Touch the Unclean Person
2 Kings 5:1-15
February 13, 2000
MAY THE WORDS OF MY MOUTH ... AND THE MEDITATIONS OF ALL OUR HEARTS ... BE ALWAYS ACCEPTABLE TO YOU --- OUR STRENGTH AND OUR REDEEMER AMEN
Elisha healing the leper .... Jesus healing the leper ..... seems like there is a theme that the "powers that be" want us to consider this week! Healing is important. Especially these healings which were so much more than simply a physical aliment. But we can easily miss much of the power in these accounts. Thereby missing what they tell us about our daily lives.
Most of you probably know that the term we translate as a "leper" or "leprosy" refers to any number of skin conditions and not just to leprosy as we now understand it. In essence, if a person suffered from a visible skin condition they were consid- ered a leper.
We ridicule their attitudes and their teachings about such skin conditions ... but if we look at the Hebrew laws with a little less self righteousness and pride we discover that they were pretty reasonable. In essence, the person was quarantined until he or she was proven clean. They did not know how these conditions were transmitted. From the writing of the Hebrews laws to the discovery of germs was well over 2,000 years! So let's not be too condescendingly ... they did the best the could.
But what they did was terrible. What could be a worse situation than to be shunned ... to carry a bell and calling out "unclean" so people would run away from you? What a terrible way to have to live. It might have been the best possible approach for the community but in essence, the person died. They walked around but they were dead.
Even our language today illustrates the situation. When a person is not part of the general society we call them "out of touch". They live in the area but are not touched by anyone.
This was not a condition which struck only the poor and ...
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