Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church
Scripture Reading: Lev. 13:1-8
Text: Lev. 13:2
Leviticus 13:2 When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or bright spot, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests:
Introduction: What is leprosy? The word is found in 37 verses in your King James Bible, 19 of which are in this chapter, and our text is the first occurrence.
Leprosy is a chronic infectious disease which attacks the skin, peripheral nerves and mucous membranes (eyes, respiratory tract). Leprosy is also known as Hansen’s disease because the bacillus which causes it was discovered by G.A. Hansen in 1873. It is most common in warm, wet areas in the tropics and subtropics.
At the beginning of 2004, the number of leprosy patients under treatment in the world was around 460,000. About 515,000 new cases were detected during 2003.
Supposedly the number of lepers has decreased in the last 20 years from several million to around 500,000.
Leprosy is curable with Multidrug Therapy (MDT), a powerful combination of two to three drugs: clofazimine, rifampicin and dapsone. Material suggests that leprosy is not completely removed, just halted in a person’s body.
There is no effective preventative vaccine for the disease at this time.
Leprosy is characterized by multiple lesions accompanied by sensory loss in the affected areas. Usually, sensory loss begins in the extremities (toes, fingertips). In many advanced cases, gangrene sets in, causing parts of the body to “die” (necrosis) and become deformed.
Leprosy in all ages has been considered one of the more despicable diseases, and victims have been despised throughout history and kept in separate places (leper colonies, sanitariums). Even today, most people with leprosy are shunned by their neighbors and are held at arms length.
In Bible days, leprosy was a horrible disease. This morning I want to show you that God uses this disease of the Old Testament to point the way to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. When we read about leprosy in the Old Testament, we are not out of line with legitimate Bible interpretation to think immediately of the Lord Jesus Christ, remembering that Jesus said:
John 5:39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. Jesus was referring especially to this book, as well as the four other
books of Moses, for a few verses later he said:
John 5:46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
This morning’s message is titled:
What is leprosy? I have given you definitions and descriptions from the pages of today’s reference material. Now I want to point out to you some more helpful, practical definitions for you today.
I. LEPROSY IS A DEPICTIVE, OR ILLUSTRATIVE DISEASE
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Mark 1:42 And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed. .
A. It illustrates the problem of sin
B. It illustrates the power of salvation
II. LEPROSY IS A DEEP DISEASE
Leviticus 13:3 And the priest shall look on the plague in the skin of the flesh: and when the hair in the plague is turned white, and the plague in sight be deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a plague of leprosy: and the priest shall look on him, and pronounce him unclean.
Notice the words, “deeper than the skin.”
Leprosy is an ailment of the skin, but it reminds us of the universal ailment of SIN, and both go “deeper than the skin of his flesh.”
Luke 5:12 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. The man was “full of leprosy.”
A. Man has sin in his conduct
B. Man has sin in his character
C. Man has sin at his core – Jer. 17:9
III. LEPROSY IS A DEFILING DISEASE
Leviticus 13:45-46 And the leper in whom the plague is, his clothes shall be rent, and his head bare, and he shall put a covering upon his upper lip, and shall cry, Unclean, unclean. 46 All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.
Leprosy, like sins, makes a man
IV. LEPROSY IS A DESTRUCTIVE DISEASE
Leprosy works gradually destroying a man’s skin, his nervous system, his ability to see, his ability to feel. Often gangrene sets in, causing body parts to rot and have to be amputated, or to become malformed.
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
A. Sin destroys a man’s happiness
B. Sin destroys a man’s health
C. Sin destroys a man’s hope
V. LEPROSY IS A DEFEATED DISEASE BY THE SON OF GOD
Matthew 8:1-4 When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. 2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. 3 And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And
immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4 And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Leprosy, like sin, was a fearful plague in Bible days, but when Jesus came, it was:
A. Defeated by the shed blood of Christ
B. Defeated by the supernatural word of Christ
|Unclean, unclean, the leper cried in torment,
The deaf the dumb in helplessness stood near.
The fever raged; disease had gripped its victim,
Then Jesus came, and cast out every fear.
When Jesus comes, the tempter’s power is broken!
When Jesus comes, the tears are wiped away.
He takes the gloom and fills the life with glory,
For all is changed when Jesus comes to stay.
Michael D. O’Neal (Proverbs 11:30), Pastor,