And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. (Mark 1:40-42 ESV)
As we read the account of the leper in the first chapter of Mark, there are a couple things we can learn from it.
The first thing we can learn is how to come humbly to Jesus. We read that the leper came to Jesus with the words, “if you will.” There wasn’t a demand, but a humbleness in his asking to be made clean. It wasn’t for him to decide, but for God to decide, as with anything in our lives.
Unfortunately, there is teaching that God will bring healing if we ask with the right amount of faith. If this were the case, Jesus would have rebuked the leper for his “lack of faith.” We also read that the Apostle Paul asked God to take away his thorn in the flesh and God didn’t. (2 Corinthians 12:8)
Secondly, we learn more of the compassion of Jesus. Jesus could have easily just said the words “be clean.” Instead he reaches out his hand and touches the leper. Luke’s gospel record of this account says that the leper was “full of leprosy.” (Luke 5:12) This wasn’t a case of a few spots, but a body that was covered. He probably hardly resembled a man and was shunned from society. Yet, Jesus, who is God, reached out his hand and touched the man with compassion. What a beautiful sight this would have been to see!
As we study this scripture, let us learn to humbly come before God as the leper did. We can also learn to show compassion to those who are hurting and have been shunned from society as Jesus did.
Show the humbleness of the leper and the compassion of Jesus today.