Summary: Jesus has come to set us free from sin. Our worship will reflect that freedom. Studies in the Gospel of Mark
GLORIOUS FREEDOM Mark 1:40-45
“On New Years day 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was publicly stated, but it was not until December 18, 1865, that the Constitution made those convictions official. Though dead by then Lincoln still spoke. At last his dream was realized. The word swept across Capital Hill and down into the valleys of Virginia and the back roads of the Carolinas and even deeper into the plantations of Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Headlines on newspapers in virtually every state trumpeted the same message: “Slavery Legally Abolished.” And yet, something happened that many would never expected. The vast majority of the slaves in the South who were legally freed continued to live on as slaves. Most of them went right on liveing as though nothing had happened. Though free, the Blacks lived virtually unchanged lives throughout the Reconstruction period. I call that tragic. A war had been fought. A president had been assassinated. An amendment to the Constitution had now been signed into law. Once-enslaved men, women, and children were now legally emancipated. Yet amazingly, many continued living in fear and squalor.” Charles Swindoll, The Grace Awakening
Jesus major ministry was to set people free.
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me,
Because the Lord has anointed Me
To preach good tidings to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives,
And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
This is more than a story about a leper being healed. It is a illustration of the freedom God has for us through Jesus.
I. THE CONDITION v. 40
A. The condition of the Leper:
1. The Appearance
Leviticus describes the legislation Moses gave for leper:
“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ Lev. 13:45
2. The Aloneness
He shall be unclean. All the days he has the sore he shall be unclean. He is unclean, and he shall dwell alone; his dwelling shall be outside the camp. Lev. 13:46
3. The Ability: they could not live on their own. The were left to beg or get the scrapes that were left for them on the road.
B. This was truly a man in need of the Savior!
Leprosy was “the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man’s inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God” (Maclear’s Handbook O.T).
They were kept separate so the others could worship properly!
C. We come before God without Jesus as an unclean, depraved person.
D. Just as the leper could not cure his own problem, we cannot cure our condition.
E. His faith was in Jesus: “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”
F. We must have this same knowledge of our depravity and that Jesus is the only answer to our condition.