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Summary: Int his text Jesus says come to me for compassion, forgiveness, and hope. Jesus says bring me your pain, your unhelathiness, and I will cleanse you. Come to me with your sins and I will forgive you.

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AN OFFER TOO GOOD TO REFUSE

Mark 1:40-2:17

INTRO:

I’m a sucker for offers “you can’t refuse.”

Examples: Bad tie, knife sharpeners, Bamix, Golf swing video, pocket PC (it should have been no surprise)..

I’ve had to learn not to believe such offers.

Even churches make such offers...

Prev: Today, though, Jesus is going to make us an offer that truly seems too good to be true. But it is true! It really does deliver what it promises. To discover what Jesus offers us, turn with me to Mark 1:40. Notice who comes to Jesus.

A. A Leper requests healing (40)

Leprosy - various skin diseases, incurable. Scribes said curing leprosy as difficult as raising the dead.

Physical suffering - rotting flesh, absence of pain

Social stigma - unclean; originally isolated, could attend synagogue, but had to sit behind a screen, humiliation.

Had to wear torn clothes, and cry out ‘unclean, unclean’

Deep physical and mental anguish.

The AIDS of its day...

A bold request (face to face), with humility. He had seen or heard of Jesus’ mighty works.

B. Jesus responds with compassion (41-42)

My typical response to the unlovely...

Let’s see how Jesus responds as I read vv. 41-42.

Jesus, not repulsed, was filled with compassion - tenderness.

Compassion that resulted in action.

Compassion = "deep pity"

My rare compassion seldom results in action...

Jesus’ compassion always results in action.

A gesture and a pronouncement:

He touched him - did what no other would do.

Also, did not hesitate to act in violation of ritual regulations when situation demanded it.

He cleansed him, willingly, immediately, totally.

Jesus did for him what no priest could do...

C. The Result (43-45)

Look at the results as I read vv. 43-45.

The Gag Order - "don’t tell anyone" - why?

* He didn’t want his identity revealed until the character of his mission was clear, to avoid Messianic misconceptions.

* He didn’t seek fame as a healer or miracle worker.

Different than our “commercial preachers.”

The Go Order - "go show the priest and sacrifice" - why?

* To make the cleansing "complete"

* To show he followed the Law

* To show priests he’s Messiah – testimony against them.

God has done something new! The surpassing nature of the salvation Jesus brings. The Law provided for ritual purification, but was powerless to actually purge the disease.

The ensuing public acclaim hindered his ability to enter other towns

This was an incredible demonstration of compassion!

I. JESUS INVITES US TO COME TO COMPASSION (40-45)

Maybe you don’t have leprosy, but you still need compassion.

Jesus Christ offers complete compassion – with action!

Not just sympathy…

He says “I am willing. Be clean!”

Bring to him the unhealthy stuff:

• stuff you’ve done

• stuff done to you (abuse, feelings of unworthiness)

Experience his compassion, which results in action!

Receive the compassion of Christ, and the cleansing - leprosy is an illustration of sin.

When re receive this compassion, it encourages us to show compassion. Ex:

Trans: Jesus offers us compassion, What else?

A. Jesus makes a correct diagnosis (1-5)


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