“Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, ‘Unclean! Unclean! ’”
Leprosy is a skin disease that effects the nervous system; resulting in spreading rash-like symptoms, disfiguration, pain, and ultimately, death. Due to the fact that leprosy is contagious, the nation of Israel was instructed to quarantine lepers until they were healed. Since leprosy was incurable in the ancient world, it would require an act of God for a leper to be healed. Because of the similarities in the growth, spread, and debilitating effects of the disease, leprosy has been considered to be an illustration of sin and it’s consequences.
David Guzik draws the following parallels between leprosy and sin:
· It begins as nothing.
· It is painless in its first stages.
· It grows slowly.
· It often remits for a while and then returns.
· It numbs the senses – one cannot feel in the afflicted area.
· It causes decay and deformity.
· It gives a person a repulsive appearance.
Jewish custom said you should not greet, or be within six feet of a leper. One Rabbi boasted that he threw rocks at lepers to keep them far from him. But Jesus was different. He loved lepers; He touched and healed them, when they had no hope at all.
Jesus does the same for sinners. While sin is deadly and repulsive, Jesus, Himself, is the cure. Any who come to Him, will have their sins forgiven and their lives forever changed.