From the Gospel According to Mark. This record of Jesus Christ’s life, written anonymously in Greek, is considered the first of the three Synoptic Gospels. In the preceding verses, Jesus enters the house of Simon and Andrew, where he heals “many that were sick of divers diseases.” Lepers of the period were considered unclean, and were bound by law to avoid contact with other humans. In Jerusalem they were forced to remain three thousand cubits (approximately fifteen hundred yards) from the city limits, in an area known as the “house of affliction.”
And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean.
And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.
And he straitly charged him, and forthwith sent him away;
And saith unto him, See thou say nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
But he went out, and began to publish it much, and to blaze abroad the matter, insomuch that Jesus could no more openly enter into the city, but was without in desert places: and they came to him from every quarter.