Mark 1:40-45

The scripture for worship yesterday was Mark 1:40-45. I was intrigued by one of the footnotes which noted the word "pity" which Jesus felt for this man is orgistheis which means angry. Jesus was moved by anger, not pity. What was Jesus angry about?

As I have been influenced by Ched Myers' reading of Mark, I can only think Jesus' anger is at the purity codes of the day (which he attacks throughout Mark) and not the leper.

Think for a second, if you were unclean you would go to the temple priests to be made clean first. But the temple did not declare the man clean for whatever reason. (Maybe the man still had his skin disease and could not be ritually 'clean', or maybe the man could not afford the hefty offering which was required under the law in Leviticus 14?) The man seeks out Jesus and asks to be made clean (which according to the law of Moses is illegal for anyone but a priest to declare things clean). When he asks Jesus to be made clean, Jesus becomes angry at the temple authorities who have denied this man's request, and Jesus declares the man clean.

Perhaps this is why Jesus gives this man stern orders (the word embrinesamenos is translated "sternly", but it is better understood as "snorting with indignation") to go straight to the temple and give an offering as a testimony to them (the priests)!

Jesus snorts with indignation, "Go back to the temple, and give an offering as a way of showing the temple they do not have authority to declare people unclean and make a group of second class citizens. Go back to the temple and show them you are in fact clean regardless what they say!"

But the man instead tells everyone what happened. Thus Jesus becomes a marked man, which forces him to go underground for a few days.

Jesus is angry this man was denied at the temple.
Jesus snort with indignation at the temple.
Jesus wants this man to non-violently resist the temple.
The man rejects Jesus' call to non-violent resistance and raises the "threat level" against Jesus.