Mark 8

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Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  34:15
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Jesus did what the Law could not do by cleansing the Leper.

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Power and Authority to Cleanse that which is Unclean

Mark 1:38–40 CSB
38 And he said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.” 39 He went into all of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. 40 Then a man with leprosy came to him and, on his knees, begged him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Leprosy Considered Ceremonially Unclean

The moral Law:
The moral law encompasses regulations on justice, respect, and sexual conduct, and includes the Ten Commandments
The Judicial Law: restitution for a civil losess
The Ceremonial Law:
remembrances of God’s work in Israel (e.g., feasts and festivals
they include instructions on regaining right standing with God (e.g., sacrifices and other ceremonies regarding “uncleanness”),
Leviticus 13:3 ESV
3 and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body. And if the hair in the diseased area has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a case of leprous disease. When the priest has examined him, he shall pronounce him unclean.
Leviticus 13:45–46 ESV
45 “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ 46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.
Notice there was no means provided for a cure
not only did the person have to endure the physical the stigma of being outcast in society
Imagine what it would be like to have to live outside the city and pronounce your “unclean” to those passing by.
Lepers in India
(outcasts) - shame etc. The exemplifies what all of us endure as human
but shame is directly tied to the consequences of sin
Ed Welch in “Shame Interrupted” connects shame to 3 common human experiences
You feel like an outcast -- you don’t belong
You feel naked - While everyone else is walking around with their clothes on, you feel exposed and vulnerable. You are seen, and what others see is not pretty.
You feel unclean - Something is wrong with you. You are dirty. Even worse, you are contaminated. There is a difference between being a bit muddy and harboring a disease
Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.

Shame Endemic to Fallen Humanity

but shame is directly tied to the consequences of sin
Genesis 2:25 CSB
25 Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame.

Jesus Could Do What the Law Could Not

Mark 1:41–42 CSB
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. “I am willing,” he told him. “Be made clean.” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.

Fulfillment of the Law

Matthew 5:17–18 CSB
17 “Don’t think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or one stroke of a letter will pass away from the law until all things are accomplished.
Leviticus 14:20 ESV
20 And the priest shall offer the burnt offering and the grain offering on the altar. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
Mark 1:43–44 CSB
43 Then he sternly warned him and sent him away at once, 44 telling him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go and show yourself to the priest, and offer what Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”

It should be observed here that the attitude of the Law toward the person, garment or house suspected of leprosy is that if the disease be really present they are to be declared unclean and there is no means provided for cure, and in the case of the garment or house, they are to be destroyed. If, on the other hand, the disease be proved to be absent, this freedom from the disease has to be declared by a ceremonial purification. This is in reality not the ritual for cleansing the leper, for the Torah provides none such, but the ritual for declaring him ceremonially free from the suspicion of having the disease. This gives a peculiar and added force to the words, “The lepers are cleansed,” as a testimony to Our Lord’s Divine mission.


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