Jesus Heals the Leper

Bible Study lesson

Mark 1:40-45

Other Passages : Matthew 8:1-4, Luke 5:12-16

  1. What were the condition of lepers in the first century Israel? What were the law of Moses concerning the Leprosy? (Leviticus 13, 14)
    • Leprosy was one of the most despicable and rejected diseases. (Check out Jesus healing the Disabled Man at Bethesda)
    • The Greek word for leprosy refers to some form of skin diseases, some of which were contagious. If one was found with a contagious form of leprosy, the priest would declare him unclean, and he had to leave his home and town and live outside the city in the colony of lepers until he died or got better.
    • According to Moses’ Law, the leper had to pass through at least 14 days of ‘cleansing’ process before he could enter the city. It shows that the leper was desperate to see Jesus.

      Leviticus 14:45-46 – “Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ 46 As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.”

    • After the leper’s healing, Jesus wanted him to go and show himself to prove that he was completely healed. Leviticus 14 describes the details about the ceremonial cleansing of a healed leper, which would last for a number of days.
  2. Visualize condition of the Leper.
    • He was an outcast from the community and city
    • He could be rejected by family, friends, and community
    • No one would have touched him for days.
    • He needed physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
  3. What does his request say about his state of mind?
    • He would have tried everything to cure his decaying body. But he would have failed. It was out of such state of helplessness and self-pity, that he cried out, “If you are willing, you can make me clean!”
    • His lack of confidence in himself is evident from his request.
    • In Jesus, he saw the healer and the Savior who can help him out of this condition. And so he came to Jesus, begging him on his knees.
  4. What was Jesus’ response to the leper? What was so significant about Jesus touching the leper? (Mark 1:41)
    • He was moved by pity and filled with compassion.
    • He stretched out his hands and touched him! People around him would have been shocked to see that!
    • “How can Jesus touch an unclean? He would also become ‘unclean’.” Some might have whispered! But there was a reverse phenomenon at work, Jesus’ touch could cleanse the “unclean”.
    • Even Jesus’ touch would have healed his soul. For what seems like a simple gesture was a great expression of love and care, as if Jesus was saying, “I love you in spite of your wounds and disrupted body and soul.”
    • Jesus not only healed his body but his soul as well.
  5. A small gesture of love and compassion can go long way. What kind words and acts can you offer to those who are suffering around you?
  6. Why did Jesus want him to go to the priest after healing? (Leviticus 14:4)
    • Jesus wanted him to fulfill the Law and present an offering according to Leviticus 14. He wanted him to adhere to the Law of Moses and fulfill the requirements of the Law regarding the cleansing of Leprosy.
    • It would also be a testimony of healing for the priest to witness.
    • Jesus wanted to avoid any publicity as a miracle-worker, that could hinder his public teaching ministry.
    • The man however, did not follow Jesus’ warning and went on to spread the news. Perhaps, his joy was too great to be contained to himself. His actions, however, hindered Jesus’ public ministry.

    Life Applications and Reflections

    • This passage is the reminder that our greatest qualification in the Kingdom of God is when we realize our own unworthiness.
    • Sin is an incurable disease. It leads to death, a spiritual death.

      Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

      Romans 3:23 – “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    • Bible says that we all have sinned and deserve death. Only Jesus’ healing touch can heal us and restore us from our sinful condition. All we need to do is to come and ask him, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
    • Jesus is ready to offer wholesome healing, be it spiritual, physical, emotion healing, if we come to him.
    • A simple act of love can have a deep impact on those who are suffering.
    • Just as Jesus touched the leper and healed his emotional wounds, He can touch the areas of our life which are most painful and hurting.


Check out our eBook, The Miracles of Jesus Christ – 7-part Bible Study Series on the Healing Miracles of Jesus Christ for Small Groups & Personal Study.


  1. william says

    We who are baptised now are indeed worthy before God! if only we believe .Sin’s effects have taken a toll on us now and we fail to see the light that God shines over us.Let’s be positive and pray to God for grace.

  2. Franca says

    I thank God for this teaching, am geting more understanding of the scripture through this I need more of it.


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