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Bible Pathways - October 13, 2005

  • 2005 Oct 13

October 13


Read Mark 1

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, this disease first appears as just a white or pink spot. As leprosy slowly progresses, it becomes loathsome and often fatal. It illustrates how insignificant sin may seem at first; but, if continued, the consequences are devastating.

A leper eventually loses sensitivity to pain and even 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 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. He was excluded from the Temple and from being near others. It was not "Could He?" but "Would He?" Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand, and touched him, and saith to him, I will; be thou 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 so moved with compassion (one of the deepest of human emotions and a true expression of His loving heart) that His hand reached out to this defiled leper and touched him. Jesus' touch expressed compassion, but healing came through His Word: 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 and the cleansing of our sinful natures comes through hearing and responding to 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 . . longsuffering . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (II Peter 3:9).

Word Studies:

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 = to make known; 1:45 quarter = a region; 2:1 noised = reported.

Cross References:

For Mark 1:2: See Malachi 3:1. Mark 1:3: See Isaiah 40:3.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcast sponsored by Mrs. Mabel K. Holman and Mr. Ken I. England · Staff: Kenneth Roy Roberts III · Government Official: Sen. Maria Cantwell (WA) · Country: Singapore (4 million) in Southeast Asia · Major languages: Chinese and Malay · Religious freedom · 54% Chinese religions; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant; 4% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Pray and praise God for His faithfulness and mercy in keeping all His promises (II Chronicles 6:14-15).

Memory Verse for the Week: Hebrews 3:12

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