August 23, 2020

Jesus and the Leper

Passage: Mark 1:35-45
Service Type:

Consider the life of a man, this man [the leper]

Would we be able to live like this?
We have comfortable lives in comparison

Considering an incredible story – between Jesus and a leper

A historical event
A remarkable event – to heal from leprosy was astounding as raising the dead

We have read that Jesus healed many diseases and cast out many demons
Jesus touches and heals the leper

In the time of Christ to be a leper was the worst disease

A contagious condition
Lepers were shunned from society
Medically without hope
Religiously defiled
An abomination

Consider Leviticus

2 full chapters / 116 verses

Detection, diagnosis, cleansing, etc
This helps give us an idea of what it meant in Jewish antiquity

A medical and an ecclesiastical issue

Cast out from the synagogue
Unable to come to the Temple
Uncleanness that could be ‘transmitted’, requiring a time apart and a ritual offering
A life sentence
Ostracized and only permitted to have contact with other lepers

Lev 13:45-46
A symbol of sin and a sign of judgment from God

The law served to help contain an infectious disease
The law also functions to give us knowledge of sin
Leprosy is an image of sin

The leper:

Not told much about the leper

We can deduce that his leprosy was of the worst kind
He was desperate – he broke laws to fall at the feet of Jesus

Side note:

How had he heard of Christ?
He had hope in Jesus
He was determined to find Jesus Christ
His faith was such that he knew Jesus could heal him

This leper was driven to Christ

The degree of his condition
The truth of the person of Christ

His power was genuine (from God)

The Leper called Jesus ‘Lord’ (cf Matthew 8:1 & Luke 5:12) and knew He could heal him

Christian – is this how you were drawn to Christ?

Jesus Christ:

He was moved with compassion

There was nothing in the lepers appearance to move Him (infact it would have surely been the opposite)
Jesus was moved within Himself to heal the leper
This is the heart of Christ for all of us

Jesus touches the leper

Surely there would have been such a negative reaction from the people
Jesus could not be defiled
Immediately the leprosy was healed (v42)
This shows the Sovereign power of Christ

Jesus displays the merciful heart of God towards sinful man in a broken world

Jesus will not cast anyway – John 6:37
Our sins do not defile Christ
We are made clean in the power of His blood

He commands the leper

The true test of faith comes in obedience to Christ

A strict warning – v44

Faith in Christ demands servitude

Are we obedient to His word?

Give the offering to the priest

There is a cost to following Jesus

The leper disobeys

Jesus had difficulty in preaching the gospel
He put an obstacle in Christ’s preaching ministry
The gospel must be our priority

The leper was to present himself to the priest

He was to be a testimony
Our lives are to be a testimony to the world

Jesus came to take our place

Jesus took the ‘wilderness’ place of the leper – v45
Jesus knew this would happen yet He still healed the leper
Jesus saves us, even though He knows we are prone to disobeying Him
Jesus takes our place so that we can come into the throne room of God
Is Jesus your Lord?