These daily online studies are adapted from our Quiet Time Bible Guide. The studies go through the Old and New Testaments in just over two years. The approach taken by our quiet time Bible studies does not include answers. The goal of the study is to help you dig into Scripture for yourself. You can go deeper using a commentary, Bible background guide or Bible handbook.


Mark 1:40-2:17: The Clean and the Unclean

For more context before you begin studying, read this introduction to the book of Mark.

"Unclean! Unclean!" The man shouted, and everyone scattered to avoid contact with the leper—everyone except Jesus.

The religious wisdom of the day demanded that a holy man keep away from the common people, the "sinners." So Jesus was bound to encounter resistance as he openly welcomed them. This passage focuses on Christ's compassion toward those we normally avoid.

Warming Up to God

What is it about yourself that you feel is "unclean"? Confess your sins to God and hear him declare you to be clean once again.

Read Mark 1:40-2:17

Discovering the Word

  • Leviticus 13:45-46 states that a leper "must wear torn clothes, let his hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of his face and cry out, `Unclean! Unclean!' As long as he has the infection he remains unclean. He must live alone; he must live outside the camp." What risks did the leper take in coming to Jesus (1:40-45)?
  • What risks did Jesus take in responding to him as he did?
  • How does Jesus respond to the man's total need?
  • Imagine that you are the paralytic being lowered before Jesus (2:1-12). How do you feel, especially when Jesus announces, "Son, your sins are forgiven"?
  • Contrast the Pharisees' attitude toward tax collectors and "sinners" with that of Jesus.

Applying the Word

  • Who do you consider to be some of the "unlovely" or "unreachable" for God's kingdom?
  • What steps can you take to bring your thoughts and actions toward them into line with those of Jesus?

Responding in Prayer

Ask Jesus to help you see people as he does and act toward them as he would.