4 Acts

“A leper came to Him, imploring Him, kneeling down to Him and saying to Him, ‘If You are willing, You can make me clean.’”—Mark 1:40 (NKJV)

We can break this next miracle into four acts. We see Act 1 above, which we can call “The Appeal.” We’re introduced to a man afflicted with leprosy, which was a virtual death sentence in that time. There were no known remedies for this disease which systematically broke down the human body, and those afflicted with it were absolutely desperate.

So, we understand why he approaches Jesus and appeals to be healed by Him. Watch what follows: “Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ As soon as He had spoken, immediately the leprosy left him, and he was cleansed” (Mark 1:41-42 NKJV).

Here in Act 2 we have “The Answer.” Jesus fully understood the plight of this man and His compassion coalesced with His power to miraculously heal him. His terminal condition is instantly reversed! A life devoid of hope was now basking in the newfound reality . . . Jesus had made him whole again. Which leads us to

Act 3: “He strictly warned him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them” (Mark 1:43-44 NKJV). Act 3 brings us to “The Command.” Jesus gives this man a very specific command. He was to go directly to the priest, share what had happened to him, and give an offering to God in accordance with Moses’ Law (Leviticus 14:3).

But that’s not what happens, which leads us to Act 4, “The Response.” “However, he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the matter, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter the city, but was outside in deserted places” (Mark 1:45 NKJV). Unfortunately, it isn’t an obedient response, because he does exactly what Jesus told him not to do by sharing what had happened with everyone he comes across. We can probably understand his enthusiasm, but his actions had an adverse effect on Christ’s ability to minister to the masses. This man was healed but he wasn’t obedient, and that mattered.

The emergent lesson for us is this: Obedience is the right response to the Lord’s touch upon our lives. When He miraculously heals us, be it physical, spiritual or otherwise, it’s not the end of the story. His miracles are often accompanied by commands, and our only right response is to walk in obedience.

DIG: What was the leper’s response to being healed and why did it matter?

DISCOVER: What lesson should we take away from this?

DO: Consider ways you can increase your own spiritual obedience.