A Short Study of Mark 1:40-42
“A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.”
I have read this story more times than I can count. This time however, it hit me differently. I have found myself seeing certain stories I have read from the Bible differently than I have in the past, or seeing more than I did before. Here is my small study on this story.
“If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
The man in this story knew that Jesus could heal him. The man begged on his knees to Jesus to be cured. He humbled himself before Jesus and didn’t come demanding healing or full of pride. He put it all out there in public and before Jesus.
“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.”
Jesus had compassion for the sick man. Jesus has compassion for us, whether we’re sick or healthy. Jesus reached out his hand to the man. He touched and healed him. Jesus reaches to heal us. He reaches to his creation and helps us. Psalm 18:16 NIV, “HE reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters.” God cares for all of his creation. Even the one weak, sick man who was dirty and probably not attractive to look at.
“I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
Jesus is willing and wanting to help. He said to “Be clean!” with force and power. Creation listens and obeys his commands like in Mathew 8:23-27 NIV, “Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” God commands everything and everyone.
“Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.”
The leprosy obeyed Jesus immediately. Jesus is power. He heals in his timing. Jesus can do the impossible at will, his will and timing according to his plan. Psalm 57:2 NIV, “I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me.” God has a plan for all of us. His plans follow his way, his will, and his timing. The man’s healing showed others Jesus’ power and compassion.
The man humbled himself.
Mathew 23:12 NIV, “For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” The man humbled himself before Jesus. He asked if Jesus was willing to heal him. And he knew that Jesus had the power to heal him. The dictionary defines exalted as held in high regard. Our value and worth comes from God, our Creator.
He had faith that Jesus could heal him.
The man asked Jesus to heal him, knowing that ultimately it was Jesus’ choice. He doesn’t have to help us. He is not required to, but he does so out of love. Luke 11:9-10 NIV, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” The man had faith; he knew that Jesus could heal him. He literally walked up to Jesus and asked him for healing. Mathew 21:21-22 NIV, “Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” The full story about the fig tree is in Mathew 21:18-22 if you would like to read this for yourself. I think this man’s faith could have defiantly moved mountains!
Compassion Jesus has for us.
The dictionary defines compassion as: sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. Jesus had compassion for the man. At the beginning of verse 41 in scripture at the beginning of this article it says, “Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.” He cared that this man was suffering.
God cares about his creation.
“…Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Palm 24:1-2, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.” We’re God’s creation, he cares for us! He reaches down to save us, to take care of us. It is comforting to know that our Creator, as big as he is, cares for all of his creation. Including that one person in the world on their knees begging God for healing. And though God could easily force us to love him, he gives us the choice to follow him.
Jesus serves us.
“…I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” …” Jesus was born in a manger, grew up in the trade of a carpenter. He came and taught, healed, and served others. Leading by his actions, what we are supposed to do; serve and helping others.