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The Mark Study
Care for a Leper
Jesus can help. He can help you. So far in our study, we have seen this simple fact in everything he has done. He has calmed a storm, cured disease, cast out demons, raised others from the dead, and ultimately conquered even his own death. There can be no questioning that this news that Jesus is the Son of God is indeed "good news." With his miracles he proved that if you are afraid, miserable, desperate, and/or dead (in sin), he can help you! We have seen that if we are going to come face to face with the fact of Jesus' power and deity, we must listen to him. We have seen that he has the power to help and his word has the authority. It is his word that will help us survive when the storms come, help us from being judged in the last day, and give us the faith that causes us to get that help.
But what difference does all that make, if Jesus doesn't care? How much does he know about you? How much does he care about you, personally? How much does he love you? We will now start to notice that throughout his ministry, Jesus not only asserted to be the Son of God, but he also called himself the Son of Man. This is a reference to the fact that Jesus was human. Let's look at some of the events that showed just how human Jesus was. Because we know he has the power. Now we are going to see that Jesus can understand us, that Jesus can care.
PART 2: Jesus Can Care
Open your Bible with me to Mark 1:32. Read Mark 1:32-34.
What time of day is it?
What do you think people back then did when it became night time (no TV, no movies, etc)?
What is happening where Jesus is staying?
If you were Jesus, do you think you would have wanted to deal with this?
What do we learn about Jesus from this?
Now read verses 35-39.
In verse 35, how early is it?
Have you ever just wanted to get away from people and spend some time alone? Jesus did!
In verse 37, what happens?
How might you have felt if this happened to you?
What did Jesus do?
What do we learn about Jesus from this?
Have you ever felt stressed out? Totally hard-pressed? When you want to get away, but you can't? Based on what we just read, who understands how you feel?
Read verse 40. Keep in mind that not only was Jesus up late the night before helping people, but then he was up early that morning to spend some time alone, and now he has been preaching all day!
Who is this that comes to Jesus?
A leper is someone who has an incurable skin disease in which their body slowly decays. It is also a highly contagious disease, and for this reason, the lepers in Jesus' day lived away from everyone else, and their lives were characterized by loneliness and shame. If they ever were in an area of normal people, they were expected to cover their mouths with their hand and shout, "Unclean! Unclean!"
What does this leper say to Jesus?
There are many people today who are like this leper. They need Jesus' help so badly, and they know that he can help, but they are not sure if he will. They are not sure if he cares enough. Jesus not only can help, but he will!!!
Read verses 41-42.
What does Jesus do?
Do you think Jesus could have healed the leper without actually touching him?
It should be pretty obvious that Jesus' power is more than capable of healing this leper without touching him. And to touch the leper is to make yourself a likely victim of this contagious disease, which can spread through just touching an infected person. And yet, Jesus chooses to touch him!
Why do you think Jesus actually touched the leper?
It had probably been a really, really long time since this leper had been touched by anyone other than another leper. Perhaps the last time he had ever been hugged was by his wife or his kids, just before he learned that he had leprosy and had to leave them. By reaching out and touching this leper, Jesus made an incredible gesture to show how much he cares!
Do you think there are people today who feel like this leper did?
What would you do if you met a person with leprosy one day? What did Jesus do?... He cares!!! There is good news for everyone in the world who is an outcast or has a disease, and there is hope for all of us who need Jesus' cleansing touch in our lives to free us from sin... Jesus not only has the power, but he has the understanding. Jesus cares!