Sandy Jack, Eastbourne
‘Jesus . . . touched him’, Mark 1. 41.
Here we have the unclean in the presence of the clean, the true Nazarite from Nazareth, v. 24!
Trace His steps in this chapter and note how the impeccable Christ moves in different life scenes yet remains separate from sin and sinners, vv. 14-34.
He walks along the Galilean shore, a place where fishermen plied their trade, a world of commerce and business, vv. 14-20. Does His walk there compromise His holiness? Clearly not! He moves into that sphere with the sole purpose of calling others out of it. The pull of that world had no pull on Him. A world where nets, designed to snare, never entangled Him. His holiness was never compromised in that sphere; His movement through it brought deliverance to a few who ‘went after him’, v. 20.
He is seen in the synagogue, vv. 21-28. For the Jews, this was the centre of their religious life. However, in that place the evil one had his emissaries present and what was intended to be a house of prayer, was infiltrated by unholiness and uncleanness, v. 23. As the greatest of teachers taught that day, He was evidently apart from all others in His authority, both in His teaching and works, but it was His unique character, ‘the Holy One of God’, that was attested to by the unclean spirit. In a sphere of tainted religiosity, He emerges uncontaminated by it, and again His movement through it brought deliverance to a soul.
What about home life? He moves into a home where sin was bringing its sadness and stress, vv. 29-34. Yet, note His grace, ‘He came and took her by the hand’. Did His encounter with the ravaging effects of sin weaken or taint Him? Not one bit! Watch, as by evening time ‘all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many’. Luke notes, ‘All they that had any sick . . . brought them . . . and he laid hands on every one of them, and healed them’, Luke 4. 40.
There is another scene in the chapter which might give a clue as to where the Saviour drew His strength, Mark 1. 35. He rises ‘up a great while before day’, and ‘departed into a solitary place, and there prayed’.
‘Morning by morning Thou didst wake,?Amidst this poisoned air;?Yet no contagion touched Thy soul,?No sin disturbed Thy prayer’. Macleod
Now, in the presence of the Clean One, kneels a begging, unclean one, and, with confidence in the ability of the Saviour, he casts himself upon His willingness, ‘If thou wilt, thou canst’, v. 40.
What will the perfect Nazarite do? For, as demonstrated in the case of Nazarites of old, touching the unclean always mediated uncleanness to the clean. But not with this One! ‘He . . . touched him’, v. 41, and without compromising His own purity, He reached out and touched the unclean to bring undeserved cleansing. He was untouched, but not unmoved, by sin! Let’s be thankful that such a One reached out to touch us and rejoice in the impeccability of the One who ‘was made sin for us’.
It is with appreciation to those who have spent time in writing the articles in this issue that we commend it to you in the prayerful hope that it will bring honour to Him.