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Leviticus 14:1-20 - Homilies By W. Clarkson

Restoration suggestions.

The ceremonies here enjoined in the event of leprosy being healed suggest four things.

I. AN INTERESTING PASSAGE IN THE LIFE OF OUR LORD . Our Saviour's experiences may be divided into:

Of these the last may be the least important, but they will never be unimportant. They will always remain one strong, convincing proof of his Godhead. And of these works the healing of leprosy—incurable by human art—was one of the most decisive. In this work of mercy, more vividly than in any other, we see him before us as the Divine Healer of the sin-smitten heart of man. Great interest belongs, therefore, to the incident related in Luke 5:12-15 . And in the instruction given in Luke 5:14 we see our Divine Lord:

II. THE CONSIDERATION WE OWE TO OUR FELLOW - MEN . In virtue of the Divine precept the leper might not enter human society. But this was not the only ground of exclusion; by reason of the character of his malady he was wholly unfit to enter. Once exiled, therefore, he might not return until every guarantee had been given that he was "whole," until numerous and prolonged ceremonies of cleansing had removed all stigma from him, and made him likely to receive a cordial welcome back. Hence the elaborate ceremonial of the text:

When by any folly or guilt of ours we have incurred the distrust or dislike of our brethren, it is due to them that we should give them every possible guarantee of our "cleanness," our integrity of heart and life, before they abandon their suspicion and give us again their cordial confidence. Society has a right to require that the man whom it has necessarily shunned is pure of his moral and spiritual malady. We may be unable to gain any certificate of character, but we may, to regain confidence and readmission to human fellowship,

III. THE OBLIGATIONS OF OFFICE . Those who hold high office have sometimes uninviting duties to discharge. The priests of Israel held honourable rank in the nation; doubtless they received a large share of public deference, and were regarded as those who occupied an enviable position. But their duties embraced some offices from which the humblest in the land might shrink. They had to make a most careful examination of the man who believed himself healed of leprosy. Probably, in their eagerness to return to the camp, these afflicted ones often sought readmission when the disease was still upon them. But the priest must examine all who came, clean or unclean. Those who now hold honourable positions in society (the minister, the medical man, etc.) must hold themselves ready, not only to do those duties which are inviting and congenial, but those also which are unpleasant and even painful, whether to the flesh or to the spirit.

IV. THE OUTLOOK OF HUMAN MISERY . What was the prospect of the exiled leper? Human art had given him up as incurable, and human fellowship had cast him out as unworthy. What could he hope for? There were only two possible remedies—a Divine cure or the grave; the one blessed enough but sadly improbable, the other sad enough but a welcome certainty. If for a while we look at leprosy as the picture, not of human sin, but of human misery, we may be reminded that, for a Christian man, there are two remedies:

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