And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
(Mark 1:40-44 ESV)
Leprosy is not a common disease back then, and not just a normal illness. Having leprosy in the community of Israel means expulsion form Israelites community. They will be put outside the community, and are not allowed to be touched for fearing that the illness will infect other people. No one will want to touch them, and they will have to warn people whenever they’re around by crying “unclean, unclean.”
He is a leprous man, he is unclean. The priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head.
The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.
(Leviticus 13:44-46 ESV)
So Jesus’ act of healing the man with leprosy is not just a mere healing, but also shows his mercy and willingness to accept someone who is sick and rejected!
Jesus also told him to report back to the priest, just like what Moses commanded in the book of Leviticus chapter 14.
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.
(Mark 1:32-34 ESV)
Jesus continues healing people and casting out the demons showing his authority as the Son of God. It’s probably a bit weird that Jesus would not permit the demons to speak of Jesus’ true nature, but it’s so that Jesus can control the way in which people will come to know who he really is.
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. (Mark 1:29-31 ESV)
And not only that Jesus is capable of driving out evil spirits, Jesus also has the authority to heal people’s sickness :)
Also not many people know this, but Simon Peter was actually married since he had a mother in law :D
And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee. (Mark 1:27-28 ESV)
What is this?? A new teaching with authority!! Finally it’s not only just another prophecy, but the fulfilment of the Old Testament has became flesh in Jesus!
And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, , “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. (Mark 1:23-26 ESV)
Jesus taught with authority since he is from God and is God himself, his teaching wasn’t based on someone else’s power or teaching, and this is validated that even his words can drive evil spirits out. And sure enough the Unclean spirit actually claimed who Jesus is! The holy one of God! Though this is not the time for Jesus to reveal who he is yet, the people around him can surely still see what Jesus can do :)
And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. (Mark 1:21-22 ESV)
And going on a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, who were in their boat mending the nets. And immediately he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants and followed him. (Mark 1:19-20 ESV)
The next disciples is James and John, immediately after Jesus called them, they left their father to follow Jesus! They even left their parents behind to follow Jesus. That’s definitely something that’s not easy. And I don’t think we got this situation all the time. But, there are times when you have to choose between following your parents or following God.
If your parents fear God, then you must be very blessed! But definitely there are other people whose parents don’t follow Jesus. And for them, there are times that they will have to choose between obeying their parents or obeying God.