Thursday, 9 February 2012

Standing out

Mark 1:40-45
A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, "If you choose, you can make me clean." 
Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I do choose. Be made clean!" 
Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 
After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." 
But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.

In the gospel of Mark, we often see Jesus enabling people to blend into their communities. Folk ostracized because of perceived shortcomings, be they physical, moral or spiritual, were acknowledged by Jesus and brought back into community. Often Jesus, in their place, took on their marginalization so that his physical, moral and spiritual well being was called into question.
In this story of Jesus healing a leper, while the leper became acceptable, the leper's testimony ensured that Jesus was unable to move around without attracting much unwanted attention.
Perhaps effective discipleship today consists of blending well with our communities and bearing witness to Jesus who stands out from the crowd, offering wholeness and acceptance to all.


Martha Spong said...

liz, I love to read your thoughts.

liz said...

Thanks, Martha.
I love the difference it is making being able to truly picture the folks who post - thanks to BEs x