Healing the Leper (Matt 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45): Nurses Perception

Healing the Leper (Matt 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45): Nurses Perception



Healing the Leper (Matt 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45): Nurses Perception

The New Testament accounts in the Bible are rife with events centered on the works of Jesus in response to the salvation of humanity. Accordingly, Jesus engaged in actions that have been described as miracles since they deviated from the ordinary norm of religiosity. One action in particular involved his personal objective as a healer within the respective community. Undeniably, Jesus approached the illnesses that the people suffered from with an open mind as well as a response to those that doubted the power of God (O’Brien, 2010). In this respect, he was capable of curing ailments such as blindness, leprosy, as well as persons who suffered from disabilities such as the crippled and the deaf. In this discourse, Jesus’ actions as a healer of leprosy, in respect to the reactions elicited by those around him, assert a relationship in relation to the duties and obligations of a nurse.

Based on the accounts of the New Testament as well as studies centered on the period, physical impairments as well as diseases of the skin were rejected considerably by the people. Persons such as the crippled, for example Bartimeaus, were resigned to a decrepit and destitute life because of the manner in which society viewed them. The same attitudes and social norms were also imposed upon people who exhibited leprosy. Accordingly, lepers were perceived as “unclean” hence influencing other people to segregate them on this basis (O’Brien, 2010). This is even evidenced in the manner the leper asks Jesus for healing. Upon meeting Jesus, the leper asks, “If you are willing, make me clean” (Mark 1:40: Matt. 8:2 New International Version). Nonetheless, the actions of Jesus upon healing the leper imposed a different reaction, especially those that were witness to it as well as those that heard about it. For instance, the sick person was happy and declared to the rest despite Jesus’ warning, and the crowd and disciples were in awe of the works that he did.

Nonetheless, Jesus’ actions angered religious leaders, especially the Pharisees who were seemingly convinced that his miracles and abilities were derived from the power of “Beelzebub” (Matt. 12:24; Luke 11:15 New International Version). Despite this, the fact that Jesus managed to help the members of his community, as evidenced by the illustration of the leper, indicated that he possessed considerable care for his community (McSherry, Cash, & Ross, 2004). Rather than abide by the rules of the Pharisees and the society, Jesus managed to consider this and simultaneously performed his miraculous works that were centered on healing without rejecting those that asked for his assistance. For example, after the leper asks him for ‘cleanliness’, Jesus responds by uttering that, “I am willing’ and proceeds towards curing him of his leprosy (Matt. 8:2 New International Version). In this respect, the fact that Jesus was willing to heal a person cast aside by society itself showed that he was fair and impartial to all individuals in terms of the service he provided.

The actions of Jesus can inform the duties and obligations performed by nurses within the context of healthcare. Just as the way Jesus acted as a servant, nurses should remember that their profession has called them for the aim of serving other members within their respective communities (Clarke, 2008). In addition to this, nursing is founded on basis of the demands of humankind. It is notable that the objective of nurses involves the provision of health and comfort, nourishment, and protection apart from curing the sick and healing the wounded as Jesus did. Additionally, the actions of Jesus in respect to healing the leper show that nursing should focus on providing care freely to those in need regardless of who those persons are (Clarke, 2008). Even though the person seeking assistance may possess a different stance, background, or religion or any other difference, nurses are obligated to provide services to the best of their abilities without being subjective.


Clarke, J. (2008). A critical view of how nursing has defined spirituality. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 18, 1666-1673.

McSherry, W., Cash, K., & Ross, L. (2004). Meaning of spirituality: Implications for nursing practice. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 13, 934-941.

O’Brien, M. E. (2010). Spirituality in nursing: Standing on holy ground. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.

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