Mark 1:41
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. "I am willing," He said, "Be clean."
Sermons
Christ's TouchAlexander MaclarenMark 1:41
Can and WillH. Smith., Quesnel.Mark 1:40-45
Christ Touches Corruption Without TaintA. McLaren, D. D.Mark 1:40-45
Christ's Mission a Protest Against DeathDr. Parker.Mark 1:40-45
Christ's Pity Shown More in Deeds than in WordsR. W. Dale, LL. D.Mark 1:40-45
Christ's Relation to Human SufferingA. G. Churchill.Mark 1:40-45
Christ's Saving TouchJ. G. Greenhough, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
Christ's TouchA. McLaren, D. D.Mark 1:40-45
Cleansed by ChristSunday School TimesMark 1:40-45
Cleansing of the LeperExpository OutlinesMark 1:40-45
LeprosyR. Glover.Mark 1:40-45
Leprosy a Symbol of SinAnon.Mark 1:40-45
Reasons for Silence Respecting Christ's MiraclesG. Petter., R. Glover.Mark 1:40-45
Show Thyself to the PriestDean Plumptre.Mark 1:40-45
The Approach of a Needy Life to ChristJ. S. Exell, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The Cleansing of the LeperW. G. Barrett.Mark 1:40-45
The Cleansing of the LeperJ. Richardson, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The Cleansing of the LeperT. Whitelaw, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The Cleansing of the LeperR. Green Mark 1:40-45
The Cure of a LeperJ.J. Given Mark 1:40-45
The Cured Leper Still RebelliousD. Davies, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The Judicious Reserve Which Should Characterize the Speech of the Newly ConvertedJ. S. Exell, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The LeperE. Johnson Mark 1:40-45
The Leper CleansedDr. Parker.Mark 1:40-45
The Leper's PetitionA.F. Muir Mark 1:40-45
The Leper's PrayerR. Glover.Mark 1:40-45
The Method of Spiritual Salvation IllustratedJ. Parker, D. D.Mark 1:40-45
The Saviour and the LeperAndrew A. Bonar.Mark 1:40-45
The Use of Personal ContactJ. G. Greenhough, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
The World's Treatment of Lepers, and Christ'sJ. G. Greenhough, M. A.Mark 1:40-45
Unostentatious PhilanthropyJ. S. Exell, M. A.Mark 1:40-45

I. THE GENERAL WORK OF CHRIST, WHEN IT IS KNOWN, ENCOURAGES THE MOST FORLORN AND DESPERATE. (Cf. ver. 39.) The nature of leprosy and the law concerning it.

II. SINCERE FAITH, EVEN WHEN IMPERFECT, EVER MEETS WITH THE SYMPATHY AND HELP OF CHRIST. "If thou wilt, thou canst." He believed in his power, but was uncertain as to his willingness. The spirit of the Saviour was therefore concealed from him. Yet Christ answered his prayer. (There is no evidence that the leper identified the will with the power.)

III. CHRIST'S METHOD OF RESTORATION IS ADAPTED TO THE SPECIAL MORAL CONDITION OF THE SUBJECT OF HIS MERCY. It was his sympathy and willingness that had to be demonstrated to the poor leper. This is done by the assurance, "I will;" and the touch (braving ceremonial defilement and physical repugnance). So, in saving men from their sins, their defects of character and experience are met by special revelations and mercies. A complete and perfect faith in Christ is the evidence and guarantee of perfect salvation.

IV. SPECIAL EXPERIENCES OF DIVINE GRACE DO NOT FREE FROM LESSER DUTIES, BUT RATHER INCREASE THEIR OBLIGATION. The Law was to be honored. Civil and religious obligations were enjoined. There was a public use in the rules that were imposed, and it was well they should be observed.

V. MERCY MAY BE RECEIVED WITHOUT ITS OBLIGATIONS BEING FULLY REALIZED OR OBSERVED. The leper was cured, but not perfectly. He had not learned the obedience of faith. His inattention to Christ's request created a serious inconvenience and hindrance in prosecuting the work of salvation amongst others. Those who have received benefits from Christ should attend implicitly to all that he enjoins. "Ye are my friends, if ye do the things Which I command you" (John 15:14). The spiritual blessings of Christ are dependent on perfect subjection to his will. - M.







And there came a leper to Him, beseeching Him.
I. HIS DISEASE.

II. HIS APPLICATION.

1. We have here an intelligent appreciation of Christ as the Healer.

2. We have an instance of genuine earnestness.

3. We see here the marks of true humility.

4. A sample of prayer for a special gift.

5. But here is illustrated a very unworthy conception of Christ's love.

III. HIS CURE — "Jesus spake and it was done."

1. His method bears proof of Divinity — "I will, be thou clean."

2. The cure was instantaneous.

3. It was complete.

4. The cure must have been welcome.

IV. HIS OBLIGATION.

1. That obligation covered the whole area of his life.

2. The healer always becomes the sovereign. He who commanded the disease, commanded the patient also.

3. The requirement of Christ was founded in solid reason.

4. The obligation involved public acknowledgment and substantial gift.

V. HIS CONTUMACY.

1. Complete redemption is not obtained until the will is subdued.

2. This man's contumacy was thoughtless.

3. This contumacy was fraught with disastrous effects.

(D. Davies, M. A.)

I. THE DEEP NEED OF THIS MAN'S LIFE — "And there came a leper unto Him."

1. It was a need that filled the life of this man with intense misery.

2. It was a need from which no human remedy could give relief.

3. It was a need that brought him into immediate contact with Christ.

II. THE MANNER IN WHICH THIS NEEDY LIFE APPROACHED THE SAVIOUR.

1. His appeal to Christ was characterized by a truthful apprehension of his need.

2. His appeal to Christ was characterized by an acknowledgment of the Divine sovereignty.

3. His appeal to Christ was characterized by great earnestness.

4. His appeal to Christ was characterized by deep humility.

5. His appeal to Christ was characterized by simple faith.

III. THE RESPONSE WHICH THE APPEAL OF THIS NEEDY LIFE AWAKENED IN THE BENEFICENT HEART OF CHRIST.

1. It awakened tender compassion.

2. It received the touch of Divine power.

3. It attained a welcome and effective cure.Lessons:

1. That it is well for a needy life to approach Christ.

2. That a needy life should approach Christ with humility and faith.

3. The marvellous way in which Christ can supply the need of man.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

I. Whatever Diviner and sacreder aspect there may be in these incidents, the first thing, and, in some senses, the most precious thing in them is that THEY ARE THE NATURAL EXPRESSION OF A TRULY HUMAN TENDERNESS AND COMPASSION. It is the love of Christ Himself — spontaneous, instinctive — without the thought of anything but the suffering it sees — which gushes out and leads Him to put forth His hand to the outcast beggars and lepers. True pity instinctively leads us to seek to come near those who are its objects. Christ's pity is shown by His touch to have this true characteristic of true pity, that it overcomes disgust; He is not turned away by the shining whiteness of the leprosy. Christ loves us, and will not be turned from His compassion by our most loathsome foulness.

II. We may regard the touch AS THE MEDIUM OF HIS MIRACULOUS POWER. There is a royal variety in the method of our Lord's miracles; some are wrought at a distance, some by a word or touch. The true cause in every case is His own bare will. But this use of Christ's touch, as apparent means for conveying His miraculous power, illustrates a principle which is exemplified in all His revelation, namely, the employment, in condescension to men's weakness, of outward means as the apparent vehicles of His spiritual power. Sacraments, outward ceremonies, forms of worship, are vehicles which the Divine Spirit uses in order to bring His gifts to the hearts and the minds of men. They are like the touch of Christ which heals, not by any virtue in itself, apart from His will which chooses to make it the apparent medium of healing. All these externals are nothing, as the pipes of an organ are nothing, until His breath is breathed through them, and then the flood of sweet sound pours out. Do not despise the material vehicles and the outward helps which Christ uses for the communication of His healing and His life, but remember that the help that is done upon earth, He does it all Himself.

III. Consider Christ's touch AS A SHADOW AND SYMBOL OF THE VERY HEART OF HIS WORK. Christ's touch was a Priest's touch. He lays His hand on corruption and is not tainted. It becomes purity. This was His work in the world — laying hold of the outcast — His sympathy leading to His identification of Himself with us in our misery. That sympathetic life-long touch is put forth once for all in His incarnation and death. Let our touch answer to His; let the hand of faith grasp Him.

IV. We may look upon these incidents as being A PATTERN FOR US. We must be content to take lepers by the hand, to let the outcast feel the warmth of our loving grasp if we would draw them into the Father's house.

(A. McLaren, D. D.)

Just as He touches the leper and is unpolluted, or the fever patient and receives no contagion, or the dead and draws no chill of mortality into His warm hand, so He becomes like His brethren in all things, yet without sin. Being found in the likeness of sinful flesh, He knows no sin, but wears His manhood unpolluted, and dwells among men blameless and harmless, the Son of God, without rebuke. Like a sunbeam passing through foul water untarnished and unstained; or like some sweet Spring rising in the midst of the salt sea, which yet retains its freshness and pours it over the surrounding bitterness, so Christ takes upon Himself our nature and lays hold of our stained hands with the hand that continues pure while it grasps us, and will make us purer if we grasp it.

(A. McLaren, D. D.)

I. Let us put together the FACTS of the case.

II. The principal LESSONS suggested by this narrative.

1. Here is an illustration of the good effects of speaking about religious truth in connection with Christ. The fame of Christ was spread abroad throughout Syria, and found its way to the leper.

2. That doubts are no reason why we should not go to Christ — "Lord, if thou wilt," etc.

3. That no possible circumstances ought to prevent our going to Christ for salvation.

4. Christ's love and willingness to save is the great idea of the gospel.

(W. G. Barrett.)

Sunday School Times.
A nun in an Italian convent once dreamed that an angel opened her spiritual eyes, and she saw all men as they were. They seemed so full of uncleanness that she shrank back from them in horror. But just then Jesus Christ appeared among them with bleeding wounds, and the nun saw that whoever pressed forward and touched the blood of Jesus, at once became white as snow. It is so in everyday life. It was Jesus who cleansed that reformed drunkard from the stain of his sin. Years ago he was poor and ragged and unclean. Today he is clean and healthy and well dressed; the grace of Christ has been manifested in the cleansing of the outer as well as of the inner man.

(Sunday School Times.)

Expository Outlines.
I. THE PITIABLE OBJECT THAT IS WERE PRESENTED. The malady was one of the most distressing that ever seized a human being. It was usually regarded as produced by the immediate agency of the Most High. The rules prescribed for its treatment were very minute and stringent. Among the many immunities with which we are favoured in this happy land, may be reckoned the entire absence of leprosy. But if bodily leprosy is unknown among us, spiritual leprosy is not.

1. It was hereditary.

2. A representation of sin in the consequences with which it was attended.

II. THE APPLICATION WHICH HE MADE.

1. It was earnest.

2. It was humble.

3. It expressed great confidence in the Saviour's ability.

4. It indicated some doubt of His willingness to exert the power He possessed.

III. THE RESPONSE HE MET WITH.

1. The emotion which the Saviour felt — "Moved with compassion."

2. The act He performed — "Put forth His hand, and touched him."

3. The words He uttered — "I will; be thou clean."

4. The effect produced — "The leprosy departed from him."

IV. THE DIRECTIONS HE RECEIVED.

1. These instructions were necessary. The law enjoined that the priest should pronounce the leper clean before he could enjoy the privileges — whether social, civil, or religious — of which he had been deprived.

2. However needful these instructions may have been, the restored leper, in the fulness of his joy and gratitude, was unable to comply with them. See the ability of Christ to save. A personal application to Him is necessary.

(Expository Outlines.)

Christ presented to us in three aspects.

I. AS A WORKER — "He stretched forth His hand and touched him." This act was —

1. Natural. The means employed were in harmony with His nature as a human being. Christ felt His oneness with the race.

2. Profound. A common thing apparently, yet who can tell what power was in that "touch." Doubtless there was the communication of a power invisible to human eyes.

3. Beneficent. Here we have the cure of an incurable.

4. Prompt. The earnest appeal obtained an immediate response. This was characteristic of Christ.

II. AS A SPEAKER. "And saith," etc. This shows —

1. His Divine authority — "I will." Such a fiat could have come only from the lips of a Divine person — "Never man spake," etc., "With authority He commandeth," etc. (ver. 28).

2. His consciousness of power. Christ fully knew what power He possessed. Not so with man; consequently how much latent energy lies dormant in the Church of Christ.

3. His possession of power — "Be thou made clean." At the unfaltering tones of Christ's voice all diseases fled.

III. AS A HEALER — "And straightway the leprosy departed," etc. This healing was —

1. Instantaneous.

2. Perfect.

(A. G. Churchill.)

No one afflicted with this loathsome disease was allowed to enter the gates of any city. In this case, however, the man's misery and earnestness led him to make a dangerous experiment. Persuaded of the Lord's power to heal; longing to put it to the test; almost sure of His willingness; he will rush into the city, and ere ever the angry people have had time to recover from their astonishment at his boldness, he hopes to find himself cured and whole at the feet of Jesus. There was both daring and doubting in his action. The man's earnestness is seen further in his manner.

1. He KNELT before the Lord, and next fell on his face — his attitude giving emphasis to his words.

2. He BESOUGHT Jesus — in fear, in doubt, in secret dread lest the Lord should see some reason for withholding the boon he craved, but yet in faith. And his faith was great. He did not, like Martha, consider Christ's power as needing to be sought from God; he believed it to be lodged already in Christ's person; and he also believed His power to be great enough to reach even his case, although as yet no leper had received healing from Christ.

3. His faith was REWARDED. Jesus touched him — no pollution passing from the leper to Him, but healing going from Him to the leper.

4. Instantly the leprosy departed. Nothing is a barrier to the Lord's will and power.

(Andrew A. Bonar.)

As to this disease observe: heat, dryness, and dust, predispose to diseases of the skin everywhere, and all these causes are especially operative in Syria. Insufficient food assists their action; and boils and sores are apt to fester and poison the system. Leprosy is a disease found over a large tract of the world's surface; it is found all round the shores of the Mediterranean, from Syria to Spain, in a virulent form, and in North and South Africa. It was carried to various countries in Europe by those who returned from the crusades, and became prevalent even in England, in the times when our forefathers had no butcher meat in winter but what was salted, and little vegetable diet with it. In a form less virulent than in Palestine, it exists in Norway, where the government supports several hospitals for lepers, and seeks to prevent the spread of the disease by requiring all afflicted with it to live — unmarried — in one or other of these. Probably, salt fish in Norway forms the too exclusive food of the poor, as it also probably did in Palestine in the time of Christ. Mrs. Brassey found it in the islands of the Pacific. It is so common in India that when Lord Lawrence took formal possession of Oude, he made the people promise not to burn their widows nor slay their children (the girls), nor bury alive their lepers. It was a loathsome disease, eating away the joints, enfeebling the strength, producing diseases of the lungs, almost always fatal, though taking years to kill. It was the one disease which the Mosaic law treated as unclean; perhaps, as being the chief disease, God wished to indicate that all outward misery had originally its root in sin. He that was afflicted with it had to live apart from his fellows, and to cry out "unclean" when any came near him; often, therefore, could do no work, but had to live on charity. He was not permitted to enter a synagogue unless a part were specially railed off for him, and then he must be the first to enter and the last to quit the place. It was as fatal as consumption is with us; much more painful; loathsome as well, infecting the spirits with melancholy, and cutting the sufferer off from tender sympathies and ministries when he most needed them.

(R. Glover.)

This prayer is very remarkable. For observe —

I. THE CASE WOULD SEEM ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS. Many could feel that for a Lordly spirit like Christ's to have control over evil spirits was natural, but would have held the cure of a leper an impossibility; for the disease, being one of the blood, infected the whole system! If onlookers might so think, how much more the leper himself! Every organ of his body infected deeply, how wonderful that he could have any hope. But he believes this great miracle a possibility. Yet note —

II. HIS PRAYER IS WONDERFULLY CALM. In deepest earnest he kneels. But there is no wildness nor excitement. Mark also —

III. HOW A GREAT LAW OF COMPENSATION RUNS THROUGH OUR LIVES, and somehow those most grievously afflicted are often those most helped to pray and trust. I once saw a leper at Genadenthal in South Africa — an old woman. "Tell him," said she to the doctor, who took me to see her, "I am very thankful for my disease; it is the way the Lord took to bring me to Himself." This man had had the same sort of compensation, and while the outward man was perishing the inward man was being renewed day by day. Copy his prayer, and ask for mercies though they seem to be sheer impossibilities.

(R. Glover.)

It is an old answer, that from can to will, no argument followeth. The leper did not say unto Christ, "If Thou canst, Thou wilt;" but, "If Thou wilt, Thou canst."

(H. Smith.)

I. The cure of our souls is the pure effect of the goodness and free mercy of God.

II. Jesus Christ performs it by a sovereign authority.

III. His sacred humanity is the instrument of the Divine operation in our hearts.

IV. It is by His will that His merits are applied to us. Fear, for He does not put forth His healing hand and touch all; hope, for He very frequently puts it forth, and touches the most miserable.

(Quesnel.)

You remember the story of the leper which the poet Swinburne has woven into one of his most beautiful, most painfully realistic, poems. He tells about a lady at the French Court in the Middle Ages, who was stricken with leprosy. She had been courted, flattered, idolized, and almost worshipped for her wit and beauty by the king, princes, and all the royal train, until she was smitten with leprosy. Then her very lovers hunted her forth as a banned and God-forsaken thing; every door in the great city of Paris was slammed in her face; no one would give her a drop of water or piece of bread; the very children spat in her face, and fled from her as a pestilential thing, until a poor clerk, who had loved the great lady a long way off, and had never spoken to her until then, took her to his house for pity's sake, and nursed her until she died, and he was cast out and cursed himself by all the religious world for doing it. That was what the leper had become in the Middle Ages, and something like that he was among the Jews of our Saviour's time, hated by men because believed to be hated by God, carrying in his flesh and skin the very marks of God's anger, contempt, and scorn, the foulest thing on God's fair earth, whose presence meant defilement, and whom to touch was sin. That was the thing that lay at Christ's feet, and on which that pure, gentle hand was laid. He stretched forth His hand and touched him, and said, "I will, be thou clean;" and straightway his leprosy was cleansed.

(J. G. Greenhough, M. A.)

I. THE WONDERFUL WAY IS WHICH CHRIST KINDLED HOPE IN THESE DESPERATE WRETCHES. He helped men to believe in themselves as well as in Himself. We cannot see how it was done. Nothing had been said or done to give this confidence in his recoverability, yet he has it. You can show a man in a score of ways, without telling him in so many words, that you do not despair of him. A glance of the eye is enough for that. The first step in saving the lost is to persuade them that they are not God-abandoned.

II. CHRIST'S TOUCH. Christ saved men by touching them. He was always touching men, their hands, eyes, ears, lips. He did not send His salvation; He brought it. Gifts demoralize men unless we give part of ourselves with them.

(J. G. Greenhough, M. A.)

Our gifts only demoralize men unless we give part of ourselves along with them. Even a dog is demoralized it you always throw bones to it instead of giving them out of your hand. You breathe a bit of humanity into the dog by letting it lick your hand, and it would almost rather do that than eat your bone. What have we done to save men when we have sent them our charities? Almost nothing. We have filled their stomachs, indeed, and lightened their material wants, but have sent their souls still empty away.

(J. G. Greenhough, M. A.)

There are in this case elements which ought to be found in any man who is suffering from soul disease and defilement.

I. A PAINFUL CONSCIOUSNESS OF HIS TRUE POSITION. He looked at his leprosy; felt its pain; knew its disabling uncleanness. The sinner sees his sin as disgrace, a danger, and a disgust.

II. A PROPER SENSE OF HIS PRESENT OPPORTUNITY. Great Healer was approaching; Lord of love and pity was here; representative of heaven passed by. He was drawn to Jesus; prostrate before Jesus; urgent upon Jesus. A present decision; a present acceptance; a present salvation.

III. A PLAIN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF THE LORD'S POWER. "Thou canst;" I can't; others can't; but Thou canst, I know it, because Thou hast cleansed others; hast power to cleanse; hast come forth to cleanse.

IV. A PRESSING URGENCY CONCERNING THE LORD'S PLEASURE. "If Thou wilt." Perhaps I am too vile. It may be my sorrow may plead. In any case I will take my refusal only from Thee. Observe —

1. The leper makes no prayer. Readiness to receive is in itself a prayer. Uttered prayer may be no deeper than the mouth; unuttered prayer may be evidence of the opened heart.

2. The leper raises no difficulty. He comes — worships — confesses his faith — puts himself in the Lord's hands.

3. The leper has no hesitation as to what he needs — "Slake me clean." As to whom he trusts — "Thou canst." As to how he comes — "A leper." Misery in the presence of mercy — humility pleading with grace — faith appealing to faithfulness — helplessness worshipping at the feet of power. Such is a leper before the Lord. Such is a sinner before the Saviour. Such should we be to this day of grace.

(J. Richardson, M. A.)

I. The leper put himself UNRESERVEDLY in the hands of the Healer.

II. Christ instantly gave PRACTICAL EXPRESSION TO HIS OWN DEEP PITY.

III. THE COMPLETENESS OF CHRIST'S CURE.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

I. FROM A SMALL BEGINNING IT SPREADS OVER THE ENTIRE MAN.

II. ITS CURE IS BEYOND THE REACH OF HUMAN SKILL OR NATURAL REMEDIES.

III. IT IS PAINFUL, LOATHSOME, DEGRADING, AND FATAL.

IV. IT SEPARATES ITS VICTIM FROM THE PURE AND DRIVES HIM INTO ASSOCIATION WITH THE IMPURE.

V. IT IS A FOE TO RELIGIOUS PRIVILEGES.

IV. IT CAN RE REMEDIED BY THE INTERPOSITION OF GOD.

(Anon.)

I doubt whether Christ ever said anything about the Divine compassion more pathetic or more perfectly beautiful than had been said by the writer of the 103rd Psalm. It is not in the words of Christ that we find a fuller and deeper revelation of the Divine compassion, but in His deeds. "And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth His hand and touched him," touched the man from whom his very kindred had shrunk. It was the first time that the leper had felt the warmth and pressure of a human hand since his loathsome disease came upon him. And said, "I will, be thou clean."

(R. W. Dale, LL. D.)

I.Sorrow turns instinctively to the supernatural.

II.Christ is never deaf to sorrow's cry.

III.Christ is superior alike to material contamination and legal restriction.

(Dr. Parker.)

Every healed man was Christ's living protest against death. The mere fact of the miracle was but a syllable in Christ's magnificent doctrine of life. Christ's mission may be summed up in the word — Life; the devil's, in the word — Death; so that every recovered limb, every opened eye, every purified leper, was a confirmation of His statement, "I have come that they might have life."

(Dr. Parker.)

I. A melancholy PICTURE to be studied.

II. An excellent EXAMPLE to be copied.

1. He made his application in the proper quarter. He "came to Jesus."

2. He made his application in the right way.

3. He made his application in the proper spirit, "kneeling."

III. A sweet ENCOURAGEMENT to be taken.

IV. A necessary DUTY to be performed. Silence and the offering of sacrifice. Gratitude; penitence; consecration.

V. An uncommon MISTAKE to be avoided. "He began to blaze abroad the matter."

(T. Whitelaw, M. A.)

Our Lord did not mean that the man should keep it only to himself, and that he should not at all make it known to any; for He knew that it was fit His miracles should be known, that by them His Divine power and the truth of His doctrine might be manifested to the world; and therefore we read that at another time He was willing a miracle of His should be made known (Mark 5:19). But Christ's purpose here is to restrain him —

I. From publishing this miracle rashly or unadvisedly, and in an indiscreet manner.

II. From revealing it to such persons as were likely to cavil or take exceptions at it.

III. From publishing it at that time, which was unfit and unseasonable —(1) Because Christ was yet in the state of His abasement, and was so to continue till the time of His resurrection, and His Divine glory was to be manifested by degrees till then, and not all at once;(2) Because the people were too much addicted to the miracles of Christ, without due regard to His teaching.

(G. Petter.)With the charge to tell it to the priest the Saviour gave the charge to tell it to no one else.

I. Christ did not want a crowd of wonder seekers to clamour for a sign, but penitents to listen to the tidings of salvation.

II. The man would be spiritually the better of thinking calmly and silently over His wondrous mercy, until at all events he had been to the Temple in Jerusalem and back. Do not tattle about your religious experience; nor, if you are a beginner, speak so much about God's mercy to you that you have not time to study it and learn its lesson. This man, had he but gone into some retired spot and mastered the meaning of His mercy, might have become an apostle. As it is, he becomes a sort of showman of himself.

(R. Glover.)

I. THIS UNOSTENTATIOUS PHILANTHROPY WAS CONSEQUENT UPON A REAL CURE.

II. WAS ANIMATED BY A TRUE SPIRIT. Some people enjoin silence in reference to their philanthropy —

1. When they do not mean it. Mock humility.

2. Lest they should have too many applicants for it. Selfishness or limited generosity.

3. Others in order that they may modestly and wisely do good. So with our Lord. Much philanthropy marred by its talkativeness.

III. WAS NOT ATTENDED WITH SUCCESS. Hence we learn —

1. That the most modest philanthropy is not always shielded from public observation.

2. That there are men who will violate the most stringent commands and the deepest obligations.Lessons:

1. To do good when we have the opportunity.

2. Modestly and wisely.

3. Content with the smile of God rather than the approval of men.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

Observe:

I. THAT A WISE RESERVE SHOULD BE EXERCISED BY THE NEWLY CONVERTED IN REFERENCE TO THE INNER EXPERIENCES OF THE SOUL. Because unwise talk is likely —

1. To injure the initial culture of the soul.

2. To awaken the scepticism of the worldly.

3. To be regarded as boastful.

4. To impede the welfare of Divine truth.

II. THAT THIS WISE RESERVE MUST NOT INTERFERE WITH THE IMPERATIVE OBLIGATIONS OF THE SANCTUARY.

1. To recognize its ordinances.

2. To perform its duties.

3. To manifest in its offerings a grateful and adoring reception of beneficent ministry. With this no reserve of temperament or words must be allowed to interfere.

III. THAT THIS WISE RESERVE IS SOMETIMES VIOLATED IN A MOST FLAGRANT MANNER. How many young converts act as the cleansed leper. We must be careful to speak at the right time, in the right manner, under the right circumstances.

(J. S. Exell, M. A.)

The reasons for the command are not far to seek.

1. The offering of the gift was an act of obedience to the law (Leviticus 14:10, 21, 22), and was therefore the right thing for the man to do. In this way also our Lord showed that He had not come, as far as His immediate work was concerned, to destroy even the ceremonial law, but to fulfil.

2. It was the appointed test of the reality and completeness of the cleansing work.

3. It was better for the man's own spiritual life to cherish his gratitude than to waste it in many words.

(Dean Plumptre.)

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