v 41. Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
Just about the last thing any self-respecting Jew would have done would be to have touched a leper. The risk of infection was considered too great, and such contact would have brought ceremonial uncleanness. Jesus ignores all these trivial considerations because He was a man of compassion, ready to accept a leper, as well as heal him.
The question uppermost in the leper’s mind however was not about Jesus’ power to heal, but His willingness! “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” (v 40) Was Jesus willing to help this one leprosy-infected individual – did Jesus really care for this isolated and lonely sufferer?
He was not alone in thinking this way: it is a question that often arises in our minds even today. Am I really sufficiently significant as a person for Jesus to care about me? Of all the billions of people in the world does God really care about individuals? Back comes a resounding ‘YES!’ More than any hospital consultant or doctor, more than any one of my family, more than the Pastor of my church, and more than even my closest working colleague – you can write it in the biggest imaginable letters for all to see, God cares about you. This is how Peter puts it in 1 Peter 5:7 – Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
You need not doubt the power of the Creator, and nor need you doubt His willingness to care for you. But I can almost hear you going over in your mind all the niggling doubts and apparently bad experiences that have dogged your footsteps through life. There are so many ‘WHY’s?’, so many difficult events when God seemed a million miles away and everything was going wrong! Why did He allow that to happen? Or why did things turn out that way – surely it would have been better if ….
Learning to trust God’s care and submit to Him through every experience does not come easily to the many of us who worry our way through life. He sticks with us through the darkest of times so that when we emerge into the light our hearts beat a little quicker and our love grows a little deeper.
Sure – we don’t understand it all, but we hang in because we are assured that He cares about us.
What other examples of healing can you remember from Mark’s Gospel? Pause for a moment today and check your memory for other acts of healing.
Jesus was a caring Healer like no other.