Jesus was upset by the need of a man suffering from the horrific illness of leprosy. He declares his willingness to help him and acts decisively in the man’s life by cleansing him and sending him to the temple to become officially part of the daily life and worship in Israel again.
Mark 1:40-45: A man with leprosy came to Jesus and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: “See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” 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.
What is strange about this passage is that Jesus warned him not to speak about this miracle that happened in his life. We are not given reasons for this instruction, but is it perhaps that Jesus is so aware of the urgency to proclaim the coming of his Kingdom and inviting people to enter into its saving grace and purification that he wants to tune down a mere miracle seeking crowd who did not first of all seek the love and mercy of his Kingdom?
Or was it perhaps a test for this man who received such a great gift and supernatural intervention from the Lord?
But the most important and thrilling element of this story is that the former leper “instead went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news.”
If Jesus reaches out to us, touches us, purifies us and restores our lives, we cannot remain silent. Even when told to do so by the Highest Authority!
Our timid nature, our need for privacy and our shyness when it comes to our relationship with God and our experience of his love cannot remain unaffected after an encounter of this magnitude with the Lord and Redeemer of our lives.
When we share the touch of Jesus of our lives, it results in “people looking for him from everywhere”.
How passionate are you about the saving grace of Christ in your life and how many people seek his Kingdom, simply because you cannot keep quiet about his divine mercy and interventions as you experience his grace?