This week at Crossover we continued talking about the book of Mark.
Main Idea: Jesus is Willing to Heal
We also discussed Mark 1:12-45. Some key takeaways:
- Jesus was tempted just like we are (Mark 1:12-13)
- Jesus is fulfilling the story of the Old Testament (Mark 1:14-15)
- Jesus has authority (Mark 1:21-28)
- Jesus is willing to heal (Mark 1:40-42)
We are continuing through our series on Mark. Mark is one of the 4 books in the Bible that tells the story of Jesus’s life. Mark is also one of the characters in the story, and what’s written in the book of Mark is most likely the story of Jesus told to Mark by Peter.
Last week we looked at the first half of chapter 1, and learned a few things:
- Jesus is the Messiah, or “Chosen One”.
- Ancient prophets said that one day God would send a Messiah to save them.
- Jesus is God’s Son.
We also jumped ahead to a spoiler and saw from Romans that it is part of God’s plan that we all can become His children like Jesus. Even though we didn’t do anything to earn that privilege, God loves us and is pleased with us all the same.
Students broke into groups of 2-3 to study 4 questions on Mark 1. Then we watched this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9vn5UvsHvM
QUESTIONS ABOUT MARK 1
1: Read Mark 1:12-13. What does this story tell us about Jesus? What does that mean for us?
2: Read Mark 1:14-15. Why do you think Mark draws attention to the fact that “the time promised by God has come at last”?
3: Read Mark 1:40-42. What do we learn about Jesus regarding healing?
4: Read Mark 1:21-28. What do we learn about Jesus’s teaching? Who did Jesus tell to “be quiet” and why do you think He did?
Today we are going to look at the second half of Mark 1 and next week we will get to Mark 2. So that will be your homework- read Mark 2 before next Wednesday so you will have a better idea of what we talk about then.
Just a minute ago you guys looked at some verses from Mark and answered some questions. Someone tell me what they have written for number 1. What does Mark 1:12-13 tell us about Jesus?
Jesus was tempted just like we are.
Right- even though He was God’s perfect Son, we see that He had to go through all the same struggles of life that we do. Jesus was hungry, Jesus got angry, Jesus experienced pain and suffering, Jesus was tempted to steal, lie, and to be selfish. Yet we also learn that He never gave in to any of these.
Jesus was on earth for 33 years and never once stumbled. That’s a pretty good record. You guys ever see those dry erase boards where a factory or school will list how many days they have gone with out any accidents?
Jesus’s would say 33 years. How long would yours say? If we are honest- ours may be lucky if it makes it to 33 seconds.
So even though Jesus is perfect, we learn that He is also like us in that he faced the same things we do.
Number 2- Why do you think Mark draws attention to the fact that “the time promised by God has come at last”?
Jesus’s story is tied to the bigger story of the Bible. Everything He does completes or references some other part of the story.
Just like in that video we watched- we saw how Jesus carried forward what God had already been doing- bringing holiness and purity to a corrupted world.
Number 4- What did we learn about Jesus’ teaching?
It had authority.
What does it mean to have authority?
the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.
So we learn that Jesus had authority. Not only did He know the scriptures, when He taught people recognized the power he had.
That power gets demonstrated when He commands an evil spirit- a demon to come out of a man that he possessed- and the spirit had to obey. When evil came into contact with Jesus’ holiness- it had no choice but to obey.
That’s the type of authority Jesus had. No Hollywood- no special effects. It wasn’t like how it’s often portrayed on Tv. There were no incantations or pouring salt or holy water. Don’t get your information or ideas about God from shows like Supernatural, Vampire Diaries, or Twilight.
And side note: don’t watch things that glorify the works of the devil. That video explained how impure things can taint or corrupt us. Demons are real but Jesus is more real. I’ve seen demon-possessed people freed- and it’s not by magic or any other superstition- it’s by the power and authority of Jesus. The same authority we see here.
Without fanfare, Jesus orders the spirit to come out- and it does. The spirit also cried out cause it recognized Jesus as the holy one, chosen one, the Messiah. Jesus told it to be quiet.
The more people see the miracles of Jesus, the more the leaders of Israel will grow jealous of Jesus and want to kill Him. Although Jesus came to die, we see He has some other things He wants to do first. And one of those things is He wants to heal people.
Number 3- what did you notice about Jesus regarding healing from those verses?
Jesus is willing
Let’s look at those verses again.
A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
41 Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” 42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.
A man with a terrible skin disease comes to Jesus, and he wants to be healed. He recognizes Jesus’ authority like we mentioned earlier- he knows Jesus has the power and ability to heal.
But he says “if you are willing”. He knows Jesus can, but he doesn’t know if Jesus will. He doesn’t know if Jesus will want to heal him.
You see leprosy was a serious, very contagious skin disease. Scholars are unsure which exact disease the Biblical account is referring too- but none of them would be fun. It could very from something like psoriasis to even a version where all the nerve endings in your skin die. Which means you can’t feel anything. So if your hand was in a fire- you wouldn’t even know.
It would just burn off and you may not notice. This was super dangerous. So when people contradicted this disease they had to quarantine- permanently. They were impure, and their impurity could spread to others. They were forced out of their homes, their towns, their families. They could never return or ever touch another living person. They’d have to live in the forest or in caves.
So this guy with leprosy comes to Jesus knowing Jesus CAN HEAL- but He doesn’t know if He WILL.
Jesus’ response? Verse 41
Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!”
Jesus is moved by compassion. Jesus says He is willing. And beyond that- Jesus touches Him. I love this picture from the video. Remember we just said how dangerous this skin disease is. If anyone touched him, they would be impure. This man was never supposed to have human contact again. But Jesus isn’t afraid. He breaks the divide, touches Him, and heals Him. The man’s impurity or illness doesn’t infect Jesus- Jesus’ holiness infects and heals Him!
And that’s why our main point for today is just that: Jesus is Willing.
So often I think we get into a leper mindset. We think we are too lost, or our problem is too big, or our situation too hard or messy for Jesus to deal with. Or we know He can, but we aren’t sure if He wants to. If He is interested. If He cares.
But Mark placed this story here for that exact reason. So we can know no matter what’s going on in our life- Jesus has compassion for us. Jesus isn’t afraid to get His hands dirty and reach into the mess with us. Jesus is Willing to heal.
Whether our need is physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual, Jesus wants to make all things new. So today I want to challenge you, Maybe you have a physical need in your body, or for a family member. We believe Jesus can and is willing to heal.
Maybe you have an emotional or mental need, something that has been dragging you down. Jesus is willing to heal.
Maybe you just say you know what- I need a fresh touch, a fresh encounter with a Jesus who is willing to reach out to me- even in the middle of my mess.
We can often feel that we need to become pure, we need to be good enough, we need to get right with God before we can come to Him. But scripture teaches us the opposite. We can never solve anything on our own- but we don’t have to.
Jesus and His holiness came down from heaven to encounter us where we are. So tonight that is what we are going to do. We are going to make space and time to encounter the holy, healing power of a willing Jesus.