MARK 1:40-45 HEALED!
Jesus had been traveling all over the Galilee area, teaching and healing. In an age of very limited medicine, his healing brought great hope…and great crowds. A man covered with leprosy heard about Jesus. Leprosy was an infectious skin disease, so the man could not go to Jesus in a crowd. Lepers had to live away from their families and communities so the infection would not spread. They had no hope of going home because there was no cure. On this day, Jesus and his friends were alone on a road outside of town. The leper saw his chance and came near.
What have you learned about Jesus?
40 A man with leprosya came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” 41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. 43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrificesb that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Vocabulary and Background Notes
a. According to Jewish law, lepers were unclean. Anyone they touched also became unclean. There were rules for becoming clean again, but lepers had no hope of this.
b. Moses was a leader of the Jewish (Hebrew) people. God gave Moses his Law so the people would know how to live as God’s people. The Law provided forgiveness for sins through sacrifices. (A priest killed an animal or a bird to take the place of the guilty person.) Sacrifices were also used in a ceremony after someone was healed of an infectious skin disease. See Leviticus 14:2-31.
1. Read the Bible text together including the footnotes.
2. Take turns describing the scene (WHO-WHAT-WHEN-WHERE).
3. Tell the story to each other. (WHAT IS HAPPENING?)
4. Read it again, to yourself this time. Pay attention to the people, especially Jesus. What are they like? How do they interact with each other? Underline information and talk about it.
5. Did anything surprise you as you read? Take turns asking questions about the story. Not all the questions need answers.
1. The leper said, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” What did the man want? Why do you think he asked it in this way?
2. Jesus could heal with just a word, so why did he touch the man?
3. Jesus sent the man to the priest. What could the priest do for the man? What benefit would the priest receive from seeing the man healed? What happened instead?
4. Why do you think Jesus warned the man not to tell anyone? What happened instead? In what ways would the result be different if the man had obeyed Jesus?
Make It Personal
1. Do you see yourself in any of these characters? (Have you ever had similar attitudes or experiences?)
2. Can you relate this situation to one today? What lessons are there in this text for our lives?
3. What have you learned about Jesus from this text?
Take It Home
With one touch, Jesus communicated His love and power to this man. With one touch, Jesus gave him back his health, his self-respect, and his community. We all have difficult problems in our lives at times. If you met Jesus, what problem would you ask him to help you with? If he helped you, how would you respond?
“Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’” Mark 1:41