Thursday, January 13, 2011

1/13/11 - Christ's Power Over The Law

Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
“If you wish, you can make me clean.”
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him,
“I do will it. Be made clean.”
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean.
Then, warning him sternly, he dismissed him at once.
Then he said to him, “See that you tell no one anything,
but go, show yourself to the priest
and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed;
that will be proof for them.”
The man went away and began to publicize the whole matter.
He spread the report abroad
so that it was impossible for Jesus to enter a town openly.
He remained outside in deserted places,
and people kept coming to him from everywhere.

This healing itself is miraculous. However, it also has a very significant cultural elements that many of us don't consider today. Christ TOUCHED the leper.
Under the Old Covenant, touching a leper defiled a person, and that person then had to go through a purification process.  Being a leper meant that you would be largely separated from the community -- which at the time wasn't just the spiritual community, but the full social community as well.
In physically touching the leper and healing him, Christ showed both his divine power to heal, and that he has authority over the Law.  He could not be defiled, and the leper was healed immediately.  Eventually Christ will fully teach that what defiles a man comes from within, not from without.