November 30, 2006

gospel according mark 1:40-45

Jesus cures leprosy



1:40 Then a leper came to Jesus, knelt in front of him and appealed to him, "If you want to, you can make me clean."

1:41 Jesus was filled with pity for him, and stretched out his hand and placed it on the leper, saying, "Of course I want to - be clean!"

1:42-44 At once the leprosy left him and he was quite clean. Jesus sent him away there and then with the strict injunction, "Mind you say nothing at all to anybody. Go straight off and show yourself to the priest, and make the offerings for your cleansing which Moses prescribed, as public proof of your recovery."

1:45 But he went off and began to talk a great deal about it in public, spreading his story far and wide. Consequently, it became impossible for Jesus to show his face in the towns and he had to stay outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from all quarters.

1 Comments:

At 1:10 PM, Blogger forrest said...

Odd things about this disease. It isn't what a modern doctor would diagnose as leprosy, hard to say how they would diagnose it.

It first shows up when Moses & Company have escaped Egypt, been to Sinai. Numbers 12:
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Miriam and Aaron spoke agains Moses because of the Cushite woman whom he had married, for he had married a Cushite woman, and they said, "Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us, also?" And the Lord heard it. Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all men who were on the face of the earth. And suddenly the Lord said to Moses and to Aaron and Miriam; "Come out, you three, to the tent of meeting."....

And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed; and when the cloud removed from over the tent, behold, Miriam was leprous, as white as snow....

And Moses cried to the Lord, "Heal her, oh God, I beseech thee!" But the Lord said to Moses, "If her father had but spit in her face, should she not be shamed seven days? Let her be shut up outside the camp seven days, and after that she may be brought in again." So Miriam was shut up outside the camp seven days, and the people did not set out on the march again until Miriam was brought in again...
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Everyone Jewish in Isreal was hearing this passage read to them once a year. To us "leprosy" means a yucky, barely-contagious but frightening disease. To them, it's a divine punishment for murmuring against the religous establishment. Which in their day is set under a High Priest appointed by the Romans, which probably causes no end of murmuring.

 

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