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?’

Saved or Lost? #8

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

“My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you” (Galatians 4:19,20 KJV).

Are these people really saved—or really lost?

The physical realm abounds with abnormalities or seeming impossibilities (extreme or rare medical conditions). Similarly, the spiritual world is filled with eccentric or appalling disorders (contradictions or paradoxes). These sinning saints appear to be unbelievers in thoughts and/or actions, but are indeed members of God’s family!

Believers in the God of the Bible have done stupid things, spoken foolish words, and entertained silly ideas. The Apostle Peter thrice denied he knew his Saviour (Mark 14:66-72). Moreover, he had even intensely argued with the Lord how this would never happen—essentially calling Christ a “liar” (verses 27-31; also see the other occasion in Luke 22:31-34)! Moses, in an infantile rage, struck the rock twice when the LORD had ordered him to speak to it instead (Numbers 20:1-12). Let us not forget how Noah ruined his testimony with drunkenness in Genesis 9:20-27!

Abraham listened to his wife (not the LORD) concerning his sexual relations with Hagar (Genesis 16:1-4): resulting son Ishmael, a product of Abraham’s flesh (law, religious performance), competed with God’s promised son, Isaac (grace). King David committed adultery, fathered an illegitimate child, and then murdered the adulteress’ husband to cover it all up (2 Samuel 11:1–12:14). In 1 Corinthians 5:1-13, a Christian brother is fornicating with “his father’s wife” (hopefully, it was his stepmother and not his biological mother)! Not even the Gentile idolaters had such a revolting reputation (verse 1)!

Believers in Christ Jesus in John 12:42,43 were silent about their faith, since they would be excommunicated from the synagogue if they were outspoken (“for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God”). King Solomon was romantically involved with almost 1,000 idolatrous women, not only permitting their heathen religion in the Promised Land but even practicing it himself (1 Kings 11:1-13)! Finally, the Apostle Paul, awaiting his execution, wrote some poignant words concerning a grace ministry coworker: “Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10; cf. Galatians 1:4; 1 John 2:15-17).

Yes, these were believers (!!!!!!)….

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. 🙂

Whom God Helps #5

Friday, August 26, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

When Israel agreed to enter a covenant relationship with JEHOVAH God at Mount Sinai, the following was spoken in Exodus chapter 19: “[5] Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: [6] And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. [7] And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. [8] And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD.”

Since Israel preferred that works-religion (perform to get the blessing, sin to receive the curse), that is exactly what the LORD gave them. Ignoring God’s grace (what He had already done for them to make them His people), they assumed they could and would make themselves His people. However, as the centuries passed, the Jewish people corrupted the Promised Land with their idols, so the final punishment was instated as per Leviticus 26:32,33: “And I will bring the land into desolation: and your enemies which dwell therein shall be astonished at it. And I will scatter you among the heathen, and will draw out a sword after you: and your land shall be desolate, and your cities waste.” Failing to obey the Law of Moses, they were now cursed. God deported them from the land via invading Gentile armies (especially Assyrian and Babylonian). The Fifth Course (Phase, Stage) of Chastisement began.

Therefore, in Acts 2:5-11, we read of Jews visiting Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, these foreigners having come “out of every nation under heaven.” In today’s Scripture, Christ’s earthly ministry, that global scattering of Israel has yet to be reversed. The nation must be revived and returned to live in the Promised Land, just (!) as (!) Lazarus (!) himself (!)….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain ‘durst?’

Whom God Helps #4

Thursday, August 25, 2022

These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep (John 11:11 KJV).

Behold, he whom God helps!

First Corinthians 1:22 says, “For the Jews require a sign….” The nation Israel is God’s sign people in Scripture, the Lord saying in John 4:48: “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Some 15 centuries prior, when Moses was commissioned to go preach to his Jewish people suffering Egyptian slavery, he anticipated an objection: “And Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee” (Exodus 4:1). God directed him in verse 17, “And thou shalt take this rod in thine hand, wherewith thou shalt do signs.” Read verses 1-9—how Moses was empowered to handle snakes (a picture or type of victory over Satan), heal leprosy (infectious skin disease, a type or picture of sin), and even turn water into blood.

Chapter 4 of Exodus closes with verses 29-31: “And Moses and Aaron went and gathered together all the elders of the children of Israel: And Aaron spake all the words which the LORD had spoken unto Moses, and did the signs in the sight of the people. And the people believed: and when they heard that the LORD had visited the children of Israel, and that he had looked upon their affliction, then they bowed their heads and worshipped.”

The Holy Spirit arranged the Book of John around eight specific “signs” or miraculous demonstrations the Lord Jesus Christ performed during His three years of earthly ministry. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (John 20:30,31). Lazarus being restored to life was one of these miracles—and this event is reported only in John’s Gospel Record. What can Almighty God do for Israel? Who can He be for Israel? Let us watch and see….

One More Night with the Frogs! #3

Monday, January 31, 2022

And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God (Exodus 8:10 KJV).

Who has replied with, “To morrow,” and why has he answered thusly?

Before we dismiss today’s Scripture and its context as mere “fairytales told around ancient Jewish campfires,” we would do well to see the modern parallel. Whenever an unsaved person responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will become a Christian,” he or she is following in Pharaoh’s footsteps. “I just want to live in sin one more day, before I submit to my Creator’s will.” Whenever a believer in Christ responds to the Gospel of Grace with, “Let me have fun in the world first, and then I will behave like a Christian,” he or she is also following in Pharaoh’s footsteps.

Overall, Pharaoh was both deceived and deceptive. When he noticed the plague of frogs ending, he saw no reason to keep his word. He still refused to free Israel! “[12] And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh: and Moses cried unto the LORD because of the frogs which he had brought against Pharaoh. [13] And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages, and out of the fields. [14] And they gathered them together upon heaps: and the land stank. [15] But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had said.” After another eight devastating plagues, Pharaoh desperately forced Israel out of his land—only to ultimately fight them with his army and drown with all his troops in the Red Sea!

Friends, may we not be foolish or proud. If we are suffering “frogs” today—the ill effects of our sin—may we not be willing to spend one more night with them. Rather, let us trust Paul’s Gospel: Christ died for our sins, was buried, and was raised again for our justification (1 Corinthians 15:3,4). Herein is deliverance from the penalty of sin (Hell and the Lake of Fire) and the power of sin (worldly living).

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “How can there be ‘eleven’ Apostles if both Judas Iscariot and Thomas are absent?” and “Was Apollos at fault in 1 Corinthians 16:12?

One More Night with the Frogs! #2

Sunday, January 30, 2022

And he said, To morrow. And he said, Be it according to thy word: that thou mayest know that there is none like unto the LORD our God (Exodus 8:10 KJV).

Who has replied with, “To morrow,” and why has he answered thusly?

This plague of frogs was the second of 10 Divine judgments on Egypt because Pharaoh relentlessly held the nation Israel hostage. Actually, it was Satan using Pharaoh to keep the Jews as his political prisoners. Concerning these curses, JEHOVAH God proved He was superior to whatever the King of Egypt worshipped or even thought himself to be (pharaohs were regarded as gods—they were self-centered, to say the least). Remember, the King of Egypt, in a most unenviable position, proposed in verse 8: “Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said, Intreat the LORD, that he may take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may do sacrifice unto the LORD.” That is, if Israel’s God removes the frogs, Pharaoh would release Israel.

Now, let us recall the words of verse 9: “And Moses said unto Pharaoh, Glory over me: when shall I intreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, to destroy the frogs from thee and thy houses, that they may remain in the river only?” In other words, “Pharaoh, you have the honor of deciding what time you prefer I pray to the LORD to take away the frogs.” The King of Egypt, not the LORD or Moses, has been given the power or privilege to determine just how long he wants to suffer this type of judgment.

Pharaoh’s answer is in today’s Scripture: “To morrow.” In his stubborn pride, the king makes a poor decision. He is willing to let the plague continue just a bit longer before he considers freeing Israel. To wit, “I would rather tolerate these unpleasant frogs one more night before I think about submitting to the God of Israel!” Willful Pharaoh has no one to blame but himself for his misery. The Egyptians have no one to blame but their defiant monarch for their suffering….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Can you explain, ‘God save the king?’