Year 2 Day 51
Read - Mark 1:40-54
Message - Alan Burke
Do you remember the days that people that weren’t in your bubble use to give you hugs or at least try anyway? Some of us are huggers, some of us aren’t, and for some of us those days can’t return quickly enough, while for others the longer social distancing remains the better. One of my dear friends isn’t a hugger, in fact before the pandemic hit if you got within 2 meters of him, he’d slowly back off just incase you were about to hug him. But since the pandemic, we have all experienced that, we have approached people only to see them back away, while others have approached us and we’ve backed away. People don't get to close and wont touch other people, they have been scared of the covid and then there is that moment when someone coughs and everyone scatters. In a limited way we have seen others as being unclean.
This man with leprosy was unclean. In effect what that meant was that everyone would have kept their distance, people would have saw him approaching and turned on their heals, crossed the street, avoid him. Actually they normally wouldn’t have had to, because if you had leprosy you had to live outside populated areas either with other leapers or alone. You were excluded in every way from society, this was like permanent quarantine but not in your own home, instead in a shack somewhere well removed from civilisation. You were excluded from every part of normal life and you were excluded from the worship of God, as lepers could not come to the temple (Lev. 13:45–46).
This man though comes to Jesus, begs him to make him clean. The fella goes against every social distancing regulation at the time, all to come to Jesus because he is in no doubt of Jesus’ ability to heal him. What we are told is that Jesus has compassion, and immediately he was healed. But look at the warning, first he is to tell no one, and then he is present himself to the priest to offer sacrifices. This was so the man could re enter the general population. We are not told if the man went to the priest, and he didn’t keep quiet, as a result news spread and Jesus was forced to the outside lonely places. Jesus and the man with leprosy exchanged places, the leprous man was once more able to re enter the general populous and Jesus was forced out.
Sin means that we cannot approach a holy God, we cannot come into his presence, but there is a great exchange that was made on our behalf. Our sin was placed on Jesus, his righteousness on us, our uncleanness for his cleanness. It means we can come before God the Father, as God the Son became the most vile sinner that ever was as he atoned for our sin, he became cursed so we could escape that curse, and his saving work is applied to us by the work of God the Spirit. Don’t loose sight of what our God has done for us who are unclean, wretched sinners, the exchange that has taken place.
Q60 How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?
The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, (Exod. 20:8,10, Exod. 16:25–28) even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; (Neh. 13:15–19) and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’ s worship, (Luke 4:16, Acts 20:7, Ps. 92, Isa. 66:23) except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy. (Matt. 12:1–31)