Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Unclean and clean

In the Old Testament, being ceremonially clean was part of being holy. Being clean in the eyes of the law was a fragile thing, because touching anything unclean made the one who touched it unclean. That’s why a leper in Israel had to live away from everyone else--so nobody would touch him and become unclean. We’re not talking about actually catching leprosy. Touching a leper made you unclean, even if you didn’t catch the disease. In other words, uncleanliness itself was contagious.

And then Jesus came along and changed everything. When Jesus touched a man with leprosy, the leper was healed and Jesus didn’t become unclean. It seems that when Jesus is involved, it’s cleanliness that’s contagious.

(c) Copyright 2007, A. Milton Stanley


Dr Mike said...

Good words, Milton. I also marvel at the leper: the Jews considered one with leprosy as being cursed by God, and the healing of leprosy was very rare and thought to be as difficult as raising the dead.

Nevertheless, the leper, having no reason to think he could be healed, still had enough faith to be.

Milton Stanley said...

Amen. Thanks for the comments, Mike.