As soon as Jesus came down from delivering the Sermon on the Mount, He encounter a leper. In the Sermon on the Mount (chs. 5–7), Jesus teaches about the kingdom of heaven; now He begins to demonstrate it through powerful deeds.
In the Old Testament, God was not to be touched or handled—think of the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, which represented His presence. Leviticus was all about being clean to even be in His presence. But in he New Testament. Jesus goes out into the world touching all manner of uncleanness and cleansing it and healing it.
Easton’s Bible dictionary says: Leprosy was “the outward and visible sign of the innermost spiritual corruption; a meet emblem in its small beginnings, its gradual spread, its internal disfigurement, its dissolution little by little of the whole body, of that which corrupts, degrades, and defiles man’s inner nature, and renders him unmeet to enter the presence of a pure and holy God”
In the Old Testament, a high priest who touched a leper would have been unclean and unfit for temple service— a serious penalty. Touching someone with leprosy should have made Jesus—a high priest unfit for service. But instead, He turns that rule upside down. He touches the leperous man who knelt before Him.
With one act, Jesus broke the law (and fulfilled it).
Like the leper, we are polluted by sin, but the presence and work of God cleanses all that. We don’t have to bring ourselves clean to Him, He does that for us. The miracle happened when that leper stepped out in faith and knelt in worship before Jesus. His act of worship ignited Jesus’ willingness to take away His unclean state.
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