Friday, September 23 2011
Heal The Sick, Cleanse The Lepers
Leprosy has been one of the most feared health maladies of humanity, from ancient times to the present. Excerpts from an article about Leprosy provided by the U.S. National Library of Medicine:
"Leprosy is an infectious disease that has been known since Biblical times. It is characterized by disfiguring skin sores, nerve damage, and progressive debilitation."
As stated above, leprosy has been recognized from "Biblical times" (although actually, humans have always been living in Biblical times, historically or prophetically). Leprosy (a term that also sometimes included other similar-appearing infections involving the skin) was included in the health laws of ancient Israel (see The First Christian Church) which stated that lepers (and all others who were a source of infection) were to live in isolation.
"13:45 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. 13:46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be." (Leviticus 13:45-46 KJV)
"The lepers are cleansed"
By the time of the human birth of the Messiah, leprosy remained a dreaded disease. Notice that in this example, although "great multitudes" were present with Jesus Christ, a leper was able to speak alone with Him (i.e. the reason that Christ said "See thou tell no man"), either by scattering the crowd by the presence of a leper, or by waiting until the end of the day when only His apostles would still have been there to run for it. The term used in the Holy Scriptures for the healing of lepers was "cleansed" or "made clean," rather than just healing i.e. "heal the sick, cleanse the lepers" i.e. remove the active source of infection from them.
"8:1 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
The Twelve were cured of their fear of leprosy by the power of the LORD, when they too were given the means (see the Fact Finder question below) to heal all diseases (although nothing is recorded of them doing so until after Christ's resurrection; see also Their Eyes Opened After Christ's Tomb Did).
"10:1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
Jesus Christ was driven away from Nazareth (see also The Prophet Of Galilee) because, in response to their "Physician, heal thyself" challenge, He used the example of the healing of a leper to illustrate their lack of faith in the Word of God.
"4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day [see Do You Observe Christ's Sabbath Or Babylon's Sun Day? and What Did Jesus Do On The Sabbath?], and stood up for to read. 4:17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias [see What Did Isaiah Know About Jesus Christ?]. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
Notice also in this example that of the ten lepers healed, only one "returned to give glory to God." Does that mean that the ingratitude and lack of faith of the other nine resulted in the return of their leprosy? Was their cure only partial - the reason that the Christ described the healing of the faithful one as "whole"?
"17:11 And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 17:12 And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: 17:13 And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
Only days before His Crucifixion, the Messiah "was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper" - a man who, although still known as "the leper," had obviously been healed because lepers were required to live outside of towns, and the Messiah would not have left a believer "unclean."
"26:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, 26:2 Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. 26:3 Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, 26:4 And consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. 26:5 But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
Fact Finder: What was the spiritual basis of "healing"?
This Day In History, September 23
63 BC: Octavian was born. Grand-nephew of Julius Caesar, Octavian, with the official name Caesar Augustus, was the first emperor of the Roman empire (see Ancient Empires - Rome). He reigned from 31 B.C. to 14 A.D., which covered the birth and early life of Jesus Christ.
1122: The Concordat of Worms was signed between Roman Catholic Pope Callistus II and Holy Roman Emperor Henry V (a German king). Signed at Worms (in German, Vorms - a city in Germany), the agreement ended the Investiture Controversy - a centuries-long (and not-yet-done) power struggle between the allied European emperor and Catholic pope (see Emperors and Popes).
1459: The Battle of Blore Heath, the first major battle of the English Wars of the Roses.
1553: The Sadians became the rulers of Morocco in opposition to the Ottomans (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).
1578: English explorer Sir Humphrey Gilbert sailed from Plymouth, England, in search of the Northwest Passage. The passage was not actually found until 3 centuries later.
1723: The site of present-day Toronto was purchased from the Mississauga Indians.
1817: Britain and Spain signed a treaty to end the slave trade.
1846: The 8th planet from the sun was discovered by astronomers at Berlin University. A British astronomer had earlier calculated the presence of the planet, but it was not searched for at Cambridge until after the German discovery. We know the planet today by the pagan name Neptune.
1941: During the Second World War, the first Nazi gas chamber experiments were conducted at the Auschwitz concentration camp (the gas chamber was not a Nazi invention; the U.S. began using it as a means of execution in 1924).
1972: Martial law was declared in the Philippines by President Ferdinand Marcos.
1973: Juan Peron was re-elected as President of Argentina (he was overthrown in 1955). His wife, Evita, became the Vice President.
2004: Hurricane Jeanne killed over 1,000 people in Haiti.