Parshat – Metzora – Lev 14-15
My cousin, a pastor, shared a story with me recently. There was a man in his congregation who had a major skin condition for years. His wife had to wrap him in wet blankets twice a night so that he could get any sleep at all. In a prayer counselling session, the L-rd said that he had not forgiven his father. The man knew exactly what the L-rd meant. He had held “justified” unforgiveness against his father for years. Even though the unforgiveness was because of abuse, Yeshua explicitly states in Matt. 6:15, “But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” The man chose to forgive his father, and for the last several years has been completely healed from the skin condition.
Why do I bring this up? The entire passage is about cleansing. Cleansing from Tza’arat (both the personal type and the house type) and the cleansing of bodily discharges (both normal and abnormal).
Tza’arat has always been linked with sin, especially the sin of the tongue. This was the case of Miriam (Moses’ sister) which we read about in Num. 12:6-12.
- 14:1-32 The cleansing in this passage is from Tza’arat (a skin disease described in 13:1-3, a deep infection with a whitening of the skin and hair) This cleansing is both physical and spiritual. The cleansing included time, the kohen as a witnesses, 2 birds, cedar, scarlet and hyssop. One bird to represent the old life and another to represent the new freedom of life.
- 14:33-53 This same procedure was also applied to the house which brings us to an important point. The uncleanness that is talked of in these chapters and the level of separation is explicitly defined. For the one with Tza’arat, they were to dwell alone as stated ub Lev. 13:46-46. For the house it is to be torn down if the mould/mildew does not go away, but the separation is different when it comes to the normal bodily discharges as show in the following chapter.
- 15:1-18 The first half of the chapter refers primarily to men. And to summarize, If you are feeling sick, stay home! Oh and don’t spit on anyone (Keep your germs to yourself!)
- 15:19-30 This part refers to Women’s time of the month. Adonai is actually protecting women, through this command in giving them a week off to rest. During this time men are supposed to give their wives a week off, specifically from marital relations.
In both of these previous sections, the uncleanness does not require isolation from the community, but just from the tabernacle as is stated in 15:31
There is both a practical application, and spiritual application when it comes to the cleansing of our lives. Just like Paul said to Timothy in 1 Tim. 4:8 “for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
There are several examples in the life of Yeshua that I would like to highlight. The first is in Luke 7:36-50. Here we have the story of the unwelcome woman who washes Yeshua’s feet with her tears. Here we are reminded that Adonai “gives more grace to the humble”. In exchange for washing the feet of Yeshua, Yeshua washed her sins away.
The Next example is in John 9:1-7 where Yeshua heals the man born blind. Not only were his physical eyes opened, but so were his spiritual ones as well (vs. 35-41). What is very interesting is that those who could see were actually the ones who were blind.
The last example from Yeshua is on the night of Passover. In John 13:1-17 we see that Yeshua washed the feet of the Talmidim. And in verse 8 He says, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with Me.” We must allow Yeshua to wash us, to sanctify us on in modern lingo, not just to forgive our actions, but to allow Him to change our desires.
Thanks be to God! Not only is He Holy, Loving and True, but He has provided a way, through Yeshua, for us to become holy, loving and true!!!