~ The Leper of Mark 1 ~
Realization (the leper’s acknowledges his need) ~ “Now a leper came to Him [Jesus]” (1:40a).
Response (the leper came by faith) ~ “Imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean’” (1:40b).
Note that the leper did not question His ability to heal! Perhaps, this is related to what we read earlier in the chapter: “At evening, when the sun had set, they brought to Him all who were sick and those who were demon-possessed. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. Then He healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him” (32-34).
Response (the compassion of Jesus Christ) ~ “Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (40-41). It is an interesting side note that in the Bible the word compassion is only used of Christ and of Christians.
Result (the Leper experiences some firsts) ~ “As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (42). This was not only the first time the leper had healing but also in all likelihood the first time the leper ever experienced the touch of another person. It would have been a violation of both social and medical protocol for anyone to come close to the leper—let alone touch the leper.
~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW
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