Jesus Broke the Barriers (Mark 1:40 – 45)

Jesus Broke the Barriers (Mark 1:40 – 45) – Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson.

Before he met Jesus, the leper was lonely, broken and without purpose. . .

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.”

41 Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, “I am willing; be cleansed.” 42 Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. 43 And He sternly warned him and immediately sent him away, 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.”

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.

– Mark 1:40 – 45 (New American Standard Bible)


Jesus broke the barrier of isolation with compassion and personal contact: vv. 40, 41a

  1. Read Leviticus 13:45, 46. List ways lepers were isolated from the rest of Jewish society.
  2. Defend this statement: “the man with leprosy didn’t question Jesus’ power; he questioned His compassion.”
  3. Do we isolate ourselves from hurting people today? Give an example. How can we demonstrate the compassion of Christ?


Jesus broke the barrier of dysfunction with a command and a cure: vv. 41b, 42

  • What do you know about the disease of leprosy? Why was the problem of the man with leprosy greater than simply being isolated from society?
  • Read James 2:14 – 16. Why would it have been wrong for Jesus simply to visit the man with leprosy for a while and then leave him in the same state?
  • Give an example of superficial ministry to the hurting when we truly could help the root of the problem.


Jesus broke the barrier of marginalization with a commission and its consequences: vv. 43 – 45

  1. What does it mean to “feel like a fifth wheel”? Why might someone like the man in this account have felt like that? Do you think hurting people in our society might feel that way? Explain.
  2. Compare Mark 1:44 to Mark 5:18, 19. Were the jobs Jesus gave people He healed different from the jobs they might have wanted to do? Explain.
  3. Imagine that a Pharisee heard about the healing of the man with leprosy and said, “Why bother with somebody like that? What good could he be to God?” Read 1 Corinthians 12:12 – 20. Use some of those thoughts to respond.



How Can The Church Reach Out? (Part 4): Encouragement For Church Leaders

Today’s entry is a repost from my blog about homosexuality. Like it or not, how we respond to the individuals impacted homosexuality is an indicator of how well we love and minister to others within our church families, in our communities and in the larger culture.


Same-Sex Attractions

church part 4Part 4 of 4

It goes without saying that church leaders have a very demanding job with difficult responsibilities. Many concerns, fears and questions must be addressed. Our relativistic culture is both hyper-sexualized and politically charged. Can the church speak about sexuality at least as frankly on Sunday morning as popular culture speaks about sexuality everyday? Can church members be given the grace to bring their brokenness out into the light without condemnation?

Every struggle has its unique challenges. However, God’s truth applies to all situations and His Word is “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work”(2 Timothy 3:16, 17). The general suggestions I give here are meant to encourage and inform. Many are expounded upon in earlier posts in this blog.

Here’s an outline of today’s article:

  • Considerations For the…

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102 Ways To Serve Christ (and Others)

102 Ways To Serve Christ (and Others). Bible Lesson. Teen Bible Lesson.


Today’s post is an abbreviated summary of “Evangelism & Christian Service”, the third session of a church-wide seminar I facilitated in 2003. If you have more suggestions on how Christians can serve, you are invited to share them in the “Comments” section.


For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity.” (Colossians 4:5)

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:23, 24)

What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” (James 2:14 – 17)


As Christians, God had given each of us gifts and abilities to be ambassadors for Christ. There are so many things that can be done – that need to be done which do not require unusual talent but a willing heart. By nature, a Christian should be an observant and proactive person. It’s not hard to find people in need. It’s as easy as watching the television news, listening to the radio, reading the newspaper, asking any person you meet or looking around your neighborhood.

When we take part in any of the following activities. . .

  • benevolent and caring services will be rendered
  • spiritual brethren will be encouraged
  • the seeds of evangelism will be planted
  • and we demonstrate to each other, non-Christians and our Father that we believe and trust in Him and His promises

God will be honored and glorified. The Gospel will gain more respect and recognition. Outsiders will see and experience our genuine concern. The light of the local church will shine brighter. Mutual cooperation, sharing and love within the spiritual family will become more evident. Hearts of believers and non-believers alike will soften.


102 Ways To Serve Christ (and Others)

  1. Being a good example (watching your language, habits, attitude, behavior) is admirable but it is also important to be authentic with others. No one is perfect. Just because we all wear different masks doesn’t mean we can’t be more transparent.
  2. Use your personal skills and knowledge to help people in the church or in the community
  3. Help prepare and update the bulletin boards and signage on church property (and/or church advertising for local media)
  4. Assist with the church’s audio/visual ministry
  5. Assist with the church’s benevolence and care ministries
  6. Participate in the church’s visitation and transportation ministries
  7. Lend your expertise to the church’s Internet/online ministries
  8. Help clean the kitchen and keep the supplies stocked
  9. Help clean and maintain the other interior spaces of the church building (classrooms, offices, sanctuary, etc.)
  10. Assist with the maintenance and cleanliness of the church’s vehicles
  11. Assist with the maintenance and work of the church library
  12. Personally contact and follow-up with visitors
  13. Assist with the writing and production of the weekly bulletin, calendar, etc.
  14. Deliver communion to the shut-ins
  15. Sit with and visit the sick
  16. Landscape and maintain the church grounds/property
  17. Decorate the interior of the buildings
  18. Mow the grass for an elderly person
  19. Read to someone in the nursing home
  20. Visit a shut-in
  21. Distribute good religious literature (tracts, books, magazines, and other media)
  22. Make use of your own personal social media sites and blogs to reach out to others
  23. Transport someone to the doctor or the market
  24. Call and uplift the bereaved
  25. Invite someone to lunch or dinner
  26. Mail a gift or care package to someone in the military
  27. Take a dish to a home where there is illness
  28. Provide transportation for someone to church services
  29. Send a card (or handwritten letter) to the sick or those with birthdays
  30. Send a handwritten letter to someone who is discouraged
  31. Mail a gift or care package to a college student
  32. Send a handwritten letter to a college student
  33. Volunteer to help a Bible class teacher
  34. Clean house for someone who is ill or shut-in
  35. Give good, used clothing to a needy family
  36. Help keep the pantry filled at the church building
  37. Telephone someone absent from Bible class or worship services and say you missed them
  38. Tell others about the church’s radio/television/podcast ministries
  39. Pray for your spiritual leaders and teachers (as a group and individually) i. e. the elders, preacher, deacons, etc. (and their families)
  40. Visit the hospital
  41. Help out at the local food bank
  42. Take meals to the elderly
  43. Clean the home and/or yard of a disabled neighbor
  44. Babysit for overworked parents
  45. Wholeheartedly participate in worship services
  46. Help prepare and serve communion
  47. Help with baptisms
  48. Greet people before and after worship services
  49. Lead singing
  50. Clean the church parking lot
  51. Preach a sermon
  52. Teach a Bible lesson
  53. Care for the children in the nursery
  54. Participate in a missions trip
  55. Help support and/or sponsor missionaries at home and abroad (financially, spiritually, emotionally)
  56. Write a letter to (or an article for) the local newspaper (editorial, lifestyle, etc.)
  57. Make a goal to smile and be friendly with everyone you come in contact with today
  58. Help out at a homeless shelter
  59. Volunteer at a local charity
  60. Tutor a child
  61. Assist a single parent
  62. Teach an adult to read
  63. Just be there for someone experiencing a difficult time; listen – don’t offer advice
  64. Find practical ways to help those with mental or medical illnesses
  65. Become involved in a ministry to prisoners, ex-prisoners and/or their families
  66. Use your personal knowledge or experience to assist those recovering from alcohol or drug abuse
  67. Open your home to visiting ministers and other visitors
  68. Become personally involved in the lives of new converts and new members
  69. Become personally involved in teaching new converts
  70. Provide an ongoing service to the blind and/or deaf
  71. Become a foster parent
  72. Welcome and assist new residents who move into your neighborhood and community
  73. Lead or participate in an after-school Bible study and fellowship
  74. Lead or participate in an after-work Bible study and fellowship
  75. Help out at a shelter for victims of domestic violence and abuse
  76. Drive the church’s vehicles to special events such as meetings, lectureships, retreats, workshops and seminars
  77. Befriend someone who needs a friend
  78. Mail and grade Bible correspondence courses
  79. Schedule, conduct or take part in in-home Bible studies
  80. Look for and develop opportunities to befriend and minster to people in these groups with special needs: single people, new parents, senior citizens
  81. Look for and develop opportunities to befriend and minister to people in these groups with special needs: LGBT individuals, the bereaved, the newly divorced, overwhelmed caregivers
  82. Encourage the weak and lost sheep of your local church
  83. Share your creativity, hobbies, special talents and interests with others
  84. Be an advocate for someone who needs an advocate
  85. Pray for and actively seek ways to bless your enemies
  86. Inconvenience yourself to help someone you don’t know
  87. Make an effort to be more humble and vulnerable
  88. Expressly tell someone that you are their friend
  89. Make a new friend
  90. Freely forgive someone
  91. Ask for someone forgiveness (and make restitution if you can)
  92. Devote yourself to pray for the needs of your community; enlist others to join you in prayer
  93. Pray for our civic and government leaders (representatives): local, state, federal
  94. Share God’s grace “without words” (1 Peter 3:1, 2)
  95. Freely (and sincerely) compliment, praise and affirm others; see the glory in the ordinary
  96. Share the gift of humor and laughter with someone
  97. Establish and participate in regular family devotions (and/or with a group of friends)
  98. Encourage a child (your child, grandchild, a niece or nephew or any other young person)
  99. Encourage a coworker; lighten someone’s load
  100. Mentor (provide friendship, spiritual guidance and wisdom, shared time and activities) a member of the church (usually someone younger)
  101. Mentor (provide friendship, spiritual guidance and wisdom, shared time and activities) a non-Christian (usually someone younger)
  102. Be more patient with others; it will keep us from misjudging, misunderstanding and under-valuing people