The Compassion of Jesus

Mark 1: 40-45
1 Sm 4: 1-11/ Ps 44: 10-11, 14-15, 24-25

Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!”
(Mark 1:41)

The “leprosies” that plague us
Are the consequence of sin.
Our hope and healing comes from Jesus,
Who said, “I do will it, be made clean.”

A man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged Him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Jesus sent him away at once with a stern warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere. (Mark 1:40-45)

Reflection

How ironic that by restoring the leper back to his community, our Lord found Himself instead unable to mix freely in any town or village, and had become the “outsider” that the former leprose man was. This was because the healed man did not obey the instructions of Jesus, telling everyone he met about his miraculous healing. Now everyone wanted to see who this ‘miracle worker’ was, and Jesus could no longer enter the towns or villages, but had to confine Himself to deserted places.

A study of the leper’s character reveals both good and bad qualities. He had boldness of faith, breaking traditional norms of keeping distance from people by approaching Jesus for healing. He was a humble man, begging on his knees, pleading for the Lord’s will, and not presuming on His kindness. And yet he also lacked a sense of gratitude for disregarding Jesus’ stern warning not to tell anyone about his healing.

Disobedience has always gotten man into trouble ever since God created him. If only Adam and Eve had not disobeyed the simple rules laid down by their Maker, life for all of mankind would still be a paradise on earth. And yet God did not allow the leprosy of sin to bring mankind to perdition. To bring man back to a clean slate, God would end up thrown outside the gates of Jerusalem, ostracized and tortured in a way worse than any leper.

Our disobedience and wayward ways do not affect the compassion of God whenever we come to Him in humble supplication. He is always moved with pity by our various afflictions. Although Jesus is no longer with us physically, I believe he still manifests His love and compassion for the sick through His servants who are called to minister to those who are in need of healing. A brother in our community requested a few of our members yesterday to pray over a relative in the i.c.u. who had a severe blood infection. His doctor advised his wife that only prayers could save him now. His name is Roy. He is 45 years old and has four young children. Fortunately, the doctors in the hospital allowed four of us to visit him in his small cubicle and pray for his healing. We continue to pray for Roy and ask you, dear reader to join us in praying to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing, You can cleanse the blood of Roy. Amen.”

We were all unclean, Lord, in our sinfulness; but You touched us with your Word, and You have made us clean. Grant that we may never disobey Your statutes and decrees again. Amen.

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