Thursday, January 12, 2012
Mark 1:40-45 The Messianic Secret, Jesus heals the Leper
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
"If you wish, you can make me clean."
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
"I do will it. Be made clean."
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, "See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them."
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.
In this passage we see a typical theme found in the Gospel of Mark, the Messianic Secret. Here Jesus touches the leper, something that was very taboo at the time and violated the Jewish Religious Law, and tells the leper not to tell anyone. Instantly the leper goes and tells everyone. This is a common theme found in the Gospel of Mark. The healing of this leper appears to be rooted in a historical event because touching a leper was inconsistent with the general attitude towards lepers while being consistent with Jesus' message of salvation.