physical illness
Leprosy was a disease to be feared in those days. There wasn’t any medical answer to this dreaded problem.
b) A social dilemma
A leper faced a great social dilemma. He would be forced by law to move out of his home and community. He would be consigned to a leper’s colony where he would eke out a living till he died miserably- unwanted, unmourned, and unloved. Leprosy was a living death.
c) A personal emotional battle
A leper’s greatest fight must be within his own heart. He has to contend with the fact that he would be shunned by all… and that did not exclude his family. Life must be particularly hard for the leper must fight and overcome his emotions. And this battle would not be an easy one!
4. Nothing to Lose
The leper felt that he had nothing to lose. He knew that if he were to step out in public, he could be stoned to death. He was going to die anyway, he might as well risk everything. He had nothing to lose. What was so deeply moving that Mark recorded this incident in his gospel? The answer might well lay in the way the leper spoke to Jesus. His opening words, “If you are willing…” revealed a heart that was shattered by despair. He could barely bring himself to believe that Jesus was willing to help him- a leper!