The Leper #10

Thursday, October 6, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

Observe that closing phrase, “for a testimony unto them.” Christ directed the cured leper to the Jerusalem Temple to shew himself to the Levitical priest. Remember the two clean and living birds, hyssop, scarlet thread, and cedar wood (Leviticus 14:1-7)! Such an action would bear witness to the priests that God had worked—for, after all, only Almighty God could heal leprosy (Exodus 4:6,7; Numbers 12:9-16; 2 Kings 5:3,7,8,14,15). By Jesus having the recovered leper go to the priest, instead of the priest going out to meet the leper (Leviticus 14:3), it would alert the priest to the fact that something supernatural had indeed happened! Christ’s ministry was validated: His credentials could not be more obvious.

To repeat, the impeccable (faultless) Lord Jesus Christ can take man’s sin upon Himself without that sin infecting Him. He “was made sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21) and “His soul [was made] an offering for sin” (Isaiah 53:10), but He was never a sinner (“who knew [was acquainted with] no sin;” 2 Corinthians 5:21). He came to die for both Israel’s sins (Isaiah 53:8; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45) and our sins. As per the doctrine of substitutionary (or, vicarious) atonement, Father God punished Jesus as though He were a sinner, He taking our place in suffering Divine wrath against our sin. Just as He was willing to heal the leper (“I will; be thou clean”), He “is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).

“Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Saints, please remember this work of the ministry requires monthly financial support to operate (Galatians 6:6; Philippians 4:16-17; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7). Those who prefer electronic giving can donate securely here: https://www.paypal.me/ShawnBrasseaux. Anyone who wishes to donate by regular mail can visit https://333wordsofgrace.org/contact-us-mailing-address-for-donations/ for details. Thanks to all who give to and pray for us! Unfortunately, since our ministry audience is so large and our ministry staff is so small, I can no longer personally respond to everyone. Thanks so much for understanding in this regard. 🙂

The Leper #9

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

Since their disorder was contagious, lepers were societal outcasts, quarantined from Israel’s encampment and their clothes burned (Leviticus 13:46-52). The leper announced his condition with the cry (verse 45), “Unclean! Unclean!” Therefore, it is truly amazing the crowds of today’s Scripture even permitted the leper to enter their midst: in fact, Luke (5:12) reports this was “in a certain city,” so the leper’s entry is even more extraordinary. By whatever means, he was resolute in meeting the Lord Jesus Christ—and he did!

Christ, however, was not the least bit worried about being defiled because, being the God-Man, undiminished Deity and full humanity, sinless God and perfect Man, sin could not pass to Him. Today’s Scripture explains how He actually touched the leper: the Lord can minister to sinners without them contaminating Him! “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” Instead of the leper’s germs being transmitted to Christ, Christ’s holiness was transferred to the leper. Christ was not rendered sick (unrighteous), but the sick man was made well (righteous).

“But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole [healthy] need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance” (Matthew 9:12,13; Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31,32). He has come to call Israel to a change in mind, to new life in Him, and the leper of today’s Scripture represents Israel’s believing remnant reaching out in faith for spiritual healing and re-admittance into God’s camp/presence….

The Leper #8

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

In Leviticus 14:1-3, the Levitical priest sought out the leper in the day of his cleansing; the leper did nothing because he could do nothing. If the plague was truly cured, it was God’s work, and the man was to be subsequently ceremonially purified: “[4] Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet [string, lace, yarn, thread], and hyssop [sprig or twig of a scraggly desert plant, used to sprinkle]: [5] And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: [6] As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: [7] And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.”

With a completed Bible, we understand this more fully than even Moses did. These two birds symbolize Jesus Christ’s heavenly connection; the slain bird is His blood shed on Calvary’s cross; the living bird is His life; the earthen vessel is His humanity; the running water is His resurrection. The bird freed represents post-resurrection life, a being living in light of the other being who died. “Without shedding of blood [there] is no remission [forgiveness]” (Hebrews 9:22). “Purge me [a sinner] with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow” (Psalm 51:7).

Indeed, this is all a beautiful picture of eternal salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ….

The Leper #7

Monday, October 3, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

Contrary to popular belief, Christ’s earthly ministry was not “New Testament Christianity” but rather “Old Testament Judaism.” Today’s Scripture indicates how the Lord ordered the leper, “…go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.” Obviously, this is a Levitical priest and “the gift that Moses commanded” is an animal sacrifice as prescribed in the Law of Moses. This is Judaism, definitely not our “Dispensation of the Grace of God” (Romans 6:14,15; Ephesians 3:1,2)!

Moses, God’s spokesman to Israel, devoted over 100 verses to leprosy—Leviticus chapters 13–14. Chapter 14: “[1] And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, [2] This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: [3] And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; [4] Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop: [5] And the priest shall command that one of the birds be killed in an earthen vessel over running water: [6] As for the living bird, he shall take it, and the cedar wood, and the scarlet, and the hyssop, and shall dip them and the living bird in the blood of the bird that was killed over the running water: [7] And he shall sprinkle upon him that is to be cleansed from the leprosy seven times, and shall pronounce him clean, and shall let the living bird loose into the open field.”

Here is Calvary’s cross pictured….

The Leper #6

Sunday, October 2, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

Leprosy is an excellent type (picture, portrait, illustration, representation, symbol) of sin for at least five reasons. Both leprosy and sin are: (1) inherent, in the blood, passed down to descendants; (2) destructive and decomposing; (3) unsightly or ugly, invisible yet manifested outwardly via horrific symptoms; (4) man cannot cure; and (5) contagious and worsening. Also, note how both are associated with “the flesh.” When Miriam, Moses’ sister, was stricken with leprosy, the LORD showed how He alone, not man, could heal it (Numbers 12:10-16). Recall Moses’ God-given ability to cure leprosy in Exodus 4:6,7 was the LORD’S word to Israel as to how He would treat her leprosy.

Yet, the most famous leper in Scripture is Naaman, a Gentile or Syrian military leader, as described in 2 Kings 5:1-15. His heathen idols cannot help him. Nevertheless, his wife has a little Jewish servant girl, and this Jewess (a woman of faith) recommends he go down to see the LORD’S prophet Elisha (verses 1-4). Naaman’s king sends him to unbelieving King Jehoram of Israel who reacts most foolishly to the request (verses 5-7). The Prophet Elisha, hearing of Jehoram’s tantrum and Naaman’s infirmity, is willing to meet the leper as God’s representative (verse 8). Naaman is given some strange instructions—wash in the Jordan River seven times—which he reluctantly but eventually obeys and is recovered from leprosy (verses 9-14). He professes his faith in verse 15: “Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel.” Israel’s God (notice verse 7) will cleanse even the Gentiles of their spiritual leprosy!

Let us now consider “the gift that Moses commanded….”

The Leper #5

Saturday, October 1, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

One of the three signs or miraculous demonstrations the LORD God gave Moses to authenticate or verify his ministry was the ability to heal leprosy: “And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh” (Exodus 4:6,7). This served to communicate to Israel not only that Moses was God’s spokesman to them, but also how God would ultimately heal them of spiritual leprosy (that is, free them from bondage to sin). Snake-handling, overcoming Satan, was another pertinent miracle and body of truth (see verses 1-5).

During His earthly ministry, Christ healed at least one specific leper (today’s Scripture; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-15)—although Matthew 11:5 and Luke 7:22 suggest He treated countless other lepers. In fact, toward the end of His ministry, He cured 10 lepers in Luke 17:11-19. Simon the leper (Matthew 26:6; Mark 14:3) was apparently another person Jesus healed. Moreover, Christ commissioned His 12 Apostles to “cleanse the lepers” and validate their Gospel message (Matthew 10:8). Had the nation Israel been mindful of Moses’ ministry, preserved in their Hebrew Bible, they would have connected Jesus and His Apostles to the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This goes beyond simply Exodus chapter 4. It reinforces and expands upon what the Mosaic Law had already stated in Leviticus chapters 13 and 14….

Our latest Bible Q&As: “What is the significance of The Parable of the Good Samaritan?” and “Can you explain ‘impotent?’

The Leper #4

Friday, September 30, 2022

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them (Matthew 8:1-4 KJV).

Why is this part of the Holy Scriptures?

Christ’s earthly ministry can be summarized most succinctly with two simple passages from Matthew’s Gospel Record. “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them” (Matthew 4:23,24). “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (Matthew 9:35).

The Gospel of the Kingdom—“The kingdom of heaven is at hand [near]” (Matthew 4:17)—is the Good News (Glad Tidings) that Israel’s Messiah-King has visited her. John the Baptist preached this (Matthew 3:2), as did Jesus Himself (Matthew 4:17), and even the 12 Apostles (Matthew 10:7). Israel can finally become God’s kingdom of priests in the Earth, a blessing to all the world (Gentiles or nations), the goal of the Abrahamic Covenant finally reached (Genesis 12:1-3). At the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Israel has existed for 2,000 years. For the last 1,500 years, they have had the Law of Moses—which they have repeatedly violated, corrupting it and themselves with false religion.

If Israel the leper is to become God’s kingdom of priests, able to live up to rigorous principles of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), the Lord can and will cure her spiritual leprosy (today’s Scripture)….

Preaching the Word

Sunday, July 3, 2022

“Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4 KJV).

As the Jerusalem Church dispersed due to Stephen’s mistreatment and eventual death, these saints were found “preaching the word” in all the places they went!

Many years back, after a major natural disaster, a Christian travelled with a large group of members of his denomination to help with relief efforts. He was also eager to go door-to-door in devastated neighborhoods to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ—and even pass out Gospel tracts and/or Bibles. Alas, he was stunned to discover those “Christians” never brought even one box of Bibles or any Christian literature to distribute! Here, he was so ready to give suffering people the truths of the Holy Scriptures, but his fellow denominationalists were more interested in passing out food and meeting other secular needs. Doing these “good works” was all they wanted. Where was the Bible in this church group? The Gospel tracts? The sincere desire to see lost people dead in their sins come to faith in Christ alone? It was for this reason my friend ultimately and permanently left that denomination. (We would not meet each other until several years later, upon which time he relayed this true story to me.)

Returning to today’s Scripture, Israel’s believing remnant (except the 12 Apostles; Acts 8:1) abandoned Jerusalem when Stephen’s murderers began tormenting Christ’s followers. Acts 11:19 qualifies, “Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the Jews only.” They knew how Jesus Christ during His earthly ministry had commanded them to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom once He returned to His Heavenly Father (Matthew 10:5-7,23). When referencing us the Church the Body of Christ in this the Dispensation of the Grace of God, the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul wrote, Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine” (2 Timothy 4:2).

This lost, dying world is hurting and so desperately needs the Word of God’s Grace. Brethren, may we share our Heavenly Father’s desire to reach them while… there is still time.

Psalm 110:1 #4

Thursday, June 23, 2022

“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool” (Psalm 110:1 KJV).

How does today’s Scripture, this Psalm of David, explain the Bible timeline for us?

When Stephen announced how the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, was standing at God’s right hand in Acts 7:55-56, it was a major point on Israel’s prophetic timeline. Jesus did not rise to receive and greet Stephen who would soon perish (that is a common, albeit shallow and false, interpretation). Stephen’s audience was quite aware of a most disturbing truth.

After all, just one year prior to chapter 7, in Acts chapter 2, the Apostle Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost how Psalm 110:1 had been fulfilled when Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven in chapter 1: “For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:34-36). Peter, speaking as the Holy Spirit gave him utterance, altered it from “enemies” (today’s Scripture) to “foes” because Israel had actively opposed Christ (crucifying Him on Calvary) and was still refusing God’s will even into early Acts (weeks and months after Calvary).

Luke 13:6-9 explains that, after Jesus’ three-year-long earthly ministry (to which Israel responded overwhelmingly in unbelief), God would grant Israel a one-year extension to repent (change the mind) and believe the Gospel of the Kingdom. Therefore, in Acts 2:38, Acts 3:19, and Acts 5:31, Peter “filled with the Holy Ghost” preached to Israel repentance and faith in Jesus as Christ. By the time of chapter 7, Stephen (also “filled with the Holy Ghost”) confronts and denunciates unbelieving Israel. The opportunity to repent has passed; the one-year extension is expired. The Son of Man has risen from His seated position to make His enemies or foes (unbelieving Israel!) His footstool. He is returning to subjugate or conquer them in flaming fire and vengeance!

Right here, just moments away from God’s wrath falling on this whole planet, the Lord paused prophecy and began mystery, pouring out grace, mercy, and peace on the chief sinner….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What does ‘chide’ mean?

To Endure Forever

Thursday, April 21, 2022

“Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you” (1 Peter 1:23-25 KJV).

An eminent philosopher and critic of Christianity once bragged that, within a quarter-century, the Bible would be forgotten and Christianity would be no more. Forty years after he died, his house was converted into a print shop—wherein was published the Bible and other Christian literature! (That was 200 years ago, by the way.)

Beloved, our sinful flesh refuses to submit to final authority. We all want to think and do whatever we want. To evade accountability, we must devise schemes or excuses so as not to trust what God has already stated in His Book. We convince ourselves why we have no reason to be a Christian or believe anything in the Scriptures. Through the centuries, innumerable souls have deceived themselves into assuming Christianity will disappear. With that false hope, they have diminished any real severity in rejecting Christianity.

When addressing Israel’s Little Flock, the Jewish believing remnant, the Apostle Peter in today’s Scripture quoted Isaiah 40:6-8 to remind these saints they had been given eternal life through the living and life-giving Word of God. That Divine message they heard and believed—Jesus is Messiah/Christ (the Gospel of the Kingdom)—would remain ever-present, as would all other Scripture. Their souls were permanently secure because God’s promises to them were certain. On the other hand, man in all his arrogant intellectualism and self-sufficiency, is like grass and flowers. He is breathtaking, stunning, astounding for just an instant… only to die and shrivel away to nothingness!

The Scriptures are not temporary, but their opponents are. While critics are usually angry with religion and bitter regarding religious hypocrisy, they must realize they are fighting a losing battle. History testifies that God’s words have survived thousands of years of relentless satanic attacks. If they have outlasted all their enemies thus far, they doubtless will abide throughout the endless ages to come! 🙂