Read Mark 1 - 3
In Today's Reading:
Ministry of John the Baptist; baptism and temptation of Jesus; His Galilean ministry; twelve apostles chosen; the unpardonable sin
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 (Numbers 5:2-3). No disease occupies so much space in the Scriptures as leprosy. Strangely, it first appears as just a white spot, as a pink spot. As leprosy slowly progresses, it becomes loathsome and often fatal. It illustrates how insignificant sin may seem at first; but, if continued, its consequences are devasting.
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 to Him, If You will, You can make me clean (Mark 1:40). When the leper said: If You will, he had no doubt that Jesus could heal him. But he doubted His willingness to do so since leprosy was much worse than just a hopeless disease; it made the leper ceremonially unclean. It was not "Could He?" but "Would He?" Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and said to him, I will; be . . . clean (1:41).
Matthew records that this leper worshiped Him (Matthew 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. Jesus' touch expressed compassion, expressed through His Word: Be . . . clean (Mark 1:41; Luke 5:13). Today Jesus says: Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken to you (John 15:3). Faith in God comes through hearing His Word (Romans 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 . . long-suffering . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).
1:7 latchet = a shoelace; ; 1:26 torn him = thrown him into convulsions; 1:43 straitly charged = sternly warned; 1:45 blaze = to make known; 1:45 quarter = a region; 2:1 noised = to report an event.
For Mark 1:2: See Mal. 3:1. Mark 1:3: See Isa. 40:3.
Pray for Government Official: Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) · Country: Tonga (109,000) in the southwestern Pacific · Major languages: Tongan and English · Religious freedom · 55% Protestant; 22% Mormon; 14% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Ask for the Lord's blessings and peace upon His children (Numbers 6:24-27).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 2:14