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Summary: With these words jesus shows us so much of the true nature of God: His love, compassion, willingness and reaching out to us.

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Jesus¡¦ words: ¡§I am willing, be clean!¡¨ Mk 1:40-45 WBC 22/2/4pm

If you¡¦re a parent here this morning you will relate to the many times our children slip over, or are covered with grime- and come to you crying, wanting 1) a hug 2) to be cleaned up

- remember this with AJ cycling 4 years ago

A hug and touch means so much. (my mum feels the same)

Seriously- it¡¦s incredible that we worship a loving and embracing Father through His Son.

- Jesus¡¦ words and deeds this morning show us that true nature/desire of God

UNCLEAN

The man who comes to Jesus is a leper.

- didn¡¦t always refer to what WE know as leprosy, but could

o social effects were the same- whether you had it or not

LEV 13:45 "The person with such an infectious disease must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, `Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp.

o Social isolation!

„X NOBODY would touch you

„X = torture. We are social animals (cf Archie)

„X 6 foot gap if upwind. More if downwind

„X couldn¡¦t go to temple or into town

Mother Teresa once said "the poorest of the poor are those who feel that they are unloved.

Once a leper , always a leper. Thought incurable (only +ve example up to now is Naaman the Syrian) 2 Ki 5

- shows this man¡¦s faith!

Whole stigma was different to any other illness

- other illnesses = ¡¥healed¡¦

- leprosy= ¡¥cleansed¡¦

o because there¡¦s a horrible unclean barrier between you, God¡¦s people, God¡¦s temple and society

So that¡¦s some of the spiritual and sociological stigmas¡K effects

- but don¡¦t be desensitised to just how physically objectionable it was

o Luke says this man was ¡¥covered all over¡¦ with leprosy

- Raw suppurating flesh. Nerves being eaten away. Digits missing

o (after research in India found that was because rats ate them at night- and they never knew)

- smell

So- get the context, here. In days of no/poor medical care

How would you feel if this person approached you for a hug?

How do we feel GOD feels about us when we come to Him with our stinking rags, unclean behaviour and brokenness?

COMPASSION

Interestingly- there is an old manuscript that has, in v41, ¡¥Jesus was filled with anger and reached out and touched the man¡¦

¡§Oh, yes, that¡¦s what I¡¦d expect from a human! After all¡¨

- the man is violating sacred law. Not allowed in public spaces¡¨

- ¡§the man is in danger of defiling the rabbi. Making Him unclean so He can¡¦t minister. Contaminating Him¡¨

OH NO!

- if ¡¥anger¡¦ is correct, here- it¡¦s not for THOSE reasons

- Jesus reached out and touched Him willingly

- > Jesus¡¦ anger is about the sheer hurt, rejection & brokenness in this man¡¦s life

o = how He reacted when He saw the Kingdom of darkness, Satan¡¦s work. Anger and hatred of it

Before I go on to say that the original word here, most likely, was ¡¥compassion¡¦- let me say something about the word ¡¥sympathy¡¦

- God is not inert¡K immutable¡K when you¡¦re raw, hurt and rejected

- Jesus was never ¡¥remote¡¦ emotionally to those who came to Him


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