“A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, ‘If you are willing, you can make me clean.’ Jesus was indignant.He reached out his hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ he said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed. Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning: ‘See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.’ Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.” -Mark 1:40-45
AN OUTDOOR ADVENTURE-BASED LEARNING EXERCISE AND V.I.S.I.O.N. INDUCTIVE STUDY OF MARK 1:40-45…
Setting: 1) Any scene of pristine beauty in the wilderness where the views provide an awe-inspiring perspective of the design of Creation and the obvious power of the Creator to make such a landscape.
Timing: 1) Toward the beginning of a trip, maybe after the first difficult hours of hiking. 2) You could use these quiet time questions to set up a short discussion about the value of life stories and giving witness to others of either a) what has shaped their life up to this point, and/or b) how Christ has made a difference in their life.
Set Up: Read the passage together and then send off for 30 minutes to go through the following inductive questions. Good timing for these reflection questions is before you set up the first “life story” on the trail as a spring board for understanding how we all have a story to share…
Quiet Time Questions (V.I.S.I.O.N. format)
V: Verse (Mark 1:40-45)
1. How would you describe the posture of the man with leprosy as he approached Jesus Christ based upon what he did and what he said?
2. In what ways does his enthusiasm point to the inward reality of his heart’s attitude toward Jesus?
3. List some of the things that Jesus did for the Leper as well as what he said to the Leper or told him to do:
S: Seek to Understand
4. How might the Leper have felt about himself and his future before meeting Jesus? Why do you think Jesus, decided to heal this man?
5. What might have been some of the reasons Jesus told the man not to go out and tell everyone about what He had done for him?
6. What do you think are some reasons why the Leper disobeyed Jesus and told everyone about what had happened to him?
7. Even though Jesus was becoming a prominent public figure, why do you suppose Jesus decided to stay out in the lonely places in the wilderness away from where he could be easily accessed?
8. In what ways does it surprise you that even though Jesus distanced himself from the public and media of his day, people still went out to him from all over the region?
9. In what ways am I different from the Leper? In what ways am I just like him?
10. What are some things I need to beg Jesus for today that need to be cleaned or purified in my own heart?
O: Obvious Question(s)
11. Am I more like the Leper or more like the crowds who Jesus wanted to distance himself from? Why?
12. Jesus obviously resisted the temptation toward being significant or relevant in the eyes of his friends and community. What are some ways that I can introduce others to Jesus without drawing too much attention to myself?
13. In a spiritual sense, what would it look like for me to begin seeking to find Christ in the lonely places like he did? In a physical sense, would it be helpful for me to develop a habit of regularly retreating to lonely places so I can meet with him undisturbed? What is a first step for me?
14. Has Jesus asked me to share my testimony with someone, like He instructed the Leper to go testify in the temple area about the way Jesus had healed him? If you have a relationship with Christ, what keeps you from sharing my testimony of Christ’s work in my life?
by Ashley Denton
Note: My Blog and Outdoor Ministry Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark often includes concepts derived from the theological and biblical perspectives offered in my book, Christian Outdoor Leadership: Theology, Theory, and Practice.