From Mark Copeland... Jesus Cleanses A Leper

                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                    Jesus Cleanses A Leper (1:40-45)


1. One of the more moving accounts of Jesus' miracles is that of
   cleansing a leper...
   a. Described by Mark in our text - Mk 1:40-45
   b. Also by Matthew and Luke in their gospels - Mt 8:2-4; Lk 5:12-14

2. There is much that can be gleaned from this miracle...
   a. About the compassion and power of our Lord Jesus Christ
   b. Not only toward the leper himself, but toward us as well!

[In this study, we shall note some similarities between the leper's
condition and cleansing, and that of our own condition and need for
cleansing.  As we begin with Mk 1:40, consider first...]


      1. Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases - ESV note
      2. Today it is often applied to Hanson's bacillus, a progressively
         disfiguring disease - BKC
      3. It is likely this man suffered a pitiful existence - ibid.
         a. Not just from the physical ravages of the disease
         b. But from ritual uncleanness and exclusion from society
            imposed by the Law of Moses - cf. Lev 13:44-46
      -- The leper was truly a wretched man

      1. What leprosy is to the body, so sin is to the soul!
      2. Sin progressively enslaves us - Jn 8:34; cf. Ro 7:14-24
      3. Sin separates us from God, and from His people - Isa 59:2; 1Co 5:11
      4. Sin is universal - Ro 3:23
      5. Sin leads to eternal death - Ro 6:23; Re 21:8
      -- As long as we remain guilty of sin, we are truly wretched!

[Should we ever see a leper, let us remember that without Christ our
condition is much worse!  The leper had heard of Jesus' power to heal,
and so he came to Him.  We next notice...]


   A. HIS CRY...
      1. It was earnest and desperate - "imploring Him"
      2. It was reverent - "kneeling down to Him"
      3. It was humble and submissive - "If You are willing"
      4. It was believing - "You can"
      5. It acknowledged need - "make me clean"
      6. It was specific - not "bless me" but "make me clean"
      7. It was personal - "make me clean"
      8. It was brief - five words in the original
      -- The leper gives us an instructive example of the prayer that
         God answers (BBC)

   B. OUR CRY...
      1. For forgiveness of sin is first made in baptism
         a. It is how we call upon the name of the Lord - Ac 2:21,37-41;
         b. For baptism is an appeal for a good conscience - 1Pe 3:21
            (ESV, NASB)
         c. Only through the blood of Christ can we truly purify our
            conscience - He 9:14
      2. For forgiveness of sin is then found through prayer
         a. As Peter counseled Simon after his baptism - Ac 8:13,22
         b. As John counseled his brethren in his epistle - 1Jn 1:9
      -- The gospel describes how we can make our appeal to Christ

[We have undoubtedly heard the gospel; have we made our appeal to
Christ? We next read of the wonderful compassion of our Lord as Mark


      1. Actuated by the Lord's compassion - cf. Mk 6:34; 9:36
      2. Accompanied by the touch of His hand - cf. Mk 1:31
      3. Accomplished as soon as the Lord spoke, "I am willing, be
         cleansed." - Mk 1:41-42
      -- Through a simple touch and with simple words, the leprosy was

      1. Actuated by God's love - 1Jn 4:9,10
      2. Accompanied by the blood of Jesus - Ep 1:7; 1Pe 1:18-19
      3. Accomplished when we are united with Jesus in baptism - Ro 6:
         3-7; Col 2:12-13
      -- Through a simple act of faith (immersion), our sins are washed

[The leper received his cleansing; have we received ours?  Finally, let
us note in Mk 1:43-45...]


      1. Sent away quickly with a strict warning - Mk 1:43
      2. Told to tell no one anything, but to show himself to the priest
         - Mk 1:44
         a. To offer what Moses commanded for his cleansing - cf. Lev 14:1-7
         b. As a testimony to them (of Jesus as the Messiah?) - 
            cf. Mt 11:5; Lk 7:22
      3. The leper failed to keep the commission given him - Mk 1:45
         a. Told to keep quiet, he proclaimed what happened so that news
            of it spread
         b. It forced Jesus away from cities, and forced people to find
            Him in deserted places
      -- With misdirected zeal, the leper hindered rather than helped
         Jesus and others

      1. Jesus gave His disciples a great commission
         a. To produce disciples of Christ- Mt 28:19-20
         b. To preach the gospel to every person - Mk 16:15-16
         c. To proclaim repentance and remission of sins to all nations
            - Lk 24:47
      2. The early church was faithful to that great commission
         a. Their words went out to the ends of the world - Ro 10:18
         b. The gospel had gone to all the world - Col 1:5-6
         c. It had been preached to every creature under heaven - Co
      3. What about the church today?
         a. Are we remaining faithful to that great commission?
         b. Or are we, like the leper, doing what we think best?
         c. Many have the church focusing on social rather than
            spiritual needs
      -- With misdirected zeal, are we hindering rather than helping
         Jesus and the lost?


1. The cleansing of the leper provides insight into...
   a. The compassion and power of our Lord Jesus Christ
   b. The humble faith needed to receive the benefits of such compassion
      and power
   c. The danger of misdirected zeal in hindering the cause of Christ

2. We may not suffer from leprosy, but we do face a much greater
   a. The spiritual disfigurement and isolation caused by sin
   b. Which requires the same compassion and power of Jesus
   c. Along with the same humility and faith to receive forgiveness

3. Once we have been cleansed of our sin, shall we not show proper
   a. By fulfilling the commission given to all His disciples?
   b. By directing our zeal in the same manner as did the early church?

May we learn from both the positive and negative examples of the

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker