Primary texts: Lev. 13-15
2 Chron. 26:16-23
Mt. 8:1-4, Mk. 1:40-45, Lk. 5:12-16
Mt. 9:18-26, Mk. 5:21-43, Lk. 8:40-56
On two occasions, Jesus cures leprosy and sends the cured to the priest.
One occasion is described by Matthew, Mark and Luke (Mt.
8:1-4, Mk. 1:40-45, Lk. 5:12-16) and the other is described by
Luke only (Lk. 17:11-19). Consider
first the healing that is described by all three of the synoptic writers.
- In what region did the healing take place?
- Did the leper have any confidence that Jesus could heal him?
- What did Jesus tell the man not to do?
- What two things did Jesus tell the man to do, and in accordance with what,
and as a testimony to whom?
- When word spread about what Jesus had done, what was the practical result
Consider the incident involving the ten lepers...
- Where did this incident occur?
- What did Jesus tell these men to do?
- At what point were these men healed of their leprosy?
The problem of leprosy
- In the comments and questions above, I used the words "cured" and "healed"
with reference to what Jesus did. But that's not the word used by Jesus, or by
the writers, or the lepers themselves. Without exception, what word did they
- The conclusion then is that leprosy was not viewed so much as a _______
problem (although of course it was such) as a ___________ problem. (There is
some flexibility concerning the words you use to fill in the blanks.)
- The man who had leprosy was to be pronounced _________ (Lev. 13:8).
- Throughout Lev. 13, the priest is pronouncing someone either _______ or
- What were the practical implications for the man who was pronounced
unclean? (Lev. 13:45-46)
- Explain what the priest did with the birds on the occasion of a leper
being pronounced clean (Lev. 14:1-7). Do you see anything that suggests the
cleansing from sins that we have in Christ?
- The cleansed leper was to bring an offering that consisted of what? (Lev.
Uzziah 2 Chron. 26:16-23
- What was it that Uzziah did wrong and who confronted him about it?
- How did Uzziah react when confronted?
- Exactly where did leprosy break out? See Lev. 13:40ff.
The four lepers of Samaria 2 Kings 7:3-8
- Where were these men when we first meet them,
and why would they have been there? (Lev. 13:21, 26, 46).
- Are the discharges discussed in Lev. 15
limited to those associated with disease?
- What kind of offerings were required in the
event of the discharges discussed in Lev. 15:1-15?
- Based on Lev. 15:18, what can we deduce about
how long it was before Bathseba returned home from the King's house (2 Sam.
- Compare Lev. 15:24 with Lev. 18:19.
Presumably, Lev. 15:24 refers to an inadvertent contact with menstrual blood.
But notice the difference in the period of uncleanness stipulated in Lev.
15:24 as compared with that mentioned in Lev. 15:18.
- Consider the woman of Mt. 9:18-26 (cf. Mk. 5:21-43, Lk. 8:40-56.):
What verses in Lev. 15 pertain to her circumstance?
- How long had she been in this condition?
- In practical terms, explain what this would have meant so far as social
contact is concerned. Would people have likely stopped by her house for casual
visits? (Lev. 15:20-23)
- We don't know if the woman was married, but if not what would have been
the impact of her condition on her prospects for marriage? And if married, can
you see that there would have been an adverse impact upon her relationship
with her husband?
- What impact would this woman's disease have had on her religious service?
- According to Mark's account, this woman had suffered many things of whom?
[What "remedies" she had tried, we do not know, but Edersheim mentions the
following: "On one leaf of the Talmud not less than eleven different remedies
are proposed, of which at most only six can possibly be regarded as
astringents or tonics, while the rest are merely the outcome of superstition,"
and then in a footnote, Edersheim gives some details: "Such as the ashes of an
Ostrich-Egg, carried in summer in a linen, in winter in a cotton rag; or a
barley-corn found in the dung of a white she-ass, &c."]
Under the law of Moses, was it possible to be ceremonially unclean
without having done anything wrong?