Looking for Jesus

Key Verse: “When they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee.”
—Mark 1:37

Selected Scripture:
Mark 1:35-45

THIS LESSON, TAKEN FROM Jesus’ early ministry, is illustrative of how he conducted himself throughout his earthly life. He was committed to preaching the Gospel message, helping and healing those in need who displayed faith, and he spent much time in quiet meditation and prayer.

Notice the first verse of our lesson, “In the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Jesus was very busy throughout the day with his preaching and healing work, so he chose the quiet hours of early morning, before daybreak, to engage in meditation with his Father. Jesus realized the importance of communion with his Father, for it was by this that he learned his will for him, and also gained a closeness which helped him much in the difficult experiences which were to come.

On this particular morning, Simon Peter and others of the disciples found Jesus praying, and spoke to him the words of our Key Verse. Many were seeking after Jesus, both to hear his message and to receive the benefit of his miracles. Jesus responded to Peter by agreeing that they should travel on to more towns, that he might continue his preaching work. Jesus said, “Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” (vs. 38) The account states they then went throughout all the region of Galilee, with Jesus preaching in the synagogues.—vs. 39

As Jesus preached, he encountered a leper. “There came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.” (vss. 40-42) Then Jesus did what might seem to be a strange thing. Although he had fully cleansed the leper, he told him to go show himself to the priest, and “offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded.”—vs. 44

The Mosaic Law required that certain things be done with regard to those who were lepers and their cleansing. Additionally, once cleansing had taken place, the former leper was required to provide certain offerings to the high priest (see Lev. 14). Jesus had come to fulfill the Mosaic Law, and to end the need for keeping its ceremonies, for he was now establishing a higher law, not based on the ‘letter’ of the old law, but on the spiritual principles of love, faith, and the character of God, his Father. However, Jesus knew that until he was faithful until death, every “jot and tittle” of the old law was still in force. (Matt. 5:18) His instruction to the leper to go to the priest and offer those things commanded by Moses was entirely proper.

Jesus told the leper not to tell others that he had healed him, but the leper was evidently so thrilled about the fact of his cleansing, he told the matter to all he came in contact with, so much so that the account says Jesus had to leave the city and go out into the desert, but the people continued to come to him “from every quarter.”—Mark 1:45

Dawn Bible Students Association
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