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Mark 1:41

Posted 09/13/21, by Dan Vis

One of the questions that should absorb our attention in studying the life of Jesus, is that of His purpose. What was His motivating desire? What did He really come here to do?

Early in the very first chapter in the book of Mark, we get a hint at the answer to this question. To set the context, a leper had come to Him, "beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt thou canst make me clean" (Mark 1:40And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.). And then the verse I want to zoom in on today:

Mark 1:41
And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.

It's a powerful verse--expressing the heart cry of Jesus, and the motivation behind it. His desire was to see this afflicted man cleansed. And what drove Him was compassion.

It's a powerful metaphor of the grand purpose of Jesus, isn't it? Man afflicted with the leprosy of sin. Helpless, to cure himself. Jesus, moved with compassion, longing to deliver Him. So much so that He is compelled to reach out and touch the human race. To become one with us--so He could speak the words we need to hear.

It all makes me reflect on my own life. Do I see those around me struggling with issues as afflicted by a cursed disease? Does it move me to get involved, to serve them, to care for them? Am I willing to draw close to their life, and touch them with genuine spiritual cleansing? Do I even know how to help?

It seems to me we Christians are too often caught up in theological debate, to castigate and condemn those who don't share our precise doctrinal positions. And we don't have near enough of what drove Jesus. Not near enough compassion. Not near enough desire to heal.

The next verse shows the potential of a mindset like this: "As soon as [Jesus] had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed".

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Posted by Dan Vis on 09/15/21
It's always struck me as one of the more remarkable stories Qing, because Jesus went out of His way to communicate that the healing was His desire. "I will; be thou clean". Such powerful imagery for what the heart of Jesus must truly be like...
Posted by Qing Ling on 09/14/21
Thanks for this reflection Dan. I haven't considered this verse before from the context of putting myself in Jesus' shoes :)
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/14/21
:)
Posted by Laurie Wissink on 09/14/21
True. We need more compassion for others.
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/14/21
I'm sure we would accomplish much more if we did Kelly!

It's kind of ironic Valerie that sometimes those who are most critical of sin in others, are most guilty of failing to love one another--which is the greatest and most important of our commands. All sin is dangerous, for sure, but a lack of true compassion is a particularly serious problem... Thanks for highlighting that!
Posted by Kelly on 09/14/21
Let’s replace debate with service
Posted by Dan Vis on 09/13/21
Yes, that's a nice comparison. When our body is fully cleansed we are stronger and more resistant to infection. When Jesus fully cleanses our heart, we similarly more resistant to temptation. Nice post Jeannie!

I'm confident you are exactly right, Kathryn, that God does sometimes withhold blessings He would otherwise long to give us, because He is more intent on giving spiritual blessings, and sometimes those surface things might interfere with that process.
Posted by Kathryn D. Search on 09/13/21
Sometimes, we don't understand why Jesus doesn't always heal us completely. But He will sooner or later. What He is mostly interested in now is our soul cleansing, and some of the other problems we have may to help us with that. So He lets them remain. Whether we are healed physically now or at His coming is not the big issue. It is more important to get rid of all those besetting sins that still linger in our lives. They may even be small, but they are still sin, and He has power to free us from them, if we let Him.   
Posted by Jeannie Marcoux on 09/13/21
As I read, “I will, be thou clean.” It made me think of all the detox programs to cleanse the body for healing. Jesus is able to clean every whit of us. My immediate heart was, “Me too, Lord.”   


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