April 2nd, 2002
Received by H.
While he (Jesus) was in one of the towns, Jesus came upon
a man who was a mass of leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he prostrated
himself before him and begged, "If you want to Lord,
you can make me clean."
Jesus stretched out his hand, placed it on the leper, saying,
"Certainly I want to. Be clean!" Immediately the
leprosy left him, and Jesus warned him not to tell anybody,
but to go and show himself to the priest and to make the offerings
for his recovery which Moses prescribed, as evidence to the
Yet the news about him spread all the more, and enormous
crowds collected to hear Jesus and to be healed of their complaints.
But he slipped quietly away to deserted places for prayer.
(Luke 5: 12-16)
My dear friend, I want to discuss with you the passage which you
were thinking of yesterday.
Jesus, as on many occasions, cured a sick man, plagued by a disease
which was incurable at that time. And then he ordered him not to
tell anybody. However, this man, in his extreme happiness, could
not be silent, and so Jesus' fame spread everywhere. Nothing bad
in that, you are thinking. But the problem was that whenever Jesus
presented himself publicly, crowds of people who wanted to be cured
from their diseases immediately surrounded him. This is natural
and very comprehensible, but it is also understandable that the
Master, under such circumstances, often could not deliver his message,
people did not come to listen to it, but to get their healings.
And it is also natural that on some occasions the Master almost
had to escape: He slipped quietly away to deserted places
The healing of sick people did not form part of the Master's mission.
He did it whenever it was possible for him to do so, but the last
thing he wanted was to be renowned as a traveling miracle maker,
as unfortunately some Bible scholars are concluding presently.
However the healing of diseases, especially of the so-called "leprosy",
entailed other consequences. Leprosy, of which the Bible speaks,
is not exactly what is now-a-days understood as leprosy. Today it
is known that it is a slow and destructive disease, damaging superficial
nerves, and hence, the skin and blood vessels, leading in extreme
cases to horrible deformities. The "leprosy" of the Bible
was defined in the Hebrew Scriptures, especially in the Book of
Leviticus. But this crude and not very appropriate description led
to the inclusion of other, not very dangerous and non-contagious
diseases into the term of leprosy, bringing disastrous consequences
to the poor people who suffered from them.
Firstly, lepers were not permitted to live in the cities, at least
not in walled places. When people came near lepers, they had to
cry out: Unclean! Unclean! to avoid infection. They
had to wear torn clothes, and cover their beard and mouth. They
never received greetings, because greeting meant not just a quick
squeeze of hands, but a hug. They lived like pariahs, rejected by
But worst of all, the Jews believed that leprosy was a punishment
by God. The leper, therefore, was a sinner of the worst category.
And the lepers themselves believed this, because they had been educated
thus. You can readily imagine the psychological damage this brought
[H.R.: See 2
And Azariah the chief priest, and all the priests,
looked upon him (Uzziah), and, behold, he was leprous in his
forehead, and they thrust him out from thence; yea, himself
hasted also to go out, because the LORD had smitten him.]
You know that true leprosy does not heal spontaneously. But as
I have said, there were many cases considered as lepers who suffered
from other illnesses, for example from psoriasis. And some of these
cases were really healed. I just want to state here that the leper
described above really suffered from true leprosy. But the healing,
as in the case of Jesus' miracle, or in spontaneous cases, was not
enough to permit those poor people to return to the society. A complicated
process was necessary for declaring them "clean." Amongst
others, a priest had to examine the diseased person. If you wish
to, you may reproduce here the whole procedure required by the Mosaic
[H.R.: The Book of Leviticus
And the priest shall offer the sin offering,
and make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed from
his uncleanness; and afterward he shall kill the burnt offering:
And the priest shall offer the burnt offering
and the meat offering upon the altar: and the priest shall
make an atonement for him, and he shall be clean.
And if he be poor, and cannot get so much; then
he shall take one lamb for a trespass offering to be waved,
to make an atonement for him, and one tenth deal of fine flour
mingled with oil for a meat offering, and a log of oil;
And two turtledoves, or two young pigeons, such
as he is able to get; and the one shall be a sin offering,
and the other a burnt offering.
And he shall bring them on the eighth day for
his cleansing unto the priest, unto the door of the tabernacle
of the congregation, before the LORD.
And the priest shall take the lamb of the trespass
offering, and the log of oil, and the priest shall wave them
for a wave offering before the LORD:
And he shall kill the lamb of the trespass offering,
and the priest shall take some of the blood of the trespass
offering, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of him
that is to be cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand,
and upon the great toe of his right foot:
And the priest shall pour of the oil into the
palm of his own left hand:
And the priest shall sprinkle with his right
finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times
before the LORD:
And the priest shall put of the oil that is in
his hand upon the tip of the right ear of him that is to be
cleansed, and upon the thumb of his right hand, and upon the
great toe of his right foot, upon the place of the blood of
the trespass offering:
And the rest of the oil that is in the priests
hand he shall put upon the head of him that is to be cleansed,
to make an atonement for him before the LORD.
And he shall offer the one of the turtledoves,
or of the young pigeons, such as he can get; even such as
he is able to get, the one for a sin offering, and the other
for a burnt offering, with the meat offering: and the priest
shall make an atonement for him that is to be cleansed before
This is the law of him in whom is the plague
of leprosy, whose hand is not able to get that which pertaineth
to his cleansing.]
Very well, but what did the cure of a leper mean? Leprosy, as we
have seen, was considered a punishment by God because of the poor
sick peoples sins. Then, if God removed the illness, He also
removed the sins, that is to say, He forgave them. In that context,
you may understand the several occasions when the Master mentioned
the forgiveness of sin in connection with healings in the New Testament.
And when Jesus, in a message through Mr. Padgett, explained that
he had said: That thou
may know that the son of man through the power of God can forgive
sin, I say unto you, take up thy bed and walk,
it is clear that he wanted to demonstrate that healings were only
the visible signs of the power which the Heavenly Father had conferred
Those many healings would eventually stir up concern amongst the
Temple priesthood, because although it is true that Jesus did not
say that he forgave sins, it is also true that, according to popular
belief, leprosy was a symptom of sin, a punishment inflicted by
the Lord, and therefore, Jesus had so much influence over the Lord,
or such an excellent relationship to Him, that God Himself listened
to him, removing the punishment and therefore, forgiving
sins whenever Jesus asked Him to do so.
Tragically, the Temple priests did not have that capacity, which
alerted them to the danger of people wondering eventually why the
supposed representatives of God in the Temple did not succeed with
what this simple Galilean preacher carried out so easily. Then there
would be only two answers: Jesus really was the Messiah with extraordinary
powers granted by God, or that they missed that spirituality which
this Galilean did possess, casting heavy doubts upon the nature
of their priesthood.
Later on we will see the tactics that the Jewish clergyman would
use to discredit the Master, with very limited success, by the way.
To finish this message I wanted to add some information on one of
the Master's important friends:
I have already related that Jesus, when he visited Jerusalem, frequently
spent the night in Bethany, that is, in the house of his friend
Lazarus. However, in the same village there lived another friend
of the Master, whom the Bible calls Simon the Leper.
There are comments explaining that Jesus had cured Simon, although
the Bible does not say anything in that respect.
In fact, the Aramaic word "garba" means" leper",
and "garaba" means jar maker or jar merchant. And this
was Simons profession, he had never suffered from leprosy.
In addition, this is why the alabaster box is mentioned in the anointing
scene in his house. Neither in Aramaic nor in Hebrew are vowels
written, so this confusion is understandable.
Very well, now we really have come to the end of our message, and
there is nothing left but to say good-bye.
I am your Celestial friend and brother,
Judas of Kerioth