Reading Leviticus 13-14 is difficult for me. I struggle with both the repetition and the subject. The one verse in these two chapters that always caught my attention was Leviticus 13:45 where the leper was required to wear torn clothes, leave their hair unkempt and continuously cry out "Unclean, unclean" when around those not infected. What a miserable life that must have been.
When I realized Matthew listed Jesus' healing of a leper as His first specific miracle, Leviticus 13-14 had new meaning to me. Prior to the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 4:23-24), Matthew records the fact of Jesus healing all kinds of diseases in general. But immediately after leaving the mountain (Matthew 8:1-4), a leper came and knelt before Jesus saying "Lord, if you will, you can make me clean." The leper recognized Jesus' capability, but after a life of being unaccepted, the leper was unsure of Jesus' willingness to heal him. Jesus could have simply spoken and cured his leprosy, but instead touched him saying "I will; be clean."
Jesus commanded the man to say nothing about being healed but to go and show himself to the priest and offer the correct sacrifices to fulfill the instruction of Leviticus 14.
The repeated repetition of clean and unclean in Leviticus inevitably forces me to think of my own condition and the willingness of Jesus to touch me. 1 John 1:8-9 always comes to mind. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
Thank You, Jesus, for touching me. I know Your willingness to touch me cost You much more than being ceremonially unclean for a short period. It cost You shame, pain, suffering and death that should have been mine to bear. Only because of You am I able to say "Clean, Clean."
"Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings."
Based on his desire and effort to live a righteous life, David cries for the LORD to display His steadfast love as he seeks refuge from those who would do him harm. He prays for God's protection. Psalm 17:8 says, "Guard me as you would guard your own eyes. Hide me in the shadow of your wings." (NLT)
My son-in-law lost sight in one of his eyes a few years ago, so the idea of God guarding me as He would His own eyes has special meaning to me. I know the precaution my son-in-law takes to protect his one good eye.
When I consider God as my refuge and protection, I think of John 10:29; "My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand." God hiding me in the shelter of His wings is a beautiful picture, but I prefer visualizing myself in the clutch of His saving right hand (Psalm 20:6).
"Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy."
Isn't this verse saying the same thing as 1 John 1:8-9 that we discussed from Leviticus 14?