Age-old blasphemy – Mark 1:40-45

Age-old blasphemy 

“If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean” (Mk 1:40).  “If…”  Why the suggestion of doubt?  Everything we see in the life, teaching and example of Jesus is that he is absolutely willing, and he emphatically affirms this to the leper.  And Jesus perfectly reflects the Father. To suggest the opposite – that it is in character and nature of God to habitually afflict with sickness (or that he is indifferent to ‘natural’ disasters, or generally sponsors evil) – is to utterly misrepresent God and make him out to be a monster.  I’d dare to suggest it is essentially blasphemous, for it takes the name of God, and associates this name (ie his character) with things that are quite the opposite & wholly alien to him.  Perhaps (as per Adam’s teaching) this is why Jesus was indignant. 

It was the primeval sin of mankind to embrace the serpent’s lie that somehow God did not love us and was not really committed to our welfare, but instead was devious and deceitful, and concerned with his own hidden agenda.  (See Gen 3) 

But God is love, and “love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth” (1 Cor 13:6).   

To affirm this does not satisfy all of our searching questions about the existence of evil in our world, or our agonizing struggles when we see such evil impacting us, or those around us.  Or why, from our perspective, our prayers at times seem ineffective.  But I will not attribute evil to God.  I will affirm that God is good, and gracious and loving.  And when I see suffering and encounter evil I will not turn to Jesus and say “If you were willing…”.  

Rather I will declare (perhaps with indignation, and perhaps through tears) “…an enemy has done this.”