“Be clean!” Mark 1.41
This passage really emphasises the authority of Jesus. We read that Jesus touched the man, said “Be clean!”, and at his word the leprosy left. Interestingly this was not the only command Jesus gave in this story; he also commanded the man not to say anything about what had happened. These words, no doubt, were spoken with a similar authority, yet the man disobeyed and spoke out freely.
It is fascinating that the leprosy had no option but to obey Jesus, but the man had the freedom to disobey. It raises the question of just how seriously we take the words of Jesus. His words can bring lasting change to a person’s body, but we have been given the freedom to disobey or disregard them.
As we see the effect of Jesus’ words on the leprosy, it is obvious that his words are life giving and life changing. What if all his words were recognised to have that power? If we could acknowledge this, then we would be quick to obey everything that Jesus says without question or hesitation.
There is no need to find the most obscure words possible in order to apply this. Jesus issued some commands in very straightforward language, like these words from John 15.9, “Now remain in my love”. This is his command to us; not merely a suggestion for days when everything seems to be going well, but for every day. Hold on to this truth that you are loved by Jesus – his command is never to doubt it.
As you come across other words of Jesus, recognise the power and authority behind them and take them seriously.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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