Week 26 Day 1
Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
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Mark 1: 40 And a leper *came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.” 41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, 44 and He *said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Gospel of Mark is generally accepted to be the earliest of the Four Gospels and supposed to be the springboard to both Matthew and Luke. As such, the Gospel account is believed to have been generally written to inform those within and outside of Judea including the larger Roman world of the wonders of Jesus. For this reason it is important to consider this Gospel not as the primary account, but perhaps as the all important foundational account of Jesus’ ministry.
In verse 42 the Greek word splagchhnizomai is rendered as “moved with compassion” (NASB). It is perhaps telling that some others such as the NIV render this same word as “Jesus was indignant.” I can see no warrant for this usage. To me it seems completely out of character for Jesus. [splagchnizomai.1) to be moved as to one’ s bowels, hence to be moved with compassion, have compassion (for the bowels were thought to be the seat of love and pity) Part of Speech: verb. Relation: middle voice from G4698. Citing in TDNT: 7:548, 1067. Usage: This word is used 12 times in the Gospels Bible.org]
Perhaps this ability to be moved so deeply by compassion is exactly what’s missing in modern Christian witness. We do become indignant when people who should know better throw doubt back in our faces. We move on much too quickly and spend our time trying to lay semantical traps for people rather than just responding with love to the doubts of people who have opened the door to us as this leper did with Jesus.