The King who rules by serving others and loving the unlovable. Jesus teaches and heals, and reveals His power over evil spirits. Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath (Mark 2:28). Invitation to be united with God and a fisher of men (1:17; 3:31-35).
God had directed Moses to command the children of Israel, that they put out of the camp every leper. . . . that they defile not their camps, in the midst whereof I dwell (Num. 5:2-3). No disease occupies so much space in the Scriptures as leprosy. Strangely, it first appears as just a white, then pink spot. As leprosy slowly progresses, it becomes loathsome, and is often fatal. It illustrates how insignificant sin may seem at first, but, Jesus foretold if you reject Him as your only means of going to heaven, your only alternative is a horrifying existence after death (Luke 16:19-31).
A leper eventually loses sensitivity to pain. Still worse, as leprosy progresses, fingers and toes decay and fall off. For centuries, lepers were incurable — they were considered the untouchables of society.
One of these pitiful outcasts boldly made his way to Jesus — beseeching (begging) Him, and kneeling down to Him, and saying unto Him, If Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean (Mark 1:40). When the leper said: If Thou wilt, he had no doubt Jesus could heal him. But he doubted His willingness to do so since leprosy was much worse than just a hopeless disease; it made him ceremonially unclean. It was not "Could He?" but "Would He?" Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be . . . clean (1:41).
Matthew records that this leper worshipped Him (Matt. 8:2), and Luke said that he fell on his face before Him (Luke 5:12). Only Mark tells us that Jesus was moved with compassion and that His loving hand reached out to this defiled leper and touched him. Jesus was moved with compassion, one of the deepest of human emotions and a true expression of the loving heart of Jesus. Both Jesus' touch and the Word He spoke expressed compassion: Be . . . clean (Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13). Today Jesus says: Now ye are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you (John 15:3). Faith in God comes through hearing His Word (Rom. 10:17). Once saved, like the cleansed leper who began to publish it much (Mark 1:45), you too will want to tell others what Jesus has done for you.
As we observe sinners all about us and see how sin is destroying the spiritual lives of people, it is important to also remember that the Lord is . . . longsuffering . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9).
Thought for Today:
I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in His Word do I hope (Ps. 130:5).
1:7 latchet leather strap similar to a shoelace; 1:26 torn him thrown him into convulsions; 1:43 straitly charged sternly warned; 1:45 blaze abroad take known everywhere; every quarter everywhere; 2:1 noised the news spread.
For Mark 1:2: See Mal. 3:1. Mark 1:3: See Is. 40:3. Mark 1:11: See Ps. 2:7.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin K. Kohl • Government Officials: Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) and Rep. Ted Poe (TX) • Country: Czech Republic (10 million) in central Europe • Major languages: Czech and Slovak • Religious freedom • 63% Catholic; 7% Protestant; 4% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Ps. 79:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33