Mark 1:40
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
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(40-43) And there came a leper.—See Notes on Matthew 8:1-4. The miracle appears in St. Matthew as following closely on the Sermon on the Mount.

Mark 1:40-44. And there came a leper, &c. — Concerning the miracle recorded in these verses, see the notes on Matthew 8:2-4.

1:40-45 We have here Christ's cleansing of a leper. It teaches us to apply to the Saviour with great humility, and with full submission to his will, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, without any doubt of Christ's readiness to help the distressed. See also what to expect from Christ; that according to our faith it shall be to us. The poor leper said, If thou wilt. Christ readily wills favours to those who readily refer themselves to his will. Christ would have nothing done that looked like seeking praise of the people. But no reasons now exist why we should hesitate to spread the praises of Christ.And there came a leper ... - See the notes at Matthew 8:1-4.

Kneeling down to him - He kneeled and inclined his face to the ground, in token of deep humiliation and earnest entreaty. Compare Luke 5:12.

If thou wilt - This was an acknowledgment of the almighty power of Jesus, and an appeal to his benevolence.

Make me clean - You (Jesus) can heal me of this loathsome and offensive disease, in the eye of the law justly regarded as "unclean," and render me "legally" clean, and restore me to the privileges of the congregation.

And Jesus ...touched him - It was by the law considered as unclean to touch a leprous man. See Numbers 5:2. The fact that Jesus touched him was evidence that the requisite power had been already put forth to heal him; that Jesus regarded him as already clean.

I will - Here was a most manifest proof of his divine power. None but God can work a miracle; yet Jesus does it by his "own will" - by an exertion of his own power. Therefore, Jesus is divine.

See thou say nothing to any man - The law of Moses required that a man who was healed of the leprosy should be pronounced clean by the priest before he could be admitted again to the privileges of the congregation, Leviticus 14. Christ, though he had cleansed him, yet required him to be obedient to the law of the land - to go at once to the priest, and not to make delay by stopping to converse about his being healed. It was also possible that, if he did not go at once, evil-minded men would go before him and prejudice the priest, and prevent his declaring the healing to be thorough because it was done by Jesus. It was of further importance that "the priest" should pronounce it to be a genuine cure, that there might be no cavils among the Jews against its being a real miracle.

Offer for thy cleansing those things ... - Two birds, and cedar-wood, and scarlet, and hyssop; and after eight days, two he-lambs, without blemish, and one ewe-lamb, and fine flour, and oil, Leviticus 14:4, Leviticus 14:10.

For a testimony unto them - Not to the priest, but to the people, that they may have evidence that it is a real cure. The testimony of the priest on the subject would be decisive.

Mr 1:40-45. Healing of a Leper. ( = Mt 8:1-4; Lu 5:12-16).

See on [1405]Mt 8:1-4.

Ver. 40-45. We before had this piece of history, in Matthew, See Poole on "Matthew 8:2" See Poole on "Matthew 8:3" See Poole on "Matthew 8:4", we shall also meet with it hereafter in Luke 5:14,15. Our Lord being moved with compassion, or affected in his bowels, (as the word signifies), is often used as expressive of the cause of his acts of mercy: thus in curing the leper, he at once both showed himself the Son of man, one who could have compassion on our infirmities, and indeed could not but have such a commiseration toward mankind; and the Son of God, that he could in an instant, by a touch, or by the word of his power, command off a disease of so difficult cure. For his charging of him to say nothing to any man, we are not able to give a perfect account of it, whether it was to avoid a suspicion of ostentation, or to avoid a throng of company pressing upon him, or to avoid the odium which he knew the doing of these mighty works would bring him under with the scribes and Pharisees, until the time came for the fuller revelation of himself. Much less can we tell how to excuse the leper for doing contrary to this charge, which we find many others to have done who had the like charge, yet we read not of our Saviour’s blaming them for it. Mark addeth, that his publication of it caused that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places; by which is to be understood only places less inhabited; some think, places near the shore, where by going into a ship (as he often did) he could more easily quit himself of the throng of people, for (as it followeth) they came to him from every quarter.

And there came a leper to him,.... After he was come down from a certain mountain, in Galilee, where he had been preaching to the people, Matthew 8:1, and when be was in a certain city, Luke 5:12, either Capernaum, or some other city of Galilee. This man was full of leprosy, as Luke says, and very probably deemed incurable; of the nature and symptoms of the leprosy; see Gill on Luke 5:12,

beseeching him; to cure him of his leprosy:

and kneeling down to him; in token of submission, respect, and reverence, and to worship him:

and saying unto him, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean; See Gill on Matthew 8:2. Mark omits the word "Lord".

{12} And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

(12) By healing the leprous he shows that he came for this reason: to wipe out the sins of the world with his touch.

Mark 1:40-45. Comp. on Matthew 8:2-4, where this history follows immediately after the sermon on the Mount, and that in a shorter, more comprehensive form in accordance with Mark. In Luke (Mark 5:12 ff.) the narrative of the draught of fishes is previously inserted.

γονυπετῶν αὐτόν] see on Matthew 17:14.

Mark 1:41.[60] ΣΠΛΑΓΧΝΙΣΘ.] subordinated to the participle ἘΚΤΕΊΝΑς; see Winer, p. 308 [E. T. 433]; Dissen, ad Dem. de Cor. p. 249.

Mark 1:42. ἀπῆλθεν ἀπʼ αὐτοῦ] so also Luke. But he has omitted the following Κ. ἘΚΑΘΑΡ., to which Matthew has adhered.

Mark 1:43. ἘΜΒΡΙΜΗΣΆΜ. ΑὐΤῷ after He had been angry at him, wrathfully addressed him (comp. Mark 14:5, and on Matthew 9:30). We are to conceive of a vehement begone now! away hence! With this is connected also the forcible ἐξέβαλεν. Observe the peculiar way in which Mark depicts how Jesus with very earnest zeal desired and urged the departure of the man that was healed. Moreover, the statement that the cure took place in a house (ἐξέβαλεν) is peculiar to Mark, who in the entire narrative is very original and cannot be following the colourless narrative of Luke (Bleek). It is true that, according to Leviticus 13:46, comp. Numbers 5:2, lepers were forbidden to enter into a house belonging to other people (see Ewald in loc., and Alterth. p. 180); but the impulse towards Jesus and His aid caused the sick man to break through the barrier of the law, whence, moreover, may be explained the hurried and vehement deportment of Jesus.

Mark 1:44. As to the prohibition, see on Matthew 8:4, and on Mark 5:43.

The prefixing of σεαυτόν (thyself) is in keeping with the emotion, with which the withdrawal of the person is required.

περὶ τοῦ καθαρ. σου on account of thy cleansing, i.e. in order to become Levitically clean.

Mark 1:45. Comp. Luke 5:15 f. Mark has peculiar matter.

ἐξελθών] from the house. Comp. Mark 1:43.

ἬΡΞΑΤΟ] ΕὐΓΝΏΜΩΝ ὪΝ Ὁ ΛΕΠΡῸς, ΟὐΚ ἨΝΈΣΧΕΤΟ ΣΙΓῇ ΚΑΛΎΨΑΙ ΤῊΝ ΕὐΕΡΓΕΣΊΑΝ, Euthymius Zigabenus. The beginning of this breach of the imposed silence is made prominent.

τὸν λόγον] Euthymius Zigabenus: ὋΝ ΕἼΡΗΚΕΝ ΑὐΤῷ Ὁ ΧΡΙΣΤῸς, ΔΗΛΑΔῊ ΤῸ ΘΈΛΩ, ΚΑΘΑΡΊΣΘΗΤΙ. So also Fritzsche. But Mark, in order to be intelligible, must have led men to this by a more precise designation pointing back to it. It is the story, i.e. the narrative of the occurrence (Luther appropriately has the history), not: the matter (so usually; even de Wette and Bleek), which λόγος in the N. T. never directly means (not even at Mark 2:2, Mark 8:32; Luke 1:4; Acts 10:36); as, indeed, also in classical writers (see Wolf, ad Dem. Lept. p. 277) it never absolutely means the matter in itself, but the point spoken of, the state of things that is under discussion, or the like. As to the distinction between λόγος and ΦΉΜΗ, see Bremi, ad Isocr. Paneg. p. 32.

μηκέτι] no longer, as He could hitherto.

ΔΎΝΑΣΘΑΙ] moral possibility, if, namely, He would not occasion any tumult.

ΚΑΊ] not: and yet (Kuinoel, de Wette, Bleek, and others), but the simple and. Instead of going publicly into the city, He was outside in solitary places, and people came to Him from all quarters. A simple account of what was connected with His sojourn in the solitude; He did not withdraw from this concourse, but He would not excite any sensation in the city.

[60] If the leper had come to Jesus when he was already substantially healed, as Schenkel in spite of ver. 45 thinks probable, what charlatanry would the Lord have been practising at ver. 41 f.! And yet, even according to Schenkel (p. 373), Mark is assumed to have had the narrative from the mouth of Peter.

Mark 1:40-45. The leper (Matthew 8:1-4; Luke 5:12-16).

40–45. Cleansing of a Leper

40. there came] Better, there cometh, in the present tense. See Introduction, p. 19.

a leper] One afflicted with the most terrible of all maladies, “a living death, a poisoning of the springs, a corrupting of all the humours, of life; a dissolution little by little of the whole body, so that one limb after another actually decayed and fell away.” The Jews called it “the Finger of God,” and emphatically “the Stroke;” they never expected to cure it (see 2 Kings 5:7). With lip covered (Ezekiel 24:17), and bare head (Leviticus 14:8-9), and rent garments, the leper bore about with him the emblems of mortality, “himself a dreadful parable of death.” Compare the cases of Moses (Exodus 4:6), Miriam (Numbers 12:10), Naaman (2 Kings 5:1), Gehazi (2 Kings 5:27).

kneeling down to him] St Mark alone describes this attitude of the leper, as also the look of compassion which beamed forth from the face of the Lord, spoken of in the next verse.

Verse 40. - The healing of the leper is recorded in all the three synoptic Gospels; but St. Mark gives more full details. From St. Matthew we learn that it took place after the sermon on the mount; and yet not at the very close of his missionary circuit, St. Luke (Luke 5:12) says that the diseased man was "full of leprosy" (πλήρης λέπρας). The disorder was fully developed; it had spread over his whole body; he was leprous from head to foot. This leprosy was designed to be specially typical of the disease of sin. It was not infectious. It was not because it was either infectious or contagious that the leper was bidden under the Jewish Law to wars others off, in the words," Unclean! un-clean!" It was in some cases hereditary. It was a very revolting disease. It was a poisoning of the springs of life. It was a living death. It was incurable by any human art or skill. It was the awful sign of sin reaching unto death; and it was cured, as sin is cured, only by the mercy and favor of God. No wonder, then, that our Lord specially displayed his power over this terrible disease, that he might thus prove his power over the still worse malady of sin. St. Mark here tells us that this leper knelt down (καὶ γονυπετῶν). St. Matthew says (Matthew 8:2) that he "worshipped him," (προσεκύνει αὐτῷ); St. Luke says (Luke 5:12) that "he fell on his face" (πεσὼν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον). We thus see that the scriptural idea of worship is associated with some lowly posture of the body. But with this worship of the body, the leper offered also the homage of the soul. His prostration of himself before Christ was not merely a rendering of honor to an earthly being; it was a rendering of reverence to a Divine Being. For he does not say to him, "If thou wilt ask of God, he will give it thee;" but he says, "If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." It is as though he said, "I know that thou art of equal power with the Father, and therefore supreme Lord over diseases; so that by thy word alone thou canst remove this leprosy from me. I ask, therefore, that thou wouldst be willing to do this, and then I know that the thing is done." The leper had faith in the Divine power of Christ, partly out of his own inward illumination, and partly by the evidence of the miracles which Christ had already wrought. If thou wilt, thou east. Observe the hypothetic expression, "If thou wilt." He has no doubt as to Christ's power, but the words, "If thou wilt" show that his desire for healing was controlled by resignation to the will of God. For bodily diseases are often necessary for the health of the soul; and this God knows, though man knows it not. Therefore, in asking for earthly blessings, it behoves us to resign ourselves to the will and wisdom of God. Mark 1:40
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