Trinity 14 Sermon, 2017
Rev. Benjamin Tyler Holt
Regarding leprosy. Thus says the Lord:
“When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to [one of the priests], and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body…” (Leviticus 13:2-3).
“…[And] if the eruption has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous disease” (Lev. 13:8).
“The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp” (Lev. 13:45-46).
First, the Law required the unclean to show themselves to the priests. The priests would determine cleanliness, make the right sacrifices, and send you on your way.
That’s the basis of Jesus’ command to the lepers in today’s Gospel.