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  • Writer's pictureDeborah

Beggars and Choosers


Mark 1:40-45 ESV

Beggars can’t be Choosers

Scripture has an interesting twist on the old saying beggars can’t be choosers.

We read in Mark 1:40-45, “And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter.”

The leper begged.

He implored Jesus to SEE him.

He kneeled and asked Jesus to heal him in an interesting way. Basically the leper said I know you can heal me. You can make me clean.

The leper had probably heard stories about others Jesus had healed.

The shocking element of the story is that at the time of Jesus lepers had been separated completely from society. Nothing was known about what caused leprosy and they were completely shunned and outcast. No one would touch a leper because they believed they were cursed and they did believe it was highly contagious.

Because lepers were shunned, it would have been shocking that the man left the leper colony and made a way for him to find Jesus.

It would have probably have caused great concern to Jesus’ disciples, that the leper approached him.

Knowing how bold and outspoken Peter was, I am a bit surprised that the leper was able to get close to Jesus. At that time they believed even being close to a leper was risky. The story of the leper in the first chapter of Mark took place after Jesus called Peter, Andrew, James and John but they are not mentioned when the helper approached Jesus.

It seems like the leper who left the colony and made his way through the crowds to get to Jesus was willing to take a chance in approaching Jesus.

The leper who went to Jesus boldly approached Him and kneeled down. That alone indicated he believed Jesus was unlike any other man. The leper was worshiping Jesus. He was showing complete surrender. Since this account was listed early in Jesus’ ministry it’s remarkable that the leper boldly proclaimed he KNEW Jesus could cleanse and heal him.

We know from the text that the leper’s genuine and faith-filled request moved Jesus.

As the healed leper left, Jesus told him to keep it a secret, but the leper nearly shouted it from the rooftops. He told everyone that Jesus healed him.

It’s possible that the leper was so excited that he was healed that he couldn’t contain the secret.

As a result, Jesus left and we know from Mark 1:45 that from then on He did not openly enter a town and He took His disciples to live in secluded places.

While the healing Jesus did was wonderful and marvelous, that clearly wasn’t Jesus’ main focus and message. Jesus was more concerned about the eternal relationship and message of God’s love and salvation. Jesus always pointed to the big picture.

Even today that is difficult for some to understand.

We have not seen eternity.

We know pieces of heaven from John’s revelation, but we cannot grasp what it’s really like to spend eternity with God. Sitting with God in heaven and receiving the fullness of His love through the Holy Spirit is not something the church often speaks about.

I do not remember a time when I heard a simple sermon about what heaven is really like.

Heaven: the fullness of God’s glory

Heaven: complete healing

Heaven: no sorrow or pain

Heaven: complete love

Heaven: perfect light

Heaven: knowing, really knowing the fullness of God

Heaven: no leprosy

Heaven: God the Father, God the Son, God the Spirit in perfect harmony

Spiritual Practice: Heaven

How would you describe heaven?

In God, Deborah


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