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Mark 1:41

ESV Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean."
NIV Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!"
NASB Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out with His hand and touched him, and *said to him, 'I am willing; be cleansed.'
CSB Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched him. "I am willing," he told him. "Be made clean."
NLT Moved with compassion, Jesus reached out and touched him. 'I am willing,' he said. 'Be healed!'
KJV And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
NKJV Then Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

What does Mark 1:41 mean?

Jesus is a God of compassion. When the man with leprosy asks for healing, Jesus is "moved with pity." Jesus feels the emotion of a man who desires healing and wholeness. In response, Jesus touches him. This is significant, since touching a leper would make a Jewish person unclean. It also raises the risk of contracting the infection. The man has likely not had human contact in some time, making a physical touch by Jesus highly significant.

The man had not merely asked for physical healing, but to be made "clean." Leprosy would have kept him from feast days, worshiping at the temple, and even living in a city. His priority is to return to civilization and to be able to worship God with other Jews. Jesus responds with, "be clean." The man is now not only healed of what was probably a painful condition, but also clear to worship God as he has been taught. Both he and Jesus realize the significance of this act: he is free to live his life again.

Leprosy has always been a metaphor for un-holiness, and this story encapsulates the gospel. We come to Jesus unclean, sick in our sin, incurable, hurting from the human condition, unreconciled from others, and separated from God. Jesus reaches out His hand and changes our whole lives. In His grace, He addresses all areas of our lives at once—physical, spiritual, emotional, mental, social—and most importantly makes us worthy to be in God's presence.
What is the Gospel?
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