Once a leper came and knelt in front of him and begged to be healed. "If you want to, you can make me well again," he pled.
And Jesus. moved with pity, touched him and said, "I want to! Be healed!" Immediately the leprosy was gone - the man was healed!
Jesus then told him sternly, "Go and be examined immediately by the Jewish priest. Don't stop to speak to anyone along the way. Take along the offering prescribed by Moses for a leper who is healed, so that everyone will have proof that you are well again."
But as the man went on his way he began to shout the good news that he was healed; as a result, such throngs soon surrounded Jesus that he couldn't publicly enter a city anywhere, but had to stay out in the barren wastelands. And people from everywhere came to him there. Marl 1:40-45 (TLB)
John Keeports lives in Pennsylvania. During a mission trip to Jamaica, his high-school group ran sports camps and youth groups all day, shared testimonies in front of large gatherings, and did manual labor. But what John most looked forward to each day was visiting patients at a rural infirmary. Seeing the suffering of the patients and the poor condition of the building initially made his heart sink. But there was one man John got to sit with and talk to each day. Eyes lighting up,he would eagerly tell John stories, read him scripture, and encourage him and then allow John to do the same for him. Of all the work they were doing in the area, this relationship became the most meaningful to John.
It is easy to forget the importance of nurturing individual relationships. Jesus shows us a better way at the end on Mark 1 when he takes a break from addressing the crowds to heal and interact with one man. The Savior, God incarnate, came to save the world. He fed the multitudes, but he also healed the man with leprosy and the man with the withered hand. If Jesus had time and found value in connecting with the seemingly forgotten individuals around him, we can do the same.
Prayer: Dear Lord, open our eyes to the lives of people around us. Give us the courage to reach out to people on a personal level, in Jesus' name. Amen.