My scripture reading was so helpful today especially after yesterday. It might be just me, but sometimes the Bible can be downright confusing. Such as yesterday when reading 2 Samuel about God’s anger. It doesn’t seem to make sense…to the tune of sudden death to a person who was simply reaching out to seemingly help a situation. But there were detailed guidelines written out in the Old Testament books against this and God used this guy as example of breaking them. Why? I don’t understand? But it seems clear, punishable by death so there we have it in 2 Samuel. Dead as a door nail.
Jesus, can you show me what the take away is to what I was reading yesterday? Because this example seems literal and something the religious leaders of that time would follow just like God…followed it to the point of death but then You came along Jesus, also God, which is a separate confusing topic altogether. I know You didn’t always follow Old Testament law when loving Jesus. Because Jesus kind of loving supercedes law and You were put to death for superseding law when You walked this earth.
Then there is this guy in 2 Samuel who is struck dead by God? I guess it is an example of breaking God’s law so that must mean Old Testament law is literal, the context has been translated absolutely correct in all cases and we should all follow it? It’s God’s Word. Is that what yesterday is saying Jesus, please show me? Because I know You didn’t follow all Old Testament Law in all cases yourself right? You discerned according to love and love superseded law. Not in all cases, You yourself said You did not come to replace law. But love supersedes seems to be the critical element.
Then today comes around and this scripture reading is what I open to at lunch. I’ve read this a number of times before and I love You even more every time I read it. The New Testament scripture when You healed a man with leprosy. It is in the book of Luke, right in The Bible. Here are my notes Jesus:
- During the time when You were on earth Jesus, leprosy was a major problem.
- Leprosy, while a physical ailment, was a phenomenon that would fall under the term, an altering of a person experiencing it.
- Leprosy was seen in Your time Jesus as a divine judgement for some past sin, you know peeps, what we would call today as…the person deserves it.
- In biblical time, there was a clear process outlined in Leviticus, a book in the Old Testament, for diagnosis and response toward a person with leprosy.
- Priests would prescribe isolation from family, community and religious life. In current time that might be what we call oppression, judgement, condemnation…the person deserves isolation, perhaps the person deserves hell? Afterall, this is spelled out in Old Testament Law. Take a look…
How do we think a person with Leprosy might feel reading this? I know how I feel reading it. It feels helpless, hopeless, unloveable, unworthy, evil, an outcast, child of the devil. Destined to be apart from God.
This is Leviticus, it is right in the Bible peeps. But I’m interested in what Jesus has to say to me about this subject on leprosy. I’m interested in this for people who feel the emotions I mentioned above because Old Testament law clearly says a person experiencing leprosy is defiled. Isolate them, make them feel unwanted, unloved. It is horrible. These words are harsh, these words are soul crushing.
So back to this New Testament story about You Jesus and Your response to this man. Remember Loves, priests would prescribe a life alone for this man, send him away, offer no hope for him. What about You Jesus, what was Your response in the book of Luke? Did You do what Leviticus says? In today’s terms that might be that we tell the man to get lost, just go live alone, live with it, reiterate that this is his divine consequence.
NO! That is the opposite of Jesus! YOU DID NOT FOLLOW Leviticus. Here are my notes…
- NOT Jesus! He cleansed the man but even more loving than that, Jesus reached out and touched him.
- Reaching out and touching this man was against Old Testament law.
- He welcomed him into the community.
- Including this man in community was against Old Testament law.
- Unlike the guy in 2 Samuel, not following the law is not followed by consequence, Your grace wins it all.
Jesus, wow I already knew this from our many talks together but this again is good stuff. So the man in the book of Luke, You healed him so leprosy was no longer an issue for that guy. But what about here and now? What about people who live on this earth without You physically here to touch and heal them? Here are my notes about current day leprosy.
- Every two minutes someone is diagnosed with leprosy in more than one hundred countries.
- With modern medicine leprosy can be cured with early treatment.
- Often times effects have already occurred though such as deformity, crippling or blindness.
- People with leprosy often live lives of shame and isolation.
So Jesus, many people with leprosy are altered. You removed leprosy from the man in the book of Luke but in most cases this is a life experience for people and it is not going away. Jesus, how would you respond here and now? Should they be condemned, shamed, isolated, oppressed, put to death?
I don’t know the whole answer but I’m undeniably certain of this fact. My Jesus would LOVE them and he would NOT listen to Leviticus. He did not do it in the book of Luke and He sure would not do it now. Why? With Jesus, love supercedes law. Especially when the original intent ends up hurting more than helping our souls.
So back to the 2 Samuel guy who broke biblical law. Still not sure 🤔 on this Jesus. God seems pretty angry, striking this guy dead for breaking biblical law. However this was before Jesus. I suppose if I go back to my very first blog post… this is the point of why God sent You as our savior Jesus. Humans, by our nature, will not be able to follow law as it was originally meant. In many cases that is still wrong but in other cases law has harmed us. Or in other cases our human experiences have created more olive branches. While the Bible has examples of consequences it also has the Jesus examples overriding the harming of souls.
Jesus would not and did not follow the Leviticus passage. God himself broke His own law. What is the take away? Well for me, Jesus is saying we are not to side with law that condemns, shames, isolates and crushes souls. Even more, we are not to side with law that merely boasts our own righteousness. If we are going to pick & choose, side with love. Jesus will show us the way.
Doing anything else is NOT how Jesus rolls.
YES! Jesus You are the best!
Loved By Grace,