Leprosy- noun, Pathology .
a chronic, mildly infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae, affecting the peripheral nervous system, skin, and nasal mucosa and variously characterized by ulcerations, tubercular nodules, and loss ofsensation that sometimes leads to traumatic amputation of the anesthetized part.
Mycobacterium leprae- multiply in macrophages (white blood cells that phagocytizes both innate and adaptive immunity [use antigens ie allergic reactions or foreign objects]) and in Schwann cells (supporting cells of the peripheral nervous system).
Leveticus 13-14 speaks of cleaning of lepers and leprosy. Every cleaning involves a 7 day separation from people and things. The clothing is isolated for 7 days, the lepers will stay outside for 7 days, the house is closed off for 7 days. Do you see the pattern. I’m wondering what 7 days has to do with anything. Why are they separated for this time period?
There is significance in separation… Leprosy is an infectious disease, this means it spreads through people and things. We in America don’t really know much about leprosy but so we can get an idea of an infectious disease that registers closer to home, think about the flu. The flu is a highly infectious disease that can be spread through bodily fluids (sneezing, sweat, etc) it can also be spread through touching a doorknob.
When you are being healed from the flu or leprosy you don’t want people around you because they may catch it. It’s not until you are absolutely sure you don’t have it anymore that you allow people to come around you. Even then you cleanse the things around you that you touched during the time of your illness.
Sin is an infectious disease. There are spirits around us and on us that we need to get rid of and sometimes complete separation from people is pivotal. If not, it would just be a cycle. You are being healed. And maybe you are indeed healed, but you allowed your friend Billy to come by during your healing process. And now Billy has that very sin attached to him. So as the sin is growing in Billy he is coming back around you, and you get “sick” all over again. Bottom line it’s common courtesy to separate yourselves when you have an infectious disease. We wash our physical bodies daily alone and yet we don’t spend spiritual time alone in cleansing. Sometimes we must separate ourselves until we are truly whole and complete in God.
In the New Testament Jesus healed 11 lepers. One man He healed by touching the leper. (Matthew 8:1-4) Touching this man let him know that Jesus is beyond disease and beyond the limitations of this world. He didn’t tell the man to go tell the world about the healing, He said show yourself (show the healing, the blessing) and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them. God is saying here that the testimony is in your walk and that leads to healing. Exodus 20: 1-17 gives us our commandments, the foundation of our walk. Deuteronomy 13:1-4 commands us to not walk after the dreamers or false prophets as they follow other gods. Following the crowd will be our test of who we really believe; them, things, or Him. Then He gives us why these commands are so significant in Deuteronomy 14: 2. He says that we are a holy people and chosen for Himself. You can’t conform to the world and their “traditions” when God has called you into His royal lineage and heritage? How many princes and princesses have lost their heritage because they didn’t want to control themselves? Time to act like the royalty we are. There is no need to brag about your blessings when you can just show them. Don’t speak about the money, the fame, the fortune etc. unless you let people know how you got off of drugs because of God, how you stopped fornicating because of God, how you stopped lying because of God, how your bills got paid because of God, how you started praising, started worshiping because of God. There is a thin line between selfish bragging and humble praising.
Jesus also healed 10 lepers at one time in Luke 17: 11-19. Again, He said to show yourselves. Sometimes we can really talk more than we need to. Sometimes all we have to do is show up in someone’s lives and that is testimony enough without bragging. The true testimony is in the praise and worship in our walks. The only person to come back and glorify God was a foreigner; someone, who according to man’s religious limitations, didn’t deserve the healing and yet showed more appreciation than the others. Are we so caught up in being church folk that we forget to go back to God and thank Him? This is where humility kicks in. We are no better than the foreigner (sinner) to the church.
The bacteria (M. Leprae) that causes leprosy, grows in macrophages and Schwann cells. Macrophages are white blood cells that phagocytize bacteria and other foreign particles in the body. This means that they eat things in the body that don’t belong. But they can’t break down M. Leprae and therefore the bacteria multiply. This too can be compared to sin. We are not equipped to destroy everything in our lives that don’t belong according to the will of God. And in our attempt to rid ourselves of the sin in our lives, the sin just grows. Schwann cells affect the nervous system. This causes lepers to not have feeling in their bodies. We can’t feel the problem until we see our limbs deteriorating. Sin is like that sometimes. We kill off things in our lives in our spirit and we don’t even feel it, until one day we wake up and say God where is my faith? God what happened to my family? Lord what happened to my grades? Father what happened to my peace, my sanity? The crazy thing is, sometimes we watch these things fall out of our lives but for whatever reason we don’t seek help to restore them until it is out of control. If we even seek help then. But no matter where you are right now God is a healing God. Not only will He heal, He will restore. There are things that other people won’t touch in our lives, but He is a comforter without limitations. How many illnesses (sin) has occurred and the doctors (the Christians) said oh there is no hope for them? Well I am here to tell you God is saying He is your hope. Take some time out today for your personal cleansing. Separate yourselves. Get off of facebook. Close your doors. Cut off your phones. And open your Word and your ears for your healing and restoration.