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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)

Check out what happens as I read 2:1-4.

The house was packed out - standing room only

A group came, with 4 carrying a paralyzed man

Outside stair would give access to flat roof

They "unroofed" the place (poor Peter!)

See Jesus’ reaction as I read 2:5:

Jesus saw their actions as evidence of faith

What Jesus says seems inappropriate and irrelevant.

Relation of sin, sickness and death.

Jesus addressed his real, basic problem - sin.

Jesus makes a correct diagnosis.

The frustration and danger of misdiagnosis.

Jesus shows that a man can be whole only when sin has been healed by God’s forgiveness of sins.

B. Jesus gets a second opinion (6-7)

The man and his doctor - "you’re ugly, too."

Jesus gets a second opinion. Notice as I read vv. 6-7

Teachers were checking him out.

Oh my gosh! What did he say?

“God forgives you” is how it would be heard.

They object to his speaking for God.

An affront to the majesty and authority of God.

Messiah wasn’t supposed to forgive sins...

C. Jesus gives a demonstration of power (8-12)

Read vv. 8-12

If he could do one, he could do the other.

"Get Up" - nervousness

Shows forgiveness the unique perrogative of Son of Man.

Verse 10a Mark’s commentary to Christian readers...

Astonishment followed. They were startled, and recognized he had proved sins were forgiven. But didn’t recognize the authority of Jesus.

Jesus shows he’s more than a prophet.

The risen Christ still exercises the remission of sins.

II. JESUS INVITES US TO FIND THE FREEDOM OF FORGIVENESS (2:1-12)

Jesus offers forgiveness. He says to you “God forgives you.”

75% of institutionalized people could be released with forgiveness.

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