- Leviticus 12:1-15:33
- 2 Kings 4:42-5:19, 2 Kings 7:3-20
- Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 5:24b-34, Luke 17:11-19
The reading and discussion this week is around determining how a person is considered clean or unclean. These boundaries were a safeguard for the people of Israel so sickness was handled in an appropriate way. Some arguments exist that say Jesus was not Torah observant. This argument is not valid.
In Matthew 8, we see Jesus respond in the following manner. “Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly leprosy disappeared. Then Jesus said to him, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Instead, go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy. This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”
Jesus lets the leaper know that he should go and have the priest examine him which was required by the Torah. If Jesus was to have ignored or broken the Torah, He would have omitted the need to go to the priest. Jesus was the fulfillment of the Torah.
In Luke 17 we find Jesus has healed ten lepers, but only one has returned to give glory to God. This is an interesting lesson for us. God healed ten and sent them to the priest for examination. Only one comes back a samaritan which gives us cause to evaluate the other nine.
Elisha and Naaman - a gentile - meet each other through a set of odd circumstances. Naaman’s expectations of his healing are less than he hoped for. Naaman was more convinced he needed to meet the man who performed the healing than the one who healed him. However, Naaman showed himself to be teachable and able to exercise faith and belief by washing himself in the river 7 times. Naaman comes back to the man of God and says, “Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel.” Wow, what a statement from Naaman.
Mark 5 gives us a clear description of the teachings of Jesus and how many people were drawn to what He was saying. Amid His traveling and teaching, the least of these, who were considered unclean believed that He was the Word that became flesh. ”Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of Him and told Him what she had done. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Questions for Reflection:
▪ What will it take for me to come with “child-like faith” in my understanding of God?
▪ Do I have faith and belief like Naaman?
▪ Do I have an understanding of the Law and Jesus's response?
▪ Has my mind convinced me that I am too unclean to receive God’s love?