A person with leprosy in Bible times was expected to cry out
so that people would know not to touch him or her for fear of contagion and their own infection. The word ‘Leprosy’ covers a multitude of skin infections, some serious, some not and we read in the last two days in Leviticus of the Priest’s responsibility in determining which were serious and the action to prevent infections from spreading.
Chapter 15 is about the precautions to be taken with sick people and others who had bodily discharges with the object of preventing the spread of other infections and disease. We also read that if those unclean with a “discharge” touch anyone “without having rinsed their hands in water” then the person touched is also regarded unclean until the evening and needs to “wash his clothes and bathe himself” (verse 11). They also had to cleanse the drinking and other vessels they used.
It is only about 200 years since our world discovered how infections spread and the great importance of hygiene; before then countless needless deaths and plagues occurred. In the nineteenth century we read that a few medical men, suddenly realizing that the Bible had such laws given by God through Moses 3,500 years ago became convinced it really was a divine revelation from God and some followed the way of life and belief found in the Bible.
A few years year the ‘Ebola’ disease in parts of West Africa claimed many lives – and the lack of cleanliness enabled it to spread easily. Although they do not actually cry “Unclean, unclean” these days, such an approach is in effect being practiced to contain the disease – as the first step in eliminating it.
“led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ”.
He then writes,
“if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus that the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough” (verses 3-5).
He then makes the point,
“such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ” (verse 13).
Sadly; it is the same today – and many accept an “unclean” gospel – but some, by God’s grace, come to realize this and go through a cleansing process. In God’s kingdom, we are bluntly told in Revelation 21,
“nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (verse 27).