Jesus, the Teaching Magician King, stayed up all night healing the many people burdened by sickness, disease, demons, and every physical ailment because everyone knows him now by his ability to say a word, and fix every human problem. This man seems pretty cool. This man seems like a man of the people. The Romans like this down to earth, healing king. They wish their emperor could fix every problem they faced. So what does Jesus do after he miraculously heals every person in the town? “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35) Jesus goes back to the wilderness. Jesus seeks solitude again. This is the second time he has disappeared without telling anyone. This is now a pattern to notice. Why does Jesus often go to desolate places, away from people? He goes to speak to his Father. He goes to earnestly pray to the one who proclaimed to the crowd at the Jordan River “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11) The only problem with Jesus disappearing is that many people are still sick and need to be healed. How is everyone going to get better if the Son of God keeps hiding from the people? The Romans know this, His followers know this, everyone now realizes that Jesus has come to save the world, and that begins with him making everyone healthy, keep everyone from dying, and get rid of evil demons. Now all of the questions that the Romans had at the beginning of the story are starting to make sense. Now they are taking bites of their lunch and they are going to keep listening to this Jewish man telling them this story of the Son of God.
So Jesus hides from everyone. Luckily he has followers now who can chase him down once the sun comes up and lead him back to the place he belongs. So Simon, the fisherman, finally finds him, and Simon lets him know “Everyone is looking for you.” (Mark 1:37) Obviously, Jesus did not realize that people had been trying to find him all morning, and so this simple misunderstanding is being fixed thanks to Simon. Then Jesus says, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” (Mark 1: 38) Simon proceeds to plant his palm right in the middle of his forehead. There are so many people left who are sick. Jesus’ priority is not to heal the sick. Jesus’ priority is to teach. So what is more important? Is it more important for the world to be healthy and strong? Or is it more important for people to understand the truth? According to Jesus, it is more important for people to hear the message he is proclaiming.
Jesus and his followers begin walking to the next town to proclaim the message that he has to share, and all of a sudden a leper approaches their group. Everyone knows that a leper is unclean. Everyone knows to avoid lepers at all costs. Everyone knows their sickness is the way God punishes their past sins. If Jesus is not on this earth to heal everyone and fix all of their problems, then the lepers are certainly a group of people to ignore. Yet this man throws himself on the ground, making a fool of himself and begging for help, “If you will, you can make me clean.” (Mark 1:40) . Simon, Andrew, and the other followers are stunned because this is really awkward. What is Jesus going to do in this situation? Then they see a tear rolling down his face as he walks towards the man on the ground who hasn’t looked up yet because he is so ashamed of his noseless face. Jesus bends down to him and he comfortingly puts his hand across the lepers back. Then he says four words, “I will; be clean.” (Mark 1:41) The man hears this and stops sobbing in the dirt. He looks up to see the face of the man who has just touched him. He has a nose. He is healed. Simon is stunned. Leprosy is a death sentence and all of a sudden he is healed.
The broken heart of the leper moved Jesus to pity.