Compassion

I haven’t written in a while… not because I haven’t wanted to or because I’ve had nothing to say.  On the contrary, I have plenty to write, but no time to carve out to write it.  But I hope to remedy that now.

I love the Bible.  It is my absolute favorite book.  I may have a bit of an obsession with it, as now I have close to ten of them.  Each one is very different and very cherished; and I am well on my way to having read through each one.  For Christmas, my brother gave me a Keyword Study Bible and I am digging deeper than I ever have before.  I am loving my time in the Word and I have to often tear myself away just to do life.

I am currently reading through the New Testament, one chapter at a time. I am in the book of Mark. Each day I read the chapter, I choose a verse or verses to ponder more deeply, and I write them out.  I highlight words or phrases that stand out to me and even look up the words in Greek to try and get a better understanding of the emphasis or severity of each word.  I circle commands that might pop up and think deeply on how I can follow these in my own life.  I ask myself who? What? When? Where? Why? and How? to try and get a better understanding of the context of the verses.  I look for the big idea of the text and try to put it in my own words.  And I end with asking God to reveal to me how I can apply these words to my life and draw nearer to Him.  It takes me a while each day, but I am loving it!!

Today, I want to share the big idea I gleaned from Mark 1: 40-42.

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

41 Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.

If you are unfamiliar with leprosy, it is a skin disease that is still around today.  People get sores all over their body and as it attacks the skin, it kills off parts of the body causing the leper to lose fingers or toes or worse.  The body gives off a stench of death and the sores are most unattractive.  Today there is a treatment and a cure… but you can imagine in biblical times that these people were considered unclean and were social outcasts.

This man fell to his knees in front of Jesus and begged him to heal him.  He knew by faith that Jesus could… but he wasn’t sure if Jesus was willing.  After all, the man was a leper.  He had been deserted by all who once cared for him.  He probably hadn’t experienced human touch in ages.

I absolutely love what my Jesus does next.  Jesus could have healed him immediately by just saying the word.  I mean, Jesus didn’t even have to be present to heal people!  His commands, his words have power!!  But the Bible says he was “filled with compassion” and he reached out and touched the man before he healed him.  He touched him! He did not worry over infectious disease.  He did not cringe at the sight of the man or keep a safe distance.  He reached out and made contact with a man who hadn’t felt touch in ages and then he said the word to heal him.

The Big Idea:

In this time of new year resolutions, many resolve to grow closer to God or become a better person.  But they often think– wrongly, I might add– that they have to clean up their lives before they can ask Jesus in.  They have to make improvements before Jesus will accept them.  It’s like when I know the cleaning lady is coming but I have to clean up before she comes so that she won’t judge me!!

Friends, Jesus wants to meet you right where you are.  He’s not there to judge you, He is there to help you and to love you and to guide you.  He showed compassion to the leper and touched him in his lowest and weakest state.  He is waiting to offer that same compassion to you! Ask Him in. Invite Him into your mess so that He can begin to guide you and help you clean it up.  You definitely cannot do it on your own!

He is willing.  Are you?

 

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