Last week we looked at the phrase 'raise up' to mean Jesus raised the human race up to the state of original creation, and finally Jesus raised His disciples up to be God's children. This week we look at the roles changing in the healing story of the leper. To avoid contamination of incurable disease; leprosy of any kind meant that person had to live away from others in his or her community. Knowing Jesus was nearby, the leper came and was on his knees pleading with Him, 'If you want to, you can cure me' Mk 1,.40. The leper probably had heard about Jesus' healing power, and he asked Jesus to cure him. The word 'if' expressed the hope the leper had in Jesus. This confirmed that those who had hope in Jesus would never go away empty handed. Jesus satisfied the leper's hope. 'Of course I want to! He said. 'Be cured! Mk 1,42'. Jesus' healings were the signs of God's power to overcome human beings' misery. Jesus was willing to take the leper's unclean and unholy state upon himself.
First, it was not the leper who transmitted his uncleanness to Jesus; instead Jesus took his disease on Himself. He gave the leper His holiness, and that made him clean.
Second, before meeting Jesus, the leper was restricted in his movements; after meeting Jesus, the leper was free to move around; while 'Jesus could no longer go openly into any town, but had to stay outside in places where nobody lived' Mk 1,45. Jesus' power to heal now became the cause of His loss of freedom, and He 'could no longer to go openly'.
Third, the law at the time required a leper to stay away from others. The leper breached this code by approaching Jesus, and Jesus breached it by touching the leper.
Fourth, because Jesus could not go openly. He was in isolation, but not for long because, 'people from all around would come to Him' Mk 1,45. Where God was, there would be God's people, and vice versa.
The role changing in Jesus' life was leading to the reality that Jesus came to the world to take away our misery and sin on Himself. Jesus' very first act of role changing was the Incarnation. Jesus chose to come into this world to be one of us in all ways, except sin. Through this role changing, we know that Jesus gave up His own life to save His disciples' lives. Jesus rose from death to give His disciples eternal life. Jesus exchanged His own will to do the Father's will, and the Father's will was to raise the human race to be God's children.
After being healed the leper failed to carry out Jesus' instruction. Jesus told him to tell no one about it, but to show himself to the priest and make the offering. The leper couldn't keep quiet. The leper didn't mean to dishonour Jesus, but rather his Jubilation was so great that it was bursting from his heart. He felt the urge to praise God at the top of his voice. It should be the priest who makes the announcement to the community; instead the leper took the priest's role in announcing to the community that he was cured. We also notice that God was the Healer. The priests were not; they were acting as God's voice announcing to the community the state of a person.
We thank God for rescuing us and makes us God's children. We pray that God's Word cleans and renews us, and God's power leads us to eternal life.