Compassion in Action

KEY VERSE: “Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.” —Mark 1:41


THIS LESSON DEALS with an account of Christ’s cleansing a leper. With great humility this leper went, beseeching our Lord to cleanse him from this dreadful disease. Kneeling down to him—whether giving Divine honor to God, and to Jesus as the Son of God, or rather a lesser degree of respect to Jesus as a great prophet—it teaches us that those who would receive grace and mercy from Christ must ascribe honor and glory to both God and Christ, and approach them with humility and reverence. With a firm belief of Jesus’ power, the leper said: “Thou canst make me clean.” (Mark 1:40) He had faith in the power of Jesus, which implies his belief that Jesus was sent of God.

The leper had no doubt of Christ’s readiness to help the distressed, but, with the modesty that became a poor petitioner, he referred his own particular case to him. This is a good lesson for us, for according to our faith, so shall it be to us.—Matt. 9:29

The poor leper’s request was answered because of his faith. (vs. 41) Thus our faith in Christ, and our recognition of him, are the most prevailing petitions for mercy from him. In this act we see how Christ was greatly moved with compassion. It also shows that his power is employed by his abundant sympathy for the relief of the poor and needy, and that his compassion was from within. We have nothing in ourselves to recommend us to his favor, but our misery makes us the objects of his great mercy, and what he does for us is with all possible tenderness.

He put forth his hand and touched the man, exerting the power that he had received from his Heavenly Father, and directing it to this one so much in need of healing. He said, “Be thou clean.” (Mark 1:41) Christ’s power was used to signify the fact that he will heal all the sick and afflicted, and was given as a sample of such healing which will be during his promised kingdom, soon to come. The scripture says, “Bless the Lord … who healeth all thy [our] diseases.”—Ps. 103:1,3

The poor leper put an ‘if’ upon the will of Christ. “If thou wilt,” was his request. But that doubt was soon put out of his mind by having the miracle performed. Christ readily shows favor to those that come to him, and demonstrates how much his power is drawn out by the faith of his people. Speaking the words “as one having authority” (Matt. 7:29), God’s power accompanying the words, the cure was perfect and immediately the man’s leprosy vanished!

What are we to do when we have received mercy from Christ? We must answer his favors by obeying his commands. When Christ had cured the leper, “He straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away; and saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man.”—Mark 1:43,44

We must learn not to seek our own glory, but to desire “that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!” (Ps. 107:21,22) Jesus’ compassion shown to the leper illustrates the wonderful works promised by God, to come in his kingdom when all mankind will receive his healing power, live, and truly know his love.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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