What Jesus Did! 'Compassionate Power' — Mark 1:40-42

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A man that had leprosy came to Jesus. The man bowed on his knees and begged Jesus, "You have the power to heal me if you want." Jesus felt sorry for the man. So Jesus touched the man and said, "I want to heal you. Be healed!" Immediately the leprosy disappeared, and he was healed.
— Mark 1:40-42 NLT
Illustration of Mark 1:40-42 NLT — "You have the power to heal me if you want."   ——   "I want to heal you. Be healed!"

Key Thought

This translation uses the expression "felt sorry," but the better translation is probably "felt compassion." In his heart, in his "gut," Jesus feels the anguish of this man afflicted with leprosy. So before he speaks healing into the man's life, he does the unthinkable: he touches the leprous man. By Jewish law, Jesus makes himself unclean by touching the man. Yet Jesus wants to show the compassion he feels in a way this man would understand. Jesus spoke the words of healing only after he has connected to the man's deepest emotional need and bridged the barrier that enforced this man's isolation. Mark has two messages for us in this story. First, he wants us to know that Jesus has come and bridged the distance between us and God and he will let nothing separate us from his love. Second, he wants us to do the same with others.

Today's Prayer

Dear Father in heaven, thank you for your mercy and grace. Thank you for bridging the distance between your holiness and my weakness by sending Jesus. Use me to help others find their way to Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • John 20:21
  • Luke 17:11-19
  • 1 John 3:16-18


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.