Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 17 October 2014

A man with leprosy came to him 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. Mark 1, verses 40-42.

Here in America, there are two stories that have been traveling around the internet this month.   Both are apparently true.   One is the story of a woman who is dying of cancer and has vowed to kill herself on November 1st.   She says she has nothing to live for and it is too painful to think of the physical agony that is dying of cancer.   The other story is about a letter a woman has written to the child in her womb: the child she is vowing to abort next week because the woman “isn’t ready to be your mommy.”   The letter says how the woman thinks the unborn child will be better off being aborted than being in a world where single Mommy would have to struggle just to make emotional and physical ends meet.

Let’s reserve judgment on woman; we sinners must judge not lest we be fairly judged in return.   Instead, let me ask you this:   do you think Jesus is indignant about your condition? Jesus was indignant about the condition of the man with leprosy  He wasn’t mad at the man himself. The man who had leprosy didn’t get leprosy because he was sinful:   he got it because it was leprosy.   The disease got him and not the other way around. The way it reads, Jesus was mad that one of His beloved was sick.

I’d be mad too if someone, a complete stranger to those around me, came up to me begging and expressing profound faith in me.   “If you are willing.” What a statement!   It’s like saying “I know you can do this, and I know that I’m not worth your time, and I know you have so many better things to do, but I believe in you because I know you are who people say you are.” Wouldn’t you be moved if someone said that to you?   Fully God yet fully man, Jesus was. Within seconds, Jesus touched the man and spoke, and the man’s years-long affliction was cured.

Jesus was angry, offended, PISSED OFF that the person He loved was afflicted by sin.

Getting back to the women in the news, perhaps Jesus is indignant about their condition as well.   It’s a terrible, horrible thing to see someone You love dying in a terrible, horrible way.   I wonder if that’s what Jesus feels for the dying woman.   And it’s an awful thing to see someone You love so much overtaken by fear and shame to the point that they want to kill the miracle You have entrusted to them.   It’s awful to watch people go through the spiritual, emotional, and physical agonies these women must be going through; again, let’s not jump to any other judgment.   They’re people in trouble and they need Jesus now more than ever. I’m wondering, then, if Jesus isn’t indignant over their predicaments, angry that His beloved are afflicted with sin and death.   Every time you or I sin, I wonder if the same thing isn’t true.

Lord, help me to avoid or turn back sin today, but when it happens, be indignant for me and love me.

Read the entire story in Mark 1.

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