Bible Society of South Africa
Quintus Heine

Suffering, resurrection and Christian love – day 9

Christians must start living out their hope now

Bible text(s)

Jesus Heals a Man

40A man suffering from a dreaded skin disease came to Jesus, knelt down, and begged him for help. “If you want to,” he said, “you can make me clean.”

41Jesus was filled with pity, and stretched out his hand and touched him. “I do want to,” he answered. “Be clean!” 42At once the disease left the man, and he was clean.

Mark 1:40-42GNBOpen in Bible reader

A movie that made a great impression on me was The Shawshank Redemption. The story is about a young man called Andy, an ordinary person like you and me, imprisoned despite his innocence. Yet, he never lost his hope for freedom – even after the head warden killed the only witness who could prove his innocence. After 20 years in prison, he managed to escape and find his own freedom! However, the story’s appeal does not lie in Andy’s hope finally becoming a reality, it lies in the hope that he gave to the other prisoners during his time of incarceration.

Despite the appalling conditions in prison, he gave the other prisoners a new outlook on life. He helped them to set up a library. He taught a man to read and assisted him in enrolling for a diploma. He helps the wardens to manage their finances. He showed his fellow prisoners that there is always hope. The film ends with a man, who was in jail for 40 years and always doubted Andy’s optimism, finally being released and finding new meaning in life. It happened because Andy taught him to hope!

In today’s passage, Jesus became involved with the life of a leper and gave him hope. One of the greatest gifts that we can give to someone is to teach them to hope. Hope is not just something for the future; it should be lived every day of your life. We need to help others to live with hope.

Sometimes, we need to help people to change their own thinking so that, amid difficult circumstances, they are still able to hope. You teach people to hope by getting involved in their pain and suffering. It is only when others experience love, care and commitment, at our hands, that they know it is possible to hope.

Jesus taught us that we must live with hope today and share it with others.

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