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As I was listening to my pastor preach a sermon on Jesus healing the leper in Mark 1, I was struck by the wonderful mercy that our Savior had toward the untouchables of his time. Take a look at some of these Markan allusions to the Old Testament Law:

Leviticus 13:45-46:

 “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.

Mark 1:40-42:

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.

Leviticus 15:25-27

 “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean.Every bed on which she lies, all the days of her discharge, shall be to her as the bed of her impurity. And everything on which she sits shall be unclean, as in the uncleanness of her menstrual impurity.And whoever touches these things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes and bathe himself in water and be unclean until the evening.

Mark 5:25-34

And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28 For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”  And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

Leviticus 22:1

Speak to the priests, the sons of Aaron, and say to them, No one shall make himself unclean for the dead among his people. – The law is for the priests, but it implies that anyone can be unclean for the dead.

Mark 5:35-42:

While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”But overhearingwhat they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age),

What a wonderful thing that Jesus is not tarnished by our uncleaness. He shows us mercy and grace and powerfully heals us of our sin sickness.

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