My father enjoyed quoting Leviticus 13:40: “A man who has lost his hair and is bald is clean.” Certainly, that verse is a comfort to many who have experienced male-pattern baldness.
Today we continue to discuss what makes something clean or unclean. We have learned that it is not simply a moral category. Sin could make one unclean, but so could many other things. Cleanness represented wholeness or normalcy. Things that made one unclean were often associated with death or mortality. Things that were unclean were not to come in contact with what was holy. The unclean could not touch what was clean without contaminating it.
The camp of Israel was considered holy. In it was the tabernacle where God met with His people. Part of a priests’ job was to protect the holiness of the camp and the tabernacle. In Leviticus 13, we read about various types of skin diseases that might render someone unclean. There is a clear pattern to this chapter.
If a person had an anomaly on the skin, they were to come to a priest (v. 1). The priest would assess whether that person was clean or unclean (v. 3). If the situation was unclear, the priest would ask the person to come back after a week to reassess it (v. 4). Twenty-one different types of skin issues are covered.
There are many instances in Scripture when God afflicted people with a skin disease as an act of His judgment (Num. 12:10–12). Some in Israel were tempted to believe that all skin diseases were a result of sin, which was clearly not necessarily the case (see Job 2:7).
>> When Jesus touched someone with a skin disease, He did not become unclean. Instead, the unclean person because whole and healthy again (Matt. 8:1–4). Jesus came to redeem us from all aspects of the Fall, including disease. We look forward to the day when those kinds of afflictions will be no more (Rev. 21:4).
Lord, we are washed in Your blood, made clean forever, robed in Your righteousness. May we never cease to praise You for freeing us from our sin! May we never stop striving to honor You with our lives, day to day.