Tag Archives: Insults

The Great Exchange

In my reading I’ve come to Mark 1 and one of my favorite stories in the bible. It’s a very short story…not much said about it, but it’s heavy with impact to me. I always slow down as I read this story because I love the message it communicates. Join me in the crowd as we watch what unfolds…. 

Mark 1:40 And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, “If You are willing, You can make me clean.”

This very action was completely contrary to the law. A leper was required to move from family and friends and live alone. If anyone came near who was not a leper the law required that the leper announce, “Unclean! Unclean!” so that those coming near would know not to get too close. This man did the forbidden, he came unannounced to the very feet of Jesus! When the crowds saw him I’m sure the outcries and insults were loud and emotional. How dare he come here unannounced. But his plea was an amazing one. Listen to his words over the cries of the crowd, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Mark 1:41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and *said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.”

Now stop just for a moment and read those words again….moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him. I can just see the faces of the crowd. Surprise, amazement, shock…how could Jesus touch a man covered in leprosy? I can hear the outcry, the shock. Now Jesus is unclean as well! Now Jesus has made himself an outcast. But he frames his touch with these words, I am willing, be cleansed.

Then it happens, in a moment, with a touch that changed everything for this outcast man…

Mar 1:42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.

Immediately, instantly, right then his life was completely different! Not only was he healed, but Jesus had touched him! I believe that Jesus’ touch was meant to heal two things- his body and his mind. A man who had not been touched in years was touched by Jesus. The compassion of that touch changed everything. He was a different man!

Mark 1:43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away,
Mark 1:44 and He *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, as a testimony to them.”
Mark 1:45 But he went out and began to proclaim it freely and to spread the news around, to such an extent that Jesus could no longer publicly enter a city, but stayed out in unpopulated areas; and they were coming to Him from everywhere.

And here is the great exchange – the man who was a leper and outcast to the unpopulated areas was now whole because of Jesus’ touch and I can just see him hugging everyone he saw and telling them his story. His life was completely changed, and a great exchange happened. Now the outcast was welcome back into community, and the healer took his place….Jesus is now the one in the wilderness, in the unpopulated areas.

The story of the leper is my story. It’s his touch when we were in our sins that cleansed us, made us whole and gave us new life. And with his touch he took our sickness and sin on himself. He took our sin and sickness and gave us his life. The story of this leper who experienced the touch of compassion of Jesus that changes everything is my story, it’s your story. It’s the story of the great exchange.

He Strengthens Me

@spreadingJOY lover of the little things that make life big, Marie knows that every once in a while, you need to be strengthened, encouraged and inspired.  For extra encouragement, a few smiles and lots of {HUGS} follow her on twitter.


2 Cor 7:3  I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

2 Cor 4:15  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  [18]  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Cor 12:7  To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, * a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  [8]  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  [9]  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power * is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  [10]  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, * in persecutions, * in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Phil 4:13  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

What road are you traveling? You are either in the storm, just come through the storm or at some point, you will be headed towards the storm.

The storms are raging, the battle is long. What can you do?

Renew your strength. Remember who carries you.  Surround yourself with scripture that reminds you of how God carried others time and time again.  He is the same God that parted the Red Sea for Moses! You are standing at the shore, wondering how you’ll ever cross over.  It looks hopeless and the enemy is not far behind you.  The battle rages on.

Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Keep schoochin closer to the Lord when you are weak.  He will carry you through to the other side, even though he could part the waters for you and let you walk across.  Rest in his arms, knowing you are safe, sound and nothing happens to you, that God does not allow it. In your times of weakness, you’ll want to just remove yourself from everyone, and everything.  This is the most important time to pray without ceasing, stay knee deep in the Bible and keep pressing towards the prize! All others to lift you up in prayer. Do not remove yourself from those that can bring joy, laughter and smiles to your day.

Your journey will allow you to strengthen and encourage someone else, when they walk down the same road.  The times your heart was breaking, will be what strengthens and encourages someone else that is now facing that same journey.

Are you willing to help them, encourage them?  Yes, the road is long, yes the nights are long, the tears sting your cheeks and your heart feels as though it will never be complete again. Remember the strength from the Lord is everlasting. Draw from Him. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Have the courage to get up one more time!

{{{HUGS}}} Yall