Mark 1:40-45 (NLT) A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean,” he said. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed. Then Jesus sent him on his way with a stern warning: “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.” But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and He couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to Him.
This is a very moving story of the miracles of Jesus. This is a very simple and a powerful story of a leper who was living in isolation, came in contact with Jesus, completely healed and became a powerful testimony.
In this passage we see the leper is in need of something good, something real, and something life-changing. This passage explains the beautiful way in which
Jesus responds with compassion. We also see the healed leper’s passion in proclaiming the gospel.
A. THE CONDITION
Mark 1:40 (NLT) A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If You are willing, You can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
Leprosy comes from the Greek word lepra which encompasses of many more diseases than the modern leprosy. In the Old Testament days any spreading disease that affects the skin and exposes raw flesh would be termed leprosy. It is a contagious skin disease and no one will go near the afflicted. Having a contagious skin disease like leprosy is a curse or it is a punishment for doing something wrong. As long as the disease lasts, the lepers are ceremonially unclean and must live in isolation. Lepers suffered pitiful existence, not just from the physical devastation of the disease, but from ritual uncleanness and exclusion from society.
The leper coming closer to Jesus is a violation of the commandment of those times. He was risking his own life. He was supposed to shout ‘Unclean Unclean’ to keep Jesus away, but he came near Jesus, and asked Him to make him clean. Becoming a clean person was much more important for this leper, but within his heart this leper would have thought
- Jesus I want to touch and feel others
- Jesus I want to hug my family
- Jesus I want to be a part this society and most of all
- I want to worship you Jesus
The leper falls on his knees before Jesus, and pleads with Jesus, saying, “If you are willing . . .”.
What do these actions tell us, as soon as he kneels before Jesus
- He realises that he is unworthy.
- He has never heard of any one leper being healed.
- He realises that he has no hope at all.
- He realises that he can’t heal himself and that he needs Jesus
The good news is he heard about Jesus. His faith on Jesus was declared by his statement “You can make me clean”. He believed with all his heart that Jesus only can heal him. He made no demands to Jesus, but said “If you are willing . . .”. He knows that Jesus has the right to refuse. He has no basis for the request, other than the grace and mercy from Jesus.
Dear friend as leprosy is in the body/skin, so is sin to our souls. Leprosy separates you from people, but sin separates you from God and from God’s people.
John 8:34 (NLT) Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave of sin
The bible says that everyone have sinned, and are destined to eternal death. Man has to realise that he/she is a sinner and cannot do anything redeem him/herself. Man needs a redeemer to redeem him/her from sin.
B. THE SALVATION
Mark 1:41-42 (NLT) Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” He said. “Be healed!” Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
1. Compassion of Jesus
The leprosy of this man is contagious and will spread quickly to anyone he comes in contact with. Jesus, however, did not rebuke this leper for coming closer to Him. Instead of rejecting the leper, Jesus allowed the leper to kneel before him.
- Jesus did not condemn the leper and he will never condemn you.
- Jesus did not tell the leper that he was cursed.
- Jesus did not give a lecture on avoiding infectious diseases.
- But, Jesus had compassion on the leper, He touched him and said “I am willing, be cleansed”
Friends are you in a sinful situation today? Are you tormented by bad thoughts? Are you fearful of the future? Are you living in uncertainty like this leper? Come to Jesus. Jesus will never condemn you. Jesus will never let you down. He will touch and heal you. He will restore you to the fullest.
2. Approach of Jesus
With Jesus all things are possible. This leper would have had limited knowledge of Jesus.
- He may not have heard that Jesus could heal leprosy.
- He may not have known that Jesus could touch the unclean.
- His knowledge and experience would have been very limited to what Jesus could do.
- But he boldly approached Jesus
- Jesus had compassion and love for this leper
- Jesus was willing to cleanse him, touched and spoke healing, the leper was instantly healed. Leprosy immediately left.
- Jesus restored his dignity, and his relationship.
Friends like this leper, would you like to come to Jesus today. You don’t require any qualification to come to Jesus; you can come to him as you are. Jesus took all your sin upon himself; He suffered and died for you on the Cross. His sinless blood will forgive you of all your sins. Jesus will take away all the guilt from your life. He will give you a brand new life, restoring health to your body, to your soul and to your mind. Joy and peace will come into your heart.
C. THE COMMISSION
Mark 1:45 (NLT) But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and He couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to Him.
1. He had Faith in Jesus
If this leper would have followed the rituals, he would not have met with Jesus. If this leper did not take the step of faith to meet with Jesus, he would have remained as a leper. He did not worry about the people around or his relatives. He focused on his personal healing. He had tremendous faith, in Jesus, who had the answer for his situation.
He left all the tradition of lepers sitting outside of the city in isolation. He left the ritual of shouting “unclean unclean” and came near Jesus. He took the bold step and came forward to meet with Jesus. His life changed forever. What a powerful testimony.
This is very challenging to us. This leper’s faith in Jesus, brought a wholesome healing. Faith plays a vital role in the spiritual growth of every Christians. Without faith it is impossible to pleased God. Faith comes from hearing and meditating on God’s Word. Do you have faith in Jesus to receive your wholesome healing for your body, soul and your mind.
2. He had the Joy of the Lord
As soon as the leper was healed, he could not control himself and went about telling everyone the good news of Jesus. He had tremendous joy that
- he is no more a leper.
- he is no more an outcast living an isolated life.
- he can be with his family, and touch everyone.
- Jesus restored all what he lost.
- Leprosy is history in his life and that he has hope in Jesus.
- No one can call him a leper.
Fullness of joy can be experienced in the presence of Jesus in your life. We are unable to cope with the demands of this world, but the joy in you will help you continuously motivate you to excel for Jesus.
3. He wanted others not to miss out
Nothing could stop this man. He does not have to shout ‘Unclean Unclean’, but he can shout ‘Jesus is my Redeemer, my healer, and He made me whole’. He did not want to be selfish; he did not want anyone to miss out on the blessings. He went about telling his powerful testimony and encouraged others to experience Jesus.
When Jesus was on this earth, He told people not to tell others, but that did not stop the people to tell of the goodness of Jesus.
Mark 7:36-37 (NLT) Jesus told the crowd not to tell anyone, but the more He told them not to, the more they spread the news. They were completely amazed and said again and again, “Everything He does is wonderful. He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who cannot speak.”
But today Jesus is telling you and I
Matthew 28:18-20 (NLT) “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Don’t stop telling the world your testimony. Don’t stop telling the world what Jesus had done for you. Sin is destroying families, relationships, etc. Wages of sin is death in eternal hell. Millions in this world need to hear about Jesus and the great things Jesus can do in their life. Jesus is mobilising you to share your powerful testimony and for people to experience the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This true story tells us the compassion Jesus had on the Leper and the Passion the healed Leper had for Jesus. No one could stop him from telling his testimony and encouraging others to come to Jesus.
There was a time the leper was rejected and condemned. When he met with Jesus, his life changed. No one calls him a leper anymore and everyone wants to know of his healing experience with Jesus.
Friend, you may have had a bad or difficult past, but today come and meet with Jesus who is your Saviour. Your past will be forgiven, your guilt will be taken away and your future will be a blessing.