In the new testament, there are several accounts of Jesus Christ’s miracles. One of them is Jesus healing the leper. This is written in the Bible as the first miracle that Jesus performed, but in fact, it was not. The reason that it was written first is to show the immense impact this one-act delivered. There is more to this story which may not initially be apparent the first time you read it.
What Is Leporacy?
Leprosy is a painful and infectious disease that is seen on the skin. The symptoms range from white patches on the skin to running sores to the loss of digits on the fingers and toes.
The Story Of Jesus Healing a Man With Leprosy
Mark 1:40-45 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.
What Does The Story of Jesus Healing The Leper Mean?
In this time certain illnesses could deem someone to an isolated life. Leperacy was an infectious disease and it came with the weight of the sufferer having to be isolated for the rest of their days.
Not only did one have to suffer from the isolation, people suffering from leporacy had to wear ripped clothes and yell that they were unclean to anyone who neared them.
“Anyone with such a defiling disease must wear torn clothes, let their hair be unkempt, cover the lower part of their face and cry out, ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ As long as they have the disease they remain unclean. They must live alone; they must live outside the camp.
If that was not bad enough, the priests would deem them spiritually unclean. This meant that they were ‘unworthy’ to worship or praise God.
Because Jesus blessed the leper and used the words ‘be clean’ he was not only talking about his physical body he was also healing the leper to be clean spiritually in Gods eyes.
This displays the character of Jesus Christ and how he can not only make us clean physically but spiritually clean too.
This increases the significance of this act, performed by Jesus Christ.
The Law Of Spiritual Uncleanliness
Levitucus:13 “The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “When anyone has a swelling or a rash or a shiny spot on their skin that may be a defiling skin disease, they must be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons who is a priest. The priest is to examine the sore on the skin, and if the hair in the sore has turned white and the sore appears to be more than skin deep, it is a defiling skin disease.
When the priest examines that person, he shall pronounce them ceremonially unclean. If the shiny spot on the skin is white but does not appear to be more than skin deep and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest is to isolate the affected person for seven days. On the seventh day the priest is to examine them, and if he sees that the sore is unchanged and has not spread in the skin, he is to isolate them for another seven days.
On the seventh day the priest is to examine them again, and if the sore has faded and has not spread in the skin, the priest shall pronounce them clean; it is only a rash. They must wash their clothes, and they will be clean. But if the rash does spread in their skin after they have shown themselves to the priest to be pronounced clean, they must appear before the priest again. The priest is to examine that person, and if the rash has spread in the skin, he shall pronounce them unclean; it is a defiling skin disease.”
What We Learn From The Story Of Leper
I love the first thing the leper said to Jesus Christ “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
The Leper approached Jesus Christ humble on his knees with faith and respect for Jesus Christ. This speaks to me of what God tells us to do. That is to display deep penatant attitude to him.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.” Psalm 51:17
These are all blessings, when we are broken-hearted, when our spirits are low it is then that we call out for a higher power, we seek God.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
We see this scripture being played out with the leper. He approached Jesus broken-hearted and Christ made him clean for the kingdom of God. It is up to the Leper to keep this level of spiritual cleanliness. By keeping the commandments and partaking of the sacrament each week.
This story tells us that it is never too late to seek Heavenly Father’s mercy.
Attitude of Gratitude
Offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.
We must show gratitude when we are blessed by Heavenly Father. We see this in the above scripture when Jesus tells the leper to offer the sacrifice. This was an attitude of gratitude mindset because the offering to Heavenly Father is showing him our respect, appreciation, and dedication to him.
In 2020, you are not going to see anyone sacrificing an animal and leaving it out the front of a temple. In fact, if you did you would probably get the cops called on you. So how can we show Heavenly Father our appreciation today?
- By honoring him and him only as God.
- Repent daily and be sorry for what you have done.
- Pray to him. Increase your relationship with Heavenly Father.
- Keep his commandments.
- Show the love you receive to God to other people.
- Find his lost sheep. Be a shepherd to people around you who need it.
- Tell friends about the Gospel.
The Consequences Of The Lepers Actions
Jesus had always been in danger and had the need for protection. This has always been because of the fear that the power may shift to Jesus Christ from several other leaders.
When Jesus was born, King Herod was warned of a new king being born in Bethlem by the three wise men. Herod was so threatened by the thought of the people worshiping another King instead of him he committed mass genocide of any male child born that were two and under.
After Herod, the threat of the Jewish priests and leaders began to grow in their hearts. They were worried too that the people would worship Jesus Christ and not them or their laws.
After the leper had told all about his miracle that Jesus performed, Jesus could no longer come into the towns. Due to the threat of being found.
Importance Of The Temple
But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.
A Jewish temple is built as a holy place for Heavenly Father. It is literally God’s house here on earth. In ancient times before Christ, it was a place where Jewish Priests would perform rituals before entering the house of the Lord. These rituals were to make them spiritually clean so that they could reside in God’s presence. Washing rituals, blood sacrifice, and priesthood clothing were used depending on what ritual they were performing.
In Jewish temples, only priests were able to enter inside the temple. Their priesthood clothing had the 12 tribes of Israel engraved in them representing all the children of the earth. The priest would be the proxy for the sins of the world, and he would purify them on behalf of the people until the savior of the world comes.
This phrase above “offer the gift Moses” spoken by Jesus Christ displays the importance of the temple to Heavenly Father. Since the sacrament was not around yet, to renew the baptismal covenants the jews would perform fire and cleansing rituals outside of the temple.
The purification rituals for someone who has leperacy is as follows:
The first phase consisted of the blood of a bird and sanctified water from the temple. “The priest shall order that two live clean birds and some cedar wood, scarlet yarn and hyssop be brought for the person to be cleansed.” Leviticus 14:4
The blood and water were sprinkled seven times on the unclean person to remove any impurities.
The second phase of the cleansing ritual was:
“The person to be cleansed must wash their clothes, shave off all their hair and bathe with water; then they will be ceremonially clean. After this they may come into the camp, but they must stay outside their tent for seven days.” Leviticus 14:8
During the third phase the person had to bring sacrifices (Lv 14:10-32) and blood and oil were placed on the ear, thumb and toe of the healed person (Lv 8:22-30). This washing and cleansing ritual can be seen in the following reenactment:
Here is a little food for thought for you.
What are you holding back on, that is holding you unclean in the eyes of God? What are you going to do to change it? How are you going to spiritually cleanse yourself?
In happiness and health,
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