Mark 1: 40-45: “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. (NLT Bible)
Lepers were the outcasts of ancient society, forced to live away from the general population. They were regarded then as some people with AIDS are regarded today. Furthermore, the Jewish religious customs prevented lepers from even joining into community with others of the same faith.
Leprosy is a terrible disease. It attacks the central nervous system, destroying the nerve endings, and can cause severe disfigurement through skin lesions. A cure for leprosy was unknown. Death was certain.
Sin is a lot like leprosy. It infects all people and is incurable. Our sin is the reason we are deteriorating. Our sin is also what is causing what is wrong in the world. The ugliness of our sin separates us from a holy and righteous God. As time goes on, we get worse and it eventually leads to our death. Like the leper, we are hopeless and helpless in our condition; we cannot heal ourselves.
The good news is that God has other plans for lepers and sinners. Jesus showed compassion towards the leper. Hearing his cry for help, Jesus unhesitatingly and without fear of religious or societal protocols, reached out and touched the leper, healing him.
God knows our sinful condition and has compassion for us as well. Though our morbid sinful state is repulsive in his sight, God has also reached out to us through Jesus. Instead of simply touching us with just his hand, our sin required that Jesus give himself up to be crucified on a cross, so that by the shedding of his blood, an atonement for our sin could be made. When Jesus declared from the cross “It is finished,” our sin dept was paid in full.
Not only does Jesus death on the cross make atonement for our sin, but Jesus resurrection from the dead proves that He has conquered death and hell. Jesus promised his believers that he was going to make a place for them in heaven.
The question for us today is: Like the leper, do we have the faith to come out from the shadows of our sinful state and the worry about what others may think, and boldly ask Jesus to heal us?
If you have faith that Jesus death paid the sacrifice for your sin, and you repent and believe, you can be healed of your sin like the leper was healed of leprosy. You can have a relationship with the Living God and have hope for the future in Eternity. Ask Jesus to heal you today.
Like the leper, it would not be surprising if you told others of your great joy in being healed. Please contact me if you would like to tell someone, or you have any questions or would like to discuss this Good News.