Friday, March 28, 2014

Jesus Touched the Unclean, Unwanted, Unloved, Rejected and Mistreated Man (A Reflection on Mark 1:40-45)

A man suffering from a dreaded skin decease came to Jesus, knelt down,
and begged him for help, ‘If you want to,’ he said, ‘you can make me clean.’
Jesus was filled with pity, and stretched out his hand and touched him.
I do want to,’ he answered. ‘Be clean!’
At once the disease left the man, and he was clean” (Mark 1:40-42, GNB).

Leprosy deformities hands
In another translation the man was “a leper(ESV). Leprosy is “a dreaded skin decease” that makes the people during Jesus’ time physically suffers. Not only that, they are considered as social and religious outcast. They are classified as unclean which also includes unwanted, unloved, rejected and mistreated (Do you know? There is a National Leprosy Control Centre (NLCC) built in Sungai Buloh, Selangor).

In this story, the man came to Jesus. Kneeling and begging for Jesus’ mercy. He doesn’t force Jesus to heal him. He simply asked “If you want to” (not like our demanding Jesus-you-must kind of prayer). Was he trying his luck? Was he really having faith in God? I don’t know. But I’m sure he was desperate and believes that somehow Jesus was able to heal him. What is Jesus’ respond? “Jesus was filled with pity” (Mark 1:41) or “moved with compassion(NKJV). Jesus probably “was indignant(NIV) too due to the disease that had so ruined the man’s life.

Another shocking respond that I observed here, something that I surely wouldn’t have done, is that Jesus “stretched out his hand and TOUCHED him”! Touch the ugly, skin disease leper? People who saw this act of compassion would have been (more) shocked to see Jesus touch the man. I think, the man himself also shocked because for so long nobody dare to touch him like Jesus do. The Man of God touched the unclean. The Son of God “became a human being” and “lived among us” (John 1:14) and touch our lives. I don’t know about you, but I really desperate for this kind of God, God who is not only sovereign and powerful, but personal and keep-in-touch. Lord, and yet Friend. Master and also Brother. God who loves us to called Him Father. Jesus is what the world need today!

Now if you had experienced such compassion and love in your own lives, you wouldn’t be surprise to read that: “the man went away and began to spread the news everywhere” (Mark 1:45). Of course he will do… How about you?
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