11th October, 2012
BRUCE C. WEARNE
Read Mark 1:40-45
PICTURE: © Murali Nath/www.istockphoto.com
"The man didn't do what Jesus commanded. He took unnecessary risks and assumed others would take his word for it. He was so pleased to be healed that he ignored the Person who healed him. Jesus had stood with him, making the healing possible."
Jesus took two risks. First, He touched the man. Then, He sent the man off to do as the law required when a person was cleansed from leprosy. The man didn't do what Jesus commanded. He took unnecessary risks and assumed others would take his word for it. He was so pleased to be healed that he ignored the Person who healed him. Jesus had stood with him, making the healing possible.
Leprosy is contagious. That means that someone who has it can give it to you by touching you. There are many people suffering from such diseases. It’s good we have medicine but it’s terrible for people to have such terrible diseases. Pray about this. Do some web-research on leprosy. Find some organisations that care for those who suffer from leprosy.
First one leper met Jesus. When Jesus touched him there were two lepers. Jesus may have taken the man's disease away, but He had touched him and so Jesus had to face the consequences for His action. Now two people had to prove they were clean. Jesus might not have caught the disease, but He still had to prove that He had not caught it from the healed man. That was also why He wanted the man to go to the priest. When he didn't go, and didn't report back, Jesus had to stay out of town for a time, just as the law demanded.
So the healed man went home without getting the priest's report on his healing. This was dangerous. When he knocked at the door and shouted “I am healed!” his family and friends might have yelled back “Stay away or you’ll get a head full of rocks!” That was another reason to have a priest with him. If he said "It's OK. I have been healed by Jesus!" then he was not being really truthful. He was not doing what Jesus had told him to do. The man should have understood, but he made Jesus suffer from his risky behaviour. The leper asked to be healed; Jesus had not hesitated. He did not let the rules governing lepers and leprosy stop him from doing God’s will. He willingly took the man's disease upon Himself.
The healed man ignored His command and broke God's law. So Jesus had to do what the law required and stay outside the town limits for the required time. Mark tells us that even so, people still came out to him from all directions.
There may be miracles and healings, but the important thing for Jesus' disciples is to live obediently to His word, as free citizens of God's Kingdom. Miracles and healings can be dangerous; they can be fake. Genuine healing needs proof. Even if God heals someone there may still be disobedience that needs to be dealt with. Jesus was not taken by surprise by this. He knew the problems He was going to face.
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