Reading: Mark 1:40-45
40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean.’
41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.
43 Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: 44 ‘See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’ 45 Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
Thought: What was Jesus indignant about (41)? Another translation I have describes Jesus as being filled with compassion instead. At first glance these two descriptions seem poles apart, but in fact they are closely related; it is Jesus’ anger at the ‘fallen’ state of the world that moves him to act. What is important though is how he acts. Often anger leads to hate or bitterness or resentfulness. Jesus instead uses it as a force for good, a motivation for compassion.
Prayer: Lord, don’t let me accept the state of your world, instead fill me with a holy indignation for the ways in which we have hurt each other and abused our environment and give me the compassion to do something about it.