TRADING PLACES WITH JESUS: Mark 1:40-45

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SCRIPTURE

Mark 1:40-45
40 And a leper came to him, imploring him, and kneeling said to him, “If you will, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, “I will; be clean.” 42 And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, 44 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.” 45 But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter. 

BIG IDEA

At the end of Mark chapter one, Jesus cleanses a leper—one who is physically, socially, and spiritually regarded as an unclean outcast. To our amazement, despite leprosy being highly-contagious and incurable, Jesus reaches out and touches the man. He touches him! Why? Jesus is showing us that he’s not merely the one who brings cleansing; He is cleansing. This is a picture of the gospel. Because of who Jesus is and what he’s done, when you come into contact with him, you’re cleansed. At the beginning of the story the leper was the outcast while Jesus was on the inside. At the end, Jesus is the one in desolate places while the leper is on the inside, restored. Jesus saved him by becoming his substitute, by switching places. This is another part of the scene that alludes to the heart of the gospel—the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. On the cross, Jesus switched places with us. He took all the judgement, all the wrath, and all the guilt for our sin on himself, dying in our place. He did this so that we could be saved. The gospel says that not only did Jesus die, he also resurrected for us as our champion. He conquered satan, sin, and death. He took the wrath we deserve so we could get the love he deserves. 

DISCUSSION

1. Have you ever felt like an outcast? If so, how? Can you relate to this leper in any way—being considered physically, socially, or spiritually unclean? 

2. Was there anything from the sermon, big idea, or Mark 1:40-45 that stood out to you, challenged you, or confused you? 

To our amazement, despite leprosy being highly-contagious and incurable, Jesus reaches out and touches the man. He touches him! … At the beginning of the story the leper was the outcast while Jesus was on the inside. At the end, Jesus is the one in desolate places while the leper is on the inside, restored. Jesus saved him by becoming his substitute, by switching places. 

3. What do we learn about Jesus’ character from this scene? What do we learn about his power? What do we learn about his love? 

This is another part of the scene that alludes to the heart of the gospel—the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. On the cross, Jesus switched places with us. He took all the judgement, all the wrath, and all the guilt for our sin on himself, dying in our place. He did this so that we could be saved.

4. Why was it necessary for Jesus to die if people were going to be forgiven? Can you think of any every-day examples of forgiveness requiring substitutionary sacrifice? 

“So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” (Hebrews 13:12-14)

5. What does this verse tell us about Jesus’ grace? What does it tell us about how we should live and why? 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

UPCOMING WAYS TO LOVE MUSKOGEE

  • Monday, March 2ndRead Across America Day with United Way. Volunteers read Dr. Seuss books to kids and encourage them to read. If thats something you want to volunteer to do I can get you the number to call and sign up.
  • Friday, March 13thLocal blood drive, they will be set up in front of walmart from 11am-4pm.
  • Saturday, March 14thLuck of the Draw 5k Walk/Run, Relay For Life / American Cancer Society event. I can forward the sign up info if anyone wants it. 
  • Wednesday–Saturday, March 25th–28thMuskogee 500 clean up effort. *We need everyone in the church body to volunteer

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