Thursday 12 October, 2017
40 A man who had a skin disease came to Jesus. On his knees he begged Jesus. He said, “If you are willing to make me ‘clean,’ you can do it.” 41 Jesus became angry. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing to do it,” Jesus said. “Be ‘clean’!” 42 Right away the disease left the man, and he was “clean.” 43 Jesus sent him away at once. He gave the man a strong warning. 44 “Don’t tell this to anyone,” he said. “Go and show yourself to the priest. Offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded. It will be a witness to the priest and the people that you are ‘clean.’ ” 45 But the man went out and started talking right away. He spread the news to everyone. So Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. He stayed outside in lonely places. But people still came to him from everywhere.
The leprous man came to Jesus begging for healing. The picture Mark paints is one of desperation.
At the same time this was an audacious request. Jews believed that only God could heal leprosy (see 2 Kings 5:1-14), so this request reflected the man’s understanding that Jesus had the power of God. The effect of his spreading the word of his healing was to put Jesus on a collision course with the religious leaders.
We know Jesus is more than another Elisha. He is God! This story is such an amazing revelation of the beautiful compassionate heart of God, that Jesus would reach out and touch the unclean man, when he need only have said the word and he would be healed. I wonder at the power of the healing he experienced – not just physical but psychological, touched after how long of being shunned by everyone.
Just as it was for the leprous man, Jesus’ heart is overflowing for me to be whole. The seen and unseen hurt or illness healed, life transformed.
“Jesus if you are willing, make me whole”. Transform my attitudes, my future, my guilt, my loneliness, my finances, my ill health.
Dear Jesus, I’m desperate for you. Your love overflows and cleanses me like it did for the man with leprosy. Your heart is full of compassion for me when I don’t deserve it. There aren’t enough words to thank you. Amen
Written to Claire Moore
The NIV version states that Jesus was “filled with compassion”. I believe this is more try of Christ’s character, and I do not understand this version describing Jesus as becoming angry. Thoughts anyone?
Some other versions say indignant. I think there is an element of anger in compassion. Anger about injustice. What was Jesus angry about? I don’t think he was angry at the man. Angry at the society who shunned the man or angry at the hypocrisy of others to not see their own unclean-ness or angry about the fact that acts of this sort of compassion will lead to the head on collision course with the religious leaders – possibly.
I love the thoughts here! The greek word σπλαγχνίζομαι “splagchnizomai” (What a cracker!) is what is being translated. All the Greek language tools that I can look up seem to have translated it to mean compassion. Interestingly, I am looking at the list of all the places in the new testament where this word is used and all of them are in the gospels and most of them are associated with Christ working a miracle. John doesnt use this word and Luke only uses it in his Gospel, not in Acts
Matt 9.36 – Christ had compassion on the crowds and healed every sickness and every disease
Matt 14:14 – When Jesus was followed into the wilderness he had compassion on them and healed the sick
Matt 15:32: – Jesus had compassion on the people before feeding the 4000 (and after healing people)
Matt:20:34 – Jesus had compassion on the blind before restoring sight
Mark 1:41 – This passage
Mark 6:34 – Feeding the 5000
Mark 8:2 – Feeding the 4000
Mark 9:22 – Jesus casts out the demon that can only be cast out by prayer and fasting
Luke 7:13 – Jesus resurrects the son of the widow of Nain
Jesus uses this word in 3 parables
Matt 18:27 – King forgives a debt of 10 thousand talents
Luke 10:33 – Parable of the good samaritan
Luke 15:19 Prodigal Son
There are a bunch of other greek words that are translated into the english word “compassion” so I wonder what this one has as a special meaning?
Great thoughts everyone – thanks Claire
Great elaboration of the passage Claire. And thanks Steve for asking a question that was on my lips.
Some of this stuff is not obvious. But when we work together asking God for His true meaning from the passage and calling on our scholars in Hebrew and Greek then we get to understand so much more of gods relationship with us. Thanks guys.