Matthew 8:4 ESV
Leviticus 14 (1-57 Responsibility of the Priest with leper)
Leviticus 14:2-3 ESV
Several years ago I had the privilege of working with a Healing Prayer Team. We had a very short service at the beginning of the service, then pray-ers would sit disbursed throughout the room so people could come for prayer. We did not direct people to a prayer station. When a prayer person was alone individuals could go sit with them. The prayer service generally lasted a little over an hour, but we did not leave until every person who came received prayer.
It was a weekly service held one evening a week. I was their director before and during Seminary.
I did learn a lot about healing when I worked with that team, but one of the things I learned is that I know very little about how someone is healed. See, at the service we knew we were only facilitating healing.
That’s because only God can heal.
There were times when God did heal. The most difficult thing I learned is that healing, complete healing comes when we pass through heaven’s gate.
We will all be completely healed in heaven.
That means when my dad died of cancer of the liver he was completely healed. He suffered terribly at the end and even though I struggled to let him go, I knew that was the best thing for him.
We learn in Matthew 8:1-3, “When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.“
Sounds easy, right?
At that point I did some digging because I know the 1st Century culture was very different from our culture today.
I found out what the story doesn’t tell us is that it took great courage for the leper to approach Jesus. At the time when Jesus walked the earth lepers were scorned, even by the Rabbis. They considered the leper to be unclean inside and out. At that time lepers were considered to be the walking dead. Many religious leaders believed that lepers had been judged by God and they did not deserve any mercy.
When the leper went to Jesus that day, no one came near him because being near a leper was unacceptable. By being with a leper, you became unclean.
Jesus had not yet healed anyone with leprosy so when the leper approached Jesus he really had no hope of being healed.
He had not been invited to approach Jesus and he would have been filled with shame because he was a leper. (https://enduringword.com/bible-commentary/matthew-8/)
Still, he came. Immediately when Jesus touched him, he was healed.
Then in Matthew 8:4, “Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
What? He was instructed not to tell anyone?
That’s an interesting twist. You’d think Jesus would have told the healed man to tell everyone! Instead Jesus told him to go show them he was healed. Jesus probably knew no one would believe what they heard but they would be forced to believe what they saw.
So let’s go way back…
In Leviticus Moses outlined the responsibility of the priest when a leper was brought to him (Leviticus 14:1-57).
Until Jesus, lepers and priests had been instructed in Leviticus 14:2-9, “This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall look. Then, if the case of leprous disease is healed in the leprous person, the priest shall command them to take for him who is to be cleansed two live clean birds and cedarwood and scarlet yarn and hyssop. And the priest shall command them to kill one of the birds in an earthenware vessel over fresh water. He shall take the live bird with the cedarwood and the scarlet yarn and the hyssop, and dip them and the live bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the fresh water. And he shall sprinkle it seven times on him who is to be cleansed of the leprous disease. Then he shall pronounce him clean and shall let the living bird go into the open field. And he who is to be cleansed shall wash his clothes and shave off all his hair and bathe himself in water, and he shall be clean. And after that he may come into the camp, but live outside his tent seven days. And on the seventh day he shall shave off all his hair from his head, his beard, and his eyebrows. He shall shave off all his hair, and then he shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and he shall be clean.”
Notice if the leprous person is healed then there were specific instructions about what they needed to do.
When the leprous person was healed by Jesus, He instructed him to go show the priest and to offer the gift that Moses commanded.
Jesus did not nullify what Moses commanded, he sent the leprous man who had been healed to complete the process that was outlined in Leviticus 14:2-9.
Jesus did not do away with the old covenant…He completed it!
Spiritual Practice: Jesus Completed
Think of a way Jesus changed and completed your life.
In God, Deborah