Friday, February 20, 2015

Jesus heals all kinds of diseases

2.20.2015 Friday                                            Mark 1:29-45 Jesus heals all kinds of diseases

Jesus begins His public ministry with healing both physical and mental illnesses. He does not allow the demons to reveal His divine identity. This will be revealed at the cross, when the centurion will confess Jesus as the Son of God.

Jesus ministered with a personal touch. He took Peter’s mother-in-law, who was sick with a fever, by the hand and “lifted her up.” He lifted her up to health. It was the lift of love and compassion for a sick one. Here we have not only compassion but also the power of Jesus to heal. Love always gives us a lift. A lift from sickness to health. From despair to hope. From sin to holiness. From death to life.

Jesus is for every person of every nation of ever race. No one had a monopoly on Jesus. We cannot keep Him to ourselves. Christ is as wide as the world. He heals all diseases. Vs 32 He preaches to all cities. Vs.38 He is sought by everyone. Vs.37 [2]

Jesus authenticates His authority by superhuman deeds. The healing of a leper is a cleansing. Like the exorcism of the man with an unclean spirit, Jesus heals a man with an unclean body. Naaman, the Syrian general, was healed of leprosy through the prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5:1-14). He would not have been cleansed if he had continued in his rage of protest and only when he controlled himself by dipping himself seven times in the Jordan was he headed. Likewise, there is self-discipline in the leper’s obeying Jesus’ command to report to the priests and make the necessary offering.

In Jesus’ day, leprosy was a dreaded incurable disease. Similar to AIDS in the early 1980’s. Because of modern medical science, leprosy, like smallpox, is no longer a scourge. Leprosy was considered a symbol of sin. In this sense, leprosy is relevant to this generation. Sin is an incurable “sickness unto death,” a dreadful, disfiguring terminal illness, for “the wages of sin is death.” To be saved from spiritual death requires a miracle by Christ, as was the miracle of healing a leper.[3]

In whom do you trust? Trust no one but Christ. He is the One sent from the Father. He is the One who has a clear message, “Repent, and believe in the Gospel.” (Mark 1:9)  He is the help of the helpless. We come to Him, as helpless, needy, guilty people who cannot have life with God apart from Him. We repent, and believe for He alone has a message of hope, good news He is the only one lost sinners will ever need.

Support us, O Lord, with your gracious favor through the fast we have begun; that as we observe it by bodily self-denial, so we may fulfill it with inner sincerity of heart; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.[4]

[1] Image by Ed Rioja © Higher Things
[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook Series B, John Brokhoff, © 1981 pp. 71-73 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[3] Lectionary Preaching Workbook, Series B, John Brokhoff, © 1981 pg. 76 CSS Publishing, Lima OH
[4] Collect for Friday after Ash Wednesday,

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