Catholic Courier

Posted: February 6, 2012

A leper pleads with Jesus to heal him

By Joe Sarnicola

Moses and Aaron were with the Lord when he said to them, “If someone has on the skin (anything) which appears to develop into a scaly infection, the person shall be brought to Aaron, the priest, or to one of the priests among his sons. ... The individual shall cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean!’ ... Being unclean, that individual shall dwell apart, taking up residence outside the camp.”

Many, many years later, a man with leprosy knelt down in front of Jesus and pleaded with him. He said, “If you wish, you can make me clean.”

Jesus felt compassion for the sick man. He reached forward, touched the man and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” As soon as Jesus had spoken those words, the man was healed and made clean.

But Jesus had a request of his own to make of the man he had just healed. “See that you tell no one anything, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.”

But the man was unable to contain his excitement because he was healed and could live with his people again. He told everyone who would listen. The story of this miracle of Jesus spread so rapidly that Jesus could hardly go anywhere without being recognized. Even though he tried to stay in less traveled and less populated areas, people would find him and ask him for healing and other miracles.

These were not the only miracles and healings that Jesus had performed. He had healed the mother-in-law of Peter, one of his own apostles. The woman had been very sick with a fever. Jesus restored her to health, and she was able to wait on Jesus and her other guests.

Jesus also spent most of one evening healing people and casting out evil spirits for anyone who came to him. After he had done this, Jesus again sought a place of solitude and privacy. So many people still had requests for Jesus that his apostles had to go looking for him. Peter said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”

Jesus answered, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.”

Leviticus 13 and Mark 1.

1. What did Jesus do for the sick man?
2. What did Jesus tell the man to do?