Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings.

Reflective Bible Study.

Healing an Evangelist: Mark 1:40-45

Focus Passage: Mark 1:40-45 (NCV)Right near the beginning of Mark’s gospel, we find Jesus healing a man with a skin disease. This disease was serious enough that the man had been sent away from society to live among those who were sick. However the healing isn’t as significant in my mind as what Jesus tells the man to do after he was healed. Mark tells us that after healing the man, “Jesus told the man to go away at once, but he warned him strongly, ‘Don’t tell anyone about this. But go and show yourself to the priest. And offer the gift Moses commanded for people who are made well. This will show the people what I have done.’” (v. 43-44) What is odd about this request is that Jesus wants the man to keep it a secret – except that it really isn’t a “secret” secret, but it is more of a “subtle” secret. Jesus asks the man to go show himself to the priest and offer the gift of thanks for those who have been made well. Jesus wants the priests to be the first people who learn of this healing, and He wants the priests to declare the man clean again (i.e. free from disease). Jesus finishes by saying that the declaration from the priest regarding the man’s healing will “show the people what I have done.” (v. 44b) But the man did something different, and he was very effective with his methods. Mark tells us that “The man left there, but he began to tell everyone that Jesus had healed him, and so he spread the news about Jesus. As a result, Jesus could not enter a town if people saw him. He stayed in places where nobody lived, but people came to him from everywhere.” (v. 45) The man Jesus healed, probably on the way to see the priest, told everyone he could about Jesus and what Jesus had done for him. The man may have even taken some “detours” or longer routes to get to the priest so that he could share his story with more people. This man was so effective that Mark tells us Jesus couldn’t even enter a town if people recognized who He was. This man was an evangelist and he could not contain his joy from being healed. But I believe the man missed the message Jesus wanted to convey. While the healing was important, I believe Jesus wanted to send a subtle message to the priests that He did not come to stand against them or what they taught. Instead, He came to fulfill what the prophets had written about the coming Messiah. I believe Jesus wanted the priests to be the first people who were really aware of this healing. However, Mark records history happening differently, and while the priests did eventually learn of the healing, they may have heard it through messengers and rumors before having actually being told first hand by the man. One idea I see in Jesus’ request is the subtle request to try to win the priests over to Him. For the majority of His ministry, the religious leaders seemed to believe Jesus was against them, but this was never Jesus’ intent. I wonder what would have happened differently if this evangelist had been more subtle with his sharing – but then that might not have been possible because when Jesus has healed you, freed you, and/or redeemed you, the most natural thing to do is to tell others what He has done. This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Healing an Evangelist: Mark 1:40-45

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