But He said to them, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth.” And He was preaching in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and casting out demons.
Now a leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed. And He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” (Mark 38-44)
Jesus said he was “the way, and the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus has proclaimed not only that he is the truth and the life, but also that he is the way. Jesus lived on the earth as a man to show us the way to live. Jesus modeled how we should live and how we should minister to others. Our passage in Mark describes the way of Jesus with people.
The first thing we notice about the way of Jesus is that he is always searching for those who don’t yet have a relationship with him. Jesus is not satisfied with the found but is searching for the unfound. People are searching for authentic faith that works in their lives and Christ is the “hound of heaven” on a search to find and save them.
I believe most Americans today must rehear and resee the Gospel in action. The true gospel has been so obscured through commercialism and religious facades that most people today are blinded to the authenticity of true faith. Jesus is about to show us what authentic ministry looks like.
Jesus ministers with compassion—he identifies with the plight of the man, he “walks in his shoes” so to speak with a deep love. The identification of the man who comes to Jesus as “a leper” is not as precise as at first glance it may seem. Leprologists who have examined biblical data in Lev 13-14 feel certain that the biblical term “leprosy” is a collective noun designating a wide variety of skin disorders. But the stigma upon the leper was severe, with a collective attitude of disdain and distance. Jesus comes in the opposite spirit and pours out love for the man.
Jesus then touches the disease. Jesus broke the ceremonial and cultic law by touching someone who was unclean. The power of Jesus always flowed through touch. The way of Jesus is the way of embracing and physically touching others. Oh how we need such love today.
All of us need a touch of Jesus. The touch of Jesus comes through our love and compassion for others. Reach out today and touch a disease. Reach out today and embrace a struggle in another person’s life. This is the way of Jesus.
On the Road,