Mark 1: 40 -45 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.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 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.” 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.
Mark 2: 1 -22 Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
LIBERATING US FROM LEPROSY
Mark1:40-45 A Person with Leprosy is…
- Suffering-very badly
- Avoided-1st for self-defense, because you don’t want to catch this contagious disease that affects the skin, mucous membranes, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin and, in severe cases, disfigurement and deformities.
- Rejected as a social outcast -and metaphorically as a moral outcast.
- Leprosy affects mainly the skin, and nerves, causing discoloration and lumps on the skin mucous membranes. The first signs usually are patches on the skin, accompanied by a loss of sensation in the affected areas. Untreated, it’s the nerve damage that causes muscles to paralyze. The loss of feeling in the hands and feet, make people susceptible to injuries that can result in festering wounds or ulcers.
- Leprosy is thought to be transmitted through the air via droplets from the nose and mouth during close and frequent contact with untreated infectious individuals. Leprosy has a long incubation period of between 5 and 20 years. It is unknown, therefore, how many cases may be incubating.
- Leprosy is not hereditary, and over 99% of people have a natural immunity or resistance to it.
- Leprosy is AKA Hansen’s Disease, after Norwegian physician Gerhard H. A. Hansen (1841–1912), who in the 1930s discovered the causative agent of the disease, which is Mycobacterium leprae.
- Leprosy currently mainly is confined to tropical Africa and Asia, and less than 250,000 new cases of leprosy are diagnosed each year. Since the introduction of MDT in the early 1980s, some 16 million people around the world have been cured of the disease. Today, leprosy remains a public health problem in only one country. 1 However, many countries continue to see new cases of the disease.
- Leprosy is cured by multi-drug therapy (MDT), a highly effective treatment that became available in the early 1980s. MDT is a combination of three drugs—dapsone, clofazimine, and rifampicin— administered over a 6-to 12-month period. The first dose of MDT kills 99.9% of the microorganisms in the body that cause leprosy.
In Deut. 28: 15 -23 & Ex. 23: 25 Israel is promised immunity from diseases if it obeyed God’s law. Ex 23: 25 says, “You shall serve the LORD your God, and he a will bless your bread and your water, and I will take sickness away from among you.”
This means …
- Israel was the recipient of a special blessing -not transferrable to other entities / people of faith. (Applies to Israel only!)
- God spoke to Israel a general principle that applies to contemporary churches, so if we are completely obedient we will be disease free.
- Every blind, deaf, crippled, diseased Israeli was a witness to their failure to obey God.
- God’s healing power was only for people of the Old Testament.
In relation to praying for the sick, James 5: 14-15 says “IF” sin has been committed they will be forgiven, so…
IF “A” IS TRUE, THEN “C” MIGHT BE TRUE.
WHILE LEPROSY SYMBOLIZES THE CORRUPTION OF SIN, CONTRACTING THE DISEASE DOES NOT MEAN IT IS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE OF PERSONAL SIN.
God does give us promises that nations (people groups) who obey Him will be BLESSED & those that worship idols will be CURSED. Let’s explore this concept by turning in our Bibles to Duet 28.
LEPROSY SYMBOLIZES THE CORRUPTION OF SIN
DUETERONOMY 28 -The Leprosy In Our Land
Duet 28: 1-6 Obedience = Blessings In Your Cities and Fields, Pregnancies, Food & Provisions
Duet 28: 7-14 Obedience = Blessings In Your Nation’s Foreign Affairs, Your Environment & Work
Duet 28: 15 -24 Disobedience = Cursed Cities, in the Field, Your Womb & Health
Duet 28: 25-27 Disobedience = Cursed to be defeated & flee before enemies. (1×7 dynamics) We’ll be stricken with what appears boils, tumors and scabs and itch, which cannot be healed. (STDs?)
Duet 28: 28-35 Disobedience = Confusion & Groping because you can’t determine which direction to go. Forfeiture of Prosperity; Loss of Children 32Your sons and your daughters shall be given to another people, while your eyes look on and fail with longing for them all day long, but you shall be helpless. (Isn’t this what Common Core Education is doing to our children as they are being told to wear Burkhas to school, being desensitized to sexual sin, and taught anti-Biblical values?)
33 A nation that you have not known shall eat up the fruit of your ground and of all your labors, (Free Trade Bills. Think of the deceit: Rule of Thumb In Global Economy is move production to distribution & distribution to where the consumers are. America & the West are still the greatest stable consumer cultures. So why is production, which provides the highest paying jobs being shipped away from US?)
Duet 28: 36-44 Disobedience = 36Another nation’s values shall overrule, & you’ll worship idols. 38 inflation with eat up your efforts, so you’ll work harder to get much less. 43 the immigrant will rise higher than you.
Duet 28: 45-51 Destruction by Immigration Is What Is Taking Place In Europe & May Soon Be Here. It’s the proverbial “Eating You Out of House and Home” You will serve an enemy nation that will swoop down like the eagle, = rapidly overtake the land. They won’t speak your language (Press 2 for Spanish). They will be from a harsh culture and be 50 a hard-faced people who won’t respect the old nor show mercy to the young.
Duet 28: 52-57 The most civil will crack in the crisis and do terrible things to others.
Duet 28: 58-63 If we obey we get blessed, but disobedience will be accompanied by extraordinary afflictions that dramatically will decrease the population:
Duet 28: 64-68 If we disobey we get scattered to be terrorized by those who worship demon-idols, and who as a result reflect incredible torture and terror on its captives:
THE LOST LEPER TAKES A LEAP OF FAITH
Mark 1: 40-41 The Lost Leper Takes A Leap of Faith a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean” (= katharismos,a cleansing/purging). 41Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will;
The Leprous man expressed faith by …
- Living outside the city
- Breaking the rules to seek Jesus
- Expressing faith by saying “If Thou canst, Thou wilt;” (if you can, will you make me clean)
- Expressing faith by saying “If Thou wilt, Thou canst.” (I know you can, so will you make me clean.”)
B & D NOTE, THE MAN DID NOT ASK A QUESTION, BUT STATED
HE KNEW CHRIST COULD HEAL HIM.
Cleansing is the Lord’s provision for both sin and leprosy
THE LOST LEPER IS REDEEMED & CLEANED
Mark 1: 40-41 The Leper Once Was Lost But Now Is Found The Savior and the leper – 40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will;
- Richardson, M.A. says The Leprous man …
- Was painfully aware of his lost condition. -as a sinner comes to see his sin as disgrace and uncleanness before God. He realized his need.
- Understood the present opportunity to reach out to the Great Healer who was close by; (2 Cor 6:2 -“Behold now is the acceptable time; now is the day of salvation.”
- Plainly acknowledged the Lord’s position as a powerful healer and helper of the lost. He confessed his need and got the remedy.
- Upon confessing his need, he got cleansed -symbolic of being washed in the blood of the Lamb.
MAKING THE MOST OF THE MASTER’S MERCY
THE LEVITICUS LAW FOR CLEANSING LEPERS
Mark 1: 44 Jesus commanded the man to show himself to the Priest and go through the Levitical offering process for his cleansing as God instructed through Moses in Leviticus 14 because:
- The Lord wanted to demonstrate that He had not come to destroy even the ceremonial law, but to reveal Himself as the fulfillment of it. (Matt 5: 17)
- Through the priest the man would be accepted back into the community.
- It would prove the reality and completeness of Christ’s cleansing work.
- It was better for the man’s own spiritual life to go through the week-long process and cherish and contemplate what Christ now means to him. (The man is hyped about healing, but needs to become a disciple to point others to salvation.)
Lev 14: 4-5 The priest takes “2 birds alive and clean, cedar-wood, scarlet thread, and hyssop: These symbolize Christ who is alive and sinless, but who will die for us on a cross, and atone for us like during the Exodus Passover Israel dipped hyssop in the scarlet blood, and placed it on their doorways.
- One bird is slain for the leper in an earthen vessel over running water.” Christ is God incarnate in an earthen vessel, gives “living water.”
- The other bird, symbolically is resurrected after being dipped in the blood of the slain bird,
- Lev 14:10 -says the leper is to present an offering of “two he-lambs, without blemish”; and to remain at the door of the Tabernacle till the priest has offered these; and by the slaying of the lamb he gains access to the presence of God & His people in worship.
- Lev 14: 7-9 & 16 the priest sprinkles him seven times -the number to denote perfection. He was also to touch the tip of his right ear, to denote that that ear should be opened only to all that was pure. He was also to touch the thumb of the right hand, to teach that every act was to be consistent with his character. And upon the right foot, to show that he was to walk in God’s ways, so per Romans 12 he is to present himself, soul and body, a living sacrifice, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
THE BIG PICTURE OF OBEDIENCE
Mark 1: 43-45 God sees the context -the circumstances related to an event, so it is important that we obey.
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.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus no longer could openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.
When the cleansed leper spread the news about his healing…
- He neglected to make a “proof” to the priest, as indicated by the word “But”.
- The priest did not receive the testimony about Christ
- It limited Christ’s ability to walk around openly, due to crowds of wonder seekers clamoring for a sign.
- It made it more difficult for people to receive services from Christ.
RAISE THE ROOF -JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE!!! (1)
Mark 1: 29 & 2:1 Jesus Is In Simon-Peter’s House
29 And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Jesus healed Simon-Peter’s mother so she could SERVE
Mark 2:1 and again he entered into Capernaum, after somedays; and it was reported that he was in the house/ “at home”. So Simon-Peter’s home had become Jesus’s home.
If you rented or loaned your house to a motorcycle gang or a drug dealer, do you think it might have an outcome that effects the building? (Would a gun fight, or fist fights possibly damage the walls, windows, etc.?)
Well having Jesus in your house is going to have some outcomes too.
RAISE THE ROOF -JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE!!! (2)
Mark 2: 2-4 What Happens When Jesus Hits Your House
2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay.
When Jesus hits your house, you may experience
- loss of privacy – as many were gathered together
- loss of convenience – as there was no more room, not even at the door
- an amazing unleashing of God’s Word – as Jesus was preaching the word to them
- You risk what the other guests may do – like the four men carrying a paralytic removed the roof!
RAISE THE ROOF -JESUS IS IN THE HOUSE!!! (3)
Mark 2: 5-12 For the paralytic to be healed there had to be 4 follow throughs of faith:
For the paralytic to be healed there had to be 4 follow throughs of faith:
- Vss 3-4 the 4 men had faith to remove a roof to reach Christ (Imagine you are a maintenance man in a school, and you come to work on Monday to discover that a roof had been broken into. Even if it was for a good cause, there are some significant consequences to having that done.)
- Peter had faith to entrust his roof to God
- In vs 5, When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven & in Vs 11 He says “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”
- The paralytic had to exercise faith and pick up his bedroll and walk. I wonder if he was wobbly. What would have happened if Christ healed him, but he thought, “Well I haven’t walked in 20 years, so why should I start now?
SUMMARY LIBERATING US FROM LEPROSY
Mark 1: 40-45 Jesus was moved with pity (compassionate, tender care for those with the tremendously debilitating disease of Leprosy -he healed 10 at once in Luke 17: 11 -14
The leprosy in our land can be healed if we dare to:
- Believe Christ is who He says He is & exercise the faith of the leper.
- By belief we bound into the harvest field where souls are led to Christ. We need to be used of God to:
- Reach people so Christ makes a difference in their lives and families.
- Make enough disciples to make a difference in our church, our communities, our congressional districts, our state and our nation.
- Risk our reputation to identify with Christ. Reputation is:
- What others think of us.
- What we think others think of us.
- Can be far more debilitating than the reality. Often others are not thinking what we think they are thinking.
- For some of us this means to a) Come to Christ, and for others it means to b) Stand up and be accounted for in Christ.
- It requires risks we go to work in the healing field. We risk praying for people, befriending the outcast, associating with the socially inept, etc.
- COMMIT ALL – trusting God knows what to do with it better than we do.One must commit all to be effective on the battle field, where culture is transformed by those who advocate for Christians to publicly express faith in Christ.
God may You work such faith, commitment, discipline, and obedience in us so we can believe you more, love you more than our reputations of what others think of us, and completely commit our way to You so You can direct and use us to participate effectively on Your Harvest field, Your Healing field, and Your Battle field. In Jesus Name we pray! Amen!!!
To view the recorded service on YouTube, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hLyE57WXBY