Interested & Impacted

Interested & Impacted: Mark 1:40-45
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday January 19, 2020

Today we’ll see Jesus’ mission to bring God’s Gospel to all continue. There is a focal healing which serves to validate Jesus miracles and bring news of Him to the religious elite which will both plague and pressure Him but will serve to advance His ministry to the nations.
Let us see Mark’s account of this Leper’s healing.

Mark 1:40–45 (ESV)
Jesus Cleanses a Leper
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.”

What we see is a hopeless humble man who recognizes Jesus as messiah.The word here we’re specifically calling leprosy can actually be a number of things INCLUDING leprosy. Some kind of skin disease for sure.

Something that would be difficult to hide and which would relegate someone from day-to-day society. Leprosy, or Hansen’s disease (sorry Ed) is a bacteria which goes after the nervous system. Whereby the leper loses feeling in the body – imagine the never which feels the eye drying out and causes a blinking that keeps the eye lubricated not functioning causing blindness. Beyond physical ailments the leper would be ostracized from society – having to pronounce their uncleanness outcast from their homes so-as not to transmit their disease. To have leprosy, is to be a leper.

Leviticus 13:1–9 (ESV)
Laws About Leprosy
1 The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying,
2 “When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests,
3 and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body. And if the hair in the diseased area has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a case of leprous disease. When the priest has examined him, he shall pronounce him unclean.
4 But if the spot is white in the skin of his body and appears no deeper than the skin, and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall shut up the diseased person for seven days.
5 And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up for another seven days.
6 And the priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the diseased area has faded and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean.
7 But if the eruption spreads in the skin, after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall appear again before the priest.
8 And the priest shall look, and if the eruption has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous disease.

Pronounced “unclean”’. In fact, Leviticus 13 would go on to say:

Leviticus 13:45–47 (ESV)
45 “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’
46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

These social rules were to keep this disease from transmitting from person-to-person. We’ve been seeing Jesus healing so frequently, people desperate and scarred by this life, at one point in scripture people are so desperate for healing they literally make a hole in the roof of a dwelling and lower their friend into to Jesus – this leper is willing to break all the laws and rules about lepers and seek healing, with all humility, subjecting himself to the will of Jesus as Lord, pleading to be made clean.

And so, there is much happening here – this unclean person, approaches Jesus, close enough to bee touched we’ll see in verse 41, knowing that Jesus can heal him – lets read verse 41:

41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.”

Moved with Pity, this is an important note about Jesus. He isn’t disconnected from this man’s suffering, in fact he’s moved by it. Does that encourage you? That Jesus Himself is not only interested but impacted by our plight. While Leviticus 5:2/3 says: “ or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; 3 or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt” – however, the God man wasn’t impacted by the sin, rather He was transcendent over it – His touch overcame the disease in the man and made him clean.

Jesus reached out and touched the man who’d crossed social boundaries, who’d defined the rules and law regarding staying away from people, he stepped outside the norms for a leper and sought Jesus healing. With a touch, Jesus said, and this language is great (be clean).

Can you imagine, living the life of a leper? Pronouncing your unclean status in a crowd, living outside the walls of a city, perhaps – unable to intermix with non lepers, keeping your distance from people, being untouchable. Your identity is your disease, and with a word, Jesus changes everything.

42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.
43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once,
44 and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

Immediately. Mark presses on, what happened with the disease in a moment – gone. They physical markers of Leprosy:, cuts, damage, sores, gone.

Consider this before we talk about these verses:

John 3:16–19 (ESV)
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.
19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.

In order to be clean and accepted into society, this man needed to follow the law and approach the priests in the temple to be pronounced clean and accepted back into the flow of society. He’d then need to go to the priests, tell of His healing by Jesus, and they’d either have to a) deny this very much non-Leprosy, having man was clean or, b) accept that he was healed and that it was Jesus who did the miraculous.

Would they believe in the light of Jesus, interested and impacted – moved with compassion to heal this man, or love the darkness more…. This man didn’t scoop up a witness to take to the temple and go down to be pronounced clean, he told everyone who would listen what just went down. He had moutharrhea.

Sarah, the church gossip and self-appointed arbiter of the church’s morals, kept sticking her nose into other people’s business. Several residents were unappreciative of her activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

She made a mistake, however, when she accused George, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his pickup truck parked in front of the town’s only bar one afternoon. She commented to George and others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.

George, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just walked away. He didn’t explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing. Later that evening, George quietly parked his pickup in front of Sarah’s house.

And left it there all night

Sometimes the message carries it’s self without much more information – Jesus healings at a frantic pace, now taken to the temple and confirmed by the priests have changed everything – see the all important verse 45:

45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.

People were looking to Him for healing, so much so that it relegated His ministry to the outskirts of towns – why did Jesus feed 5k people in the wilderness, why were they on the shore and boats – the temp of His ministry was pressed – His real interested motivated and impacted by His interest wasn’t for temporary healing, but for the fulfillment of His messianic ministry to be the sacrifice for Sin and to leave behind a Church to carry and care for His mission.

Jesus was moved with compassion for the leper, touches him and makes him clean – to too is moved with compassion for us. His suffering death on the Cross was a sign of his interest in our healing and impact bypass our helpless plight.

Will we come to Jesus – plagued by the disease of sin that leads to death, and seek Him?

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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