Are You Willing to Risk Making A Mess of Things to Enjoy Relationship Again?

Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament book of Leviticus which was written and recorded by Moses the servant of the LORD. More specifically, today’s passage begins with the thirty-third verse of the fourteenth chapter and continues through to the final verse of the sixteenth chapter. When you begin reading the words which are found within this particular portion of Scripture you will quickly encounter and discover the LORD continues speaking to Moses concerning that which is clean and unclean—not only in the sight of the living God Himself, but also in the sight of and unto the children of Israel. What began in the eleventh chapter of this Old Testament book with the living God speaking unto Moses concerning that which was unclean and clean continues within this chapter and not only touches those living things which are to be unclean and clean unto them, but it also touches the reproduction of life as it passes forth from the womb of a woman. In order for us to truly understand that which is found within these chapters we must once more turn and direct our attention back to the words found in the final verses of the eleventh chapter. If and as you begin reading from the forty fourth verse of the eleventh chapter you will find the following words which were spoken by the LORD unto Moses concerning the distinction that must be made between that which is unclean. What’s more, is that not only did the living God give the children of Israel a revelation of that which was clean and that which unclean to and before them, but He also gave them specific instruction concerning their own appearance before Him and in His sight. Consider if you will the words which are found in the eleventh chapter beginning with and from the forty fourth verse of this chapter:

“For I am the LORD your God: ye shall therefore sanctify yourselves, and ye shall be holy; for I am holy: neither shall ye defile yourselves with any manner of creeing thing that creepth upon the earth. For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy. This is the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: to make a difference betwwen the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten” (Leviticus 11:44-47).

With these words—not only did the LORD God of the Hebrews command the children of Israel to make a distinction between that which was unclean and clean, but He also instructed and commanded them take responsibility of their holiness before Him and in His sight. This is perhaps one of the single greatest truths we must recognize and understand, for as much as we are required to understand that which is clean and unclean and to make a decision to abstain from touching and partaking that which is unclean and choosing that which is clean, we must also take responsibility for our own holiness in the sight of the living God. We must recognize and understand that there is only one person who is truly able to take responsibility for our holiness and for our being clean in the sight of the living God, and that person is in fact us. We cannot, we dare not, we must not look to, nor expect anyone else to take upon themselves the responsibility of looking to our holiness, for it was and has not been given unto them to do so. The LORD God of the Hebrews was very specific when He spoke unto the children of Israel and required of them to know and understand the difference between that which was clean and unclean, and to judge between the two—not based on their own personal preference or desires, but based on that which was ordained and appointed by the living God. I continue to come back to the command which was given unto Adam and Eve in the garden, for it was revealed unto them that they could freely eat of every tree within the garden, but there was one single tree in the garden which they could not eat, nor could they partake of—the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It’s interesting to note that the living God never declared unto them what would come in response to eating and partaking of that fruit other than the fact that in the day they eat of it they would surely die. This tree was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Consider if you will the fundamental difference between that which the LORD God spoke unto Adam concerning the trees in the garden in light of that which the serpent spoke unto Eve concerning those same trees, and what would happen if she partook of the fruit of that single tree of the knowledge of good and evil:

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17)

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Genesis 3:1-7).

It is absolutely incredible to consider the comparison which existed between that which the LORD God spoke and revealed unto Adam concerning the trees in the garden, for when you read that which the LORD spoke unto him, you will find that the only thing he said concerning the day when he would partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he would surely die. It’s worth noting and pointing out that the LORD never spoke, nor did He ever reveal unto Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil his eyes would be opened, and he would be as a god knowing good and evil. Notice the difference between what the living God spoke unto Adam concerning all that was available unto him within the garden and that which the serpent spoke unto Eve concerning that which was being withheld from them. This is a necessary distinction to recognize and understand—particularly and especially when we are considering the distinction between that which is clean and unclean, for as it pertains to this distinction we must recognize that it has its roots in the command given in the garden unto Adam and Eve. The living God revealed unto Adam and Eve everything that was permissible unto them and everything that was essentially clean unto them, while also at the same time revealing unto them that one thing which was unclean and not permissible unto them. As we think and speak about the nature of what is clean and unclean we must remember and recognize that this distinction and difference was first implemented in the garden of Eden and was as old as Adam and Eve themselves. The command to make a distinction between that which was good and evil was not something new which the living God gave unto the children of Israel, but was something that was presented in the garden of Eden several centuries—perhaps even several millennia earlier. When and as we think about and consider the nature of that which is clean and unclean and the need to distinguish and mark a difference between the two we must understand that this very reality has its roots in the command given unto Adam after he had been placed in the garden of Eden—the command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for in the day that he did he would surely die. When the LORD spoke unto Adam after planting him in the garden He revealed unto him that he had unlimited and free access to every tree within the Garden of Eden without any limitation or restriction. The one and only exception was a single tree—one tree out of however many trees were there in the midst of the garden—which Adam could not and should not partake of, lest he die.

There is not a doubt in my mind that when the serpent heard the words which the living God had spoken unto Adam concerning not eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil lest he die he sought for an opportunity to bring man to the place where he would partake of the fruit. Undoubtedly the serpent banked on the tremendous and incredible judgment that would befall man in the day he partook and ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and banked on the fact he would surely die. With that being said, I wholeheartedly believe the enemy was convinced that if he was successful in bringing man to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would die immediately. With man being dead after eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil the serpent and adversary would be able to completely and utterly shatter the divine plan of God in the earth. Oh I do believe that when the serpent presented Eve with the thought that in the day she ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she would be as a god knowing good and evil, he was of course convinced that should she eat of the fruit she would immediately die. There was something which took place there in the garden which I do not believe the enemy and adversary considered—namely, that although the eyes of Adam and Eve were opened and they realized they were naked, they did not immediately drop dead. I am sure the enemy stood there in stunned silence as he watched as not only did Adam and Eve not die, but they also sewed together fig leaves as a covering for themselves, and even hid among the trees there in the garden. Much to his utter horror and dismay the living God did not kill Adam and Eve after they ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, but instead made a sacrifice, shed innocent blood, and made for them coverings of skin. How absolutely furious the enemy and adversary must have been to think about and consider the fact that not only did Adam and Eve not die, but they were permitted to live outside the garden and away from the tree of life. What’s more, is that they were able to reproduce in the earth, and were able to bring forth three sons—one of which was killed by his brother. With Adam and Eve still very much alive, the enemy and adversary without a doubt became further enraged knowing that he had successfully usurped the authority which was given unto Adam, yet the eyes of Adam and Eve were now opened knowing the difference between good and evil.

With Adam and Eve not dying after eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and now having their eyes opened knowing the difference between good and evil, the stage is set for the commands which the LORD God of the Hebrews spoke unto the children of Israel through Moses His servant with whom He spoke face to face. From the time of Adam and Eve and their eyes being opened to knowing what is good and what is evil man has lived with that knowledge buried within their conscience and buried within their makeup. This is entirely and completely evidenced in the two accounts found within the Old Testament book of Genesis concerning the destruction of every living thing save what was on the ark with Noah and his family with and by the flood waters. This reality was also seen in the judgment upon and destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah during the days of Abraham and his nephew Lot. In both cases the judgment of God resulting in subsequent destruction came as a result of men knowing the difference between good and evil, and yet making the deliberate and conscious decision to choose evil. We must understand that this knowledge of good and evil would be at the very heart of the commands which the LORD God spoke unto Moses the servant of the LORD concerning that which is clean and unclean. As surely as man would be required to distinguish between what was good and evil, the children of Israel were now required to understand and know what was clean and unclean for them. The underlying concern regarding the knowledge of what was clean and unclean is in the fact that when speaking to and dealing with such matters man is given the ability and option to choose between the two. What’s more, is that when making such a decision and choice, man must also choose whether or not they trust in the divine judgment of God concerning what is clean and unclean, as well as trust in the goodness of God concerning that which He has given unto them to eat and enjoy. The commands, the laws and the statutes we find within chapters eleven through sixteen of the Old Testament book of Leviticus not only bring us face to face with the LORD God of the Hebrews revealing unto the children of Israel that which was clean and unclean for them, but it also causes us to look back upon the narrative of the garden of Eden and that which was presented unto Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were given a whole host of trees and fruit which were good for them, while only being given one tree they could not take of the fruit and eat. There is not a doubt in my mind that the fruit which was found in the garden was perhaps some of the best fruit and food ever created, and yet Adam and Eve made the decision to choose against that which was clean for them, choose against that which was good for them, and choose against that which was provided unto them by the living God.

What I find so absolutely intriguing about the chapters which are before us in the Old Testament book of Leviticus is how directly aligned they are with the command which the living God gave unto Adam when He placed him in the garden. When the living God took Adam and placed him in the garden He Himself had planted He gave Adam free and unlimited access to all that was good and all that was clean, and allowed Adam to freely partake of all that was good in the garden. Even with the tremendous reality that the living God provided Adam—as well as Eve who would be created from a rib of his side—there was one thing which wasn’t good for Adam or Eve. The LORD God allowed Adam and Eve to move freely within and throughout the garden of Eden, and gave them everything that was good and everything that was clean for them, however, there was one thing which was neither clean, nor was it permissible for them. It’s important that we recognize and understand that just as the living God had taken man whom He had created outside the garden and placed him within the garden, so also did the living God take Abraham from outside the inheritance and possession and make of him a great people and nation. Even more than this, the living God formed the nation and people of Israel outside the land which He Himself was going to plant them in. The incredible truth we find within these chapters is that even before the children and people of Israel entered into the land of Canaan to take it as the inheritance promised unto them by the living God He gave them a similar reality as that which He gave unto Adam. Adam was formed outside the garden and placed in the garden, and once in the garden which the LORD had planted he was given a specific command concerning that which He could freely partake of and that which he was prohibited from partaking of. In a similar fashion, the children and people of Israel were formed into a people and congregation within the land of Egypt, brought forth out of the slavery and bondage of the land of Egypt, and led into the wilderness where they would encamp before the mountain of God. It would be there before the mountain of God the children of Israel would receive from the LORD through Moses His servant commands and instruction concerning that which was clean unto. Even though the description concerning that which was clean and that which was unclean began in the eleventh chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus, it is absolutely necessary and imperative that we turn and direct our attention to the words which are found in the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book. More specifically, it is necessary that we turn and direct our attention to what is found beginning with the thirty-third verse, for it further links and connects the revelation of what is clean and unclean unto the children of Israel to the garden of Eden and Adam and Eve. Consider if you will the words which are found within this chapter beginning with the thirty-third verse:

“And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, When ye be come into the land of Canaan, which I give to you for a possession, and I put the plague of leprosy in a house of the land of your possession; and he that owneth the house shall come and tell the priest, saying, It seemeth to me there is as it were a plague in the house: then the priest shall command that they empty the house, before the priest go into it to see the plague, that all that is in the house be not made unclean: and afterward the priest shall go in to see the house” (Leviticus 14:33-36).

Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible truth, for what we find within these verses is quite significant and quite important when you think about that which was unclean and clean for the children of Israel. If there is one thing we must recognize and realize concerning the laws concerning that which was unclean and clean, it’s that the laws didn’t begin and go into effect when they entered into the land of Canaan. While the children of Israel were still making their way and their journey through the wilderness the Lord gave unto them commands concerning that which was clean and that which was unclean. It would be this distinction and this difference the children of Israel would learn and exercise in the wilderness, and upon their entering into the land of Canaan they would carry these laws with them as they dwelt in the midst of the land. What makes that which is found in this particular section of the fourteenth chapter is how the LORD spoke unto Moses and Aaron concerning their coming into the land of Canaan. The living God was with the words which followed giving the children of Israel specific rules and guidelines concerning that which they were to adhere, follow and obey upon their entrance into the land of Canaan. The most intriguing reality centering upon the commands concerning that which was clean and unclean as it was spoken and revealed unto Moses is that even before the children of Israel entered into the land promised unto their ancestors, and even before they would become a nation within the earth, they were to mark a difference between that which was clean unto them and that which was unclean for them. As they entered the land they would carry these laws and statutes with them and would continue exercising that which they began practicing during their journey through the wilderness. The children of Israel were formed into a people and congregation within the land of Egypt, yet what we find within these chapters of the book of Leviticus are a people and congregation which were governed by the laws and commands with God. Oh how absolutely incredible it is to think about and consider the fact that the living God didn’t allow the children of Israel to enter into the land of Canaan ungoverned and without any moral code. When the children of Israel entered into the land of Canaan they would be a people who would have at the very core and foundation of their existence the laws and statutes of the living God, which would govern them during and throughout their generations which would emerge within the land. What the living God was doing for the children of Israel with these laws and commands concerning that which was clean and unclean was the same thing He did with Adam when He planted Him in the garden, for there could be no planting without responsibility. What’s more, is there could be no responsibility without the governance of the living God who would establish their moral code. The children of Israel would be planted within the land of Canaan much like Adam was planted in the garden of Eden, and it would indeed be a land flowing with milk and honey, but there would still be the tremendous need to distinguish between that which was clean and that which was unclean.

THE ISSUE OF BLOOD, THE LAW AND JESUS, THE HEALER, PHYSICIAN AND PRIEST! THE WOMAN WITH THE ISSUE OF BLOOD! THE TEN LEPERS! JESUS ALLOWED HIMSELF TO BE TOUCHED BY THIS WOMAN WHO HAD BEEN UNCLEAN FOR TWELVE YEARS! JESUS HEALED TEN LEPERS WHO CAME UNTO HIM! JESUS BROUGHT MORE THAN HEALING! JESUS BROUGHT MORE THAN DELIVERANCE! JESUS BROUGHT CLEANSING! MATTHEW 8! MARK 5! MARK 8! LUKE 17! As you continue reading within these chapters you will find language that on the surface might not seem like it makes any sense or has any sort of relevance or importance for us in this generation. I have to admit that as I come to the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus I am completely and utterly fascinated with what I read. Despite the fact that what is found here deals with the physical body and specific issues that may proceed forth from the body, I am absolutely convinced that the language which is found in these chapters must be understood, for when we understand the language that is contained therein we can and will have a greater appreciation of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. While I am convinced that what we have within these chapters points us back to the time of the garden of Eden and specifically the command given unto Adam to freely eat of every tree in the garden save the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, I am also convinced that the language found within these chapters points ahead to the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. I have to admit that in previous years when I’ve read these chapters I didn’t think about, nor did I consider them as a type of foundation for the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, however, upon reading these same chapters I find myself being directly confronted with the fact that they stand as a wonderful foundation for the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. It would be very easy to quickly glance over these chapters and to consider them as having very little impact or relevance, and yet the more you read them the more you will be brought face to face with the reality that these chapters not only touches what would have a man or woman unclean in the sight of God, but they also touch the reality of when a man or woman could become clean in the sight of God. Chapter twelve deals exclusively and specifically with a woman and a period of uncleanness after she gave birth to a child, and how once the days of her uncleanness were over she would go unto the door or the sanctuary with her offerings in order that the anointed priest might make atonement for her and provide for her cleansing. What’s more, is that if you read chapters thirteen and fourteen you will find that they deal exclusively and specifically with the plague of leprosy that can be found—not only upon the flesh of a man or woman, but can also be upon garments and clothes, as well as within a house upon the walls therein.

If and as you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find the living God giving very specific instruction and laws unto the children of Israel concerning the plague of leftist which could in fact plague the flesh of a man or woman. When dealing and speaking with the reality of leptospirosis it’s important to note that upon first notice of the plague of leprosy that particular individual who believed themselves to have it within name upon their flesh needed to go and show themselves unto the priest. It would be the priest who would examine the flesh of that individual who would come and appear before them and would determine whether or not the plague was deeper than the skin and they were immediately and automatically unclean, or whether or not they needed to be shut up for a period of seven days. It’s actually quite remarkable and astounding when you think about and consider the language concerning the plague of leprosy, for when you think about and consider it you will find that a careful and thorough examination was needed once one stood before and in the presence of the priest. That particular individual who believed themselves to have the plague of leprosy would show themselves before and unto the priest, and if the plague was under leprous that individual would be unclean. What I find to be truly intriguing when thinking about and considering the words and language that is found within these chapters is the fact that the Lord instructed those individuals who first noticed something appearing on their flesh to go and show themselves unto the priest. It’s absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this absolutely profound truth, for it is this truth that brings us face to face with the reality of not waiting until that which appeared upon the flesh of an individual’s flesh spread or went beneath the surface before coming and appearing before the priest. I am sure there would have been an overwhelming temptation to think about and consider not going and showing oneself unto the priest upon first notice of that which appears upon the flesh—particularly and especially when you think about the possibility that what has come upon your flesh might be leprosy and might cause you to become unclean in the sight of the living God, as well as the children of Israel. What was so incredible about the laws which were given unto the children of Israel was that they were given as a means to address certain issues before they spread and possibly consumed and covered the whole flesh. If you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find the living God nor only speaking about that which goes beneath the surface, but also that which spreads upon the flesh and thus causes a person to be unclean.

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but think about and consider the fact that what might have appeared upon the flesh of one of the children of Israel could have not only gone beneath the surface of the skin of that individual, but it also might have spread upon the flesh of an individual. We dare not and must not neglect and ignore this reality, for it was this concept of that which went beneath the surface and that which spread upon the flesh that could very well cause an indivisible to be unclean before and in the sight of both God and people. The language we find within these chapters—although they deal with and speak exclusively to the plague of leprosy—I would dare say that these chapters speak to a much different plague that can come upon and within our lives. That which I speak of is the plague of sin, and specifically how the plague of sin can begin as small and seemingly insignificant as a spit on the physical flesh of a man or woman, and yet if left unchecked and not dealt with it can spread and metastasize within the life of an individual. The underlying truth concerning the plague of sin is that it can begins as something small and seemingly insignificant, and yet if it is not dealt with and not treated it can not only move beneath the flesh, but it can also spread within and upon the whole of an individual. Please note and understand that when I speak about sin metastasizing and spreading within the life of an individual I am not speaking of it spreading upon the flesh of an individual as leprosy does/ what I am speaking of when I speak about the plague of sin metastasizing and spreading within our lives is how it had the ability to absolutely and so thoroughly corrupt and define us, thus causing us to be made unclean in the sight of the living God. What’s more, is that the plague of sin—IG it is not dealt with—can metastasize and spread into other areas of our lives, and even relationships, even in our homes, even in our jobs, and the like. Just as the plague of leprosy could indeed spread upon the flesh of an individual, so also can the plague of sin spread and metastasize within and upon the life of an indivisible, and thus cause them to become unclean before and in the sight of the living God. The plague of sin must needs be dealt with and addressed before it has the chance to spread within and throughout our lives, and thus defile, corrupt and pollute our lives, and those areas of our lives. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we need to recognize and come face to face with us that sin is so deadly and so serious that it must be treated early on during its “infant” stages before it has the chance to metastasize and spread within and throughout our lives and thus affecting everything within them.

It is what we find within these chapters that must be carefully considered, for as you read and consider the language contained therein, you will find that they indeed set the stage for the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. It’s interesting and worth noting what during the days of the Old Testament and during the days of the Old Covenant men and women could be unclean simply because of an issue that plagued and affected their flesh and physical bodies. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find the plague of leptospirosis could indeed cause a man or woman to become unclean, while the plague of leprosy upon a garment or within a house could potentially result in the garment being burned or the house being torn down and utterly demolished. What’s more, is that when you come to the words and language found within the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus you will find the living God speaking about something that if you read it in the Old Testament for the first time and haven’t also read the New Testament, you might miss the tremendous significance and importance of what is being written. It’s in the second half of the fifteenth chapter of this Old Testament book I invite you to think about and consider carefully, for immediately after we will journey into the New Testament and to the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. Consider if you will the words which are found within the second half of the fifteenth chapter beginning with the nineteenth verse:

“And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even. And every thing that she lieth upon in her separation shall be unclean: every thing also that she sitteth upon shall be unclean. And whosoever touceth her bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And whosoever touceth any thing that she sat upon shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. And if it be on her bed, or on any thing where on she sitteth, and when he toucheth it, he shall be unclean until the even. And if any man lie with her at all, and her flowers be upon him, he shall be unclean seven days; and all the bed wherein he lieth shall be unclean. And if a woman have an issue of her blood many days out of the time of her separation, or if it run beyond the time of her separation; all the days of the issue of her uncleanness shall be as the days of her separation: she shall be unclean. Every bed wherein she lieth all the days of her issue shall. Be unto her as the bed of her separation: and whatsoever she sitteth upon shall be unclean, as the uncleanness of her separation. And whosoever touceth those things shall be unclean, and shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. But if she be cleansed of her issue, then she shall number to herself seven days, and after that she shall be clean. And on the eighth day she shall take unto her two turtles, or two young pigeons, and bring them unto the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering; and the priest shall make an atonement for her before the LORD for the issue of her uncleanness” (Leviticus 15:19-30).

Now on the surface this might not seem like what the living God is speaking in this passage of Scripture has any significance for us in this generation, or has any importance for us who are reading these words, however, I am convinced that these words can, will and should take on a whole new meaning when you think about and consider them in light of what we find written in the New Testament gospels which provide for us the narrative and account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. There is not a doubt in my mind that what we find and read within these chapters has an incredible and tremendous meaning when we consider them in light of that which we find in the New Testament gospels of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. If you read the gospel narratives and account of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ you will find and discover an absolutely incredible and tremendous encounter which took place during the life of Jesus as He was preparing to journey unto the home of one whose daughter who was twelve years of age lie in bed sick and on the verge of death. There is a certain and specific encounter found within these New Testament gospels which has the absolutely amazing ability to help us further understand that which we find within the Old Testament book of Leviticus, for what we find in the Old Testament book of Leviticus is a backdrop and foundation for what is found in the gospel narratives concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ. In fact, so significant was this particular event which took place within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ that the synoptic gospel authors each wrote about it. In fact, I would dare say that each of the gospel authors who wrote concerning this particular event within the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ did so because of what we find within the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. In fact, when I clicked on the reference icon for this particular passage which is found in the New Testament gospel of Matthew, I was brought to the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. Thus, the synoptic gospel writers directly linked and connected what is found within these chapters to that which was written in the Law of Moses—and they did so because the ministry of Jesus extended far beyond simply impacting the demonic realm as men and women were delivered from demonic oppression, and far beyond Jesus simply healing those who were sick, lame, crippled, and the like. Consider if you will the words which are found within these chapters beginning first with the New Testament gospel of Matthew, and continuing on to the gospel which was written by Mark, as well as the gospel which was written by Luke.

“And, behold, a woman which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when he saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour” (Matthew 9:20-22).

“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press, behind, and touched His garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And His disciples said unto Him, Thou sweets the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before Him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:25-34).

“And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, came behind him, and touched the border of his garment; and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with Him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the women saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace” (Luke 8:43-48).

The words and language we find within these three gospels are absolutely wonderful and amazing when you think about and consider them in light of that which is found in the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus. If you read the fifteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus you will find that that woman which had an issue of blood would be unclean, and if it extended past the days of her separation—past the days her menstrual cycle—she was to remain unclean seven days. What makes this even more intriguing and captivating is that Matthew, Mark and Luke all recorded how this woman had an issue of blood for a full twelve years. Pause for a moment and consider this reality in light of what you read and find in the fifteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Leviticus, for what you will find within that book demonstrates and reveals the incredible reality that this woman would have spent a full twelve years living as unclean among her people and the people of Israel. What’s more, is that this woman had spent everything she had in order that she might somehow be healed and cured of this plague which had been within her body for twelve years. Pause for a moment and think about the fact that for twelve years—not only would this woman have been unclean, but anything this woman touched would be unclean. If this woman touched a bed whereon she lied for the night, that bed would be made unclean. If she sat in a chair—even if but for a moment—that chair would be unclean. If this woman touched any garment that garment would itself be unclean. If this woman touched any other individual, that individual would be unclean even until the evening. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for it is this reality that helps us understand just how significant this woman’s condition us. What’s more, is that according to Jewish law, this woman reaching out and touching the garment which Jesus the Christ was wearing would have been unclean. According to Jewish law—for this woman to have touched Jesus, He could have possibly been unclean. It’s quite remarkable and astounding to think about and consider the fact that this woman dared reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment knowing full well that which the Hebrew law stated concerning those women with an issue of blood. This woman risked everything that she might but reach out and touch the hem of the garment of Jesus. This woman threw fear to the wind, and threw caution to the wind having had this issue of blood for twelve years, and after those twelve years was in no wise better, but in fact grew worse. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this wonderful reality, for this reality can and will bring us face to face with the tremendous truth that for this woman to reach out and dare touch the garment of Jesus—knowing full well what the Jewish law stated—she herself was unclean, and her touching the garment of Jesus would possibly make Him unclean.

What I find to be so absolutely wonderful and incredible about the narrative and accounts of Jesus the Christ is that instead of the gospel writers writing how Jesus became unclean when this woman who herself was unclean reached out and touched His garment, power or virtue flowed forth from Him. According to the Jewish law this woman risked a great deal by daring to reach out and touch the garment of Jesus, and I can’t help but wonder what it must have been like for this woman as she stood fearful and trembling knowing that she was healed, but describing what she had been healed from. Scripture reveals how this woman came before Jesus fearful and trembling, for she knew that according to Jewish law she was unclean and had been unclean for twelve years. Stop right there and consider that reality—the reality that this woman had not only had an issue of blood for twelve years, but for twelve years this woman would have been unclean among her own people. What’s more, is that anything this woman touched during those twelve years would itself become unclean as a result of contact with her. Now, this woman who had spent twelve years living as unclean in the midst of her people, and this woman who knew that anything she touched would be unclean according to Jewish law dared reach out and touch the hem of the garment of Jesus the Christ. Oh please don’t miss and please don’t lose sight of this absolutely astonishing and remarkable reality, for to do so would be to miss out on just how dramatic and how risky this woman reaching out and touching the garment of Jesus the Christ was for her. This woman knew that according to Jewish law she was unclean, and she knew that by touching the garment of Jesus she could have potentially risked Jesus being unclean, yet she deliberately and intentionally chose to stretch forth her hand. Think about the tremendous risk this woman took to dare stretch forth her hand to touch the hem of the garment of Jesus the Christ knowing that for twelve years anything and everyone she touched or came in contact with would be unclean. Consider what it must have been like for this woman to live her life for the past twelve years unclean among her people and unable to truly have physical connection and contact with those around her knowing that if she touched them they would be unclean. Think about the fact that this woman could not hug anyone else—including family members—without causing them to be unclean. Think about how this woman could not share the same couch with others, for the minute she sat down on the couch it would itself become unclean. For this woman to have an issue of blood would not only make her unclean, but would also cause her to make anything and anyone she touched unclean just be coming in contact with her.

I have to admit that I absolutely love the narrative and account of this woman and how she dared press through the crowd in order that she might touch the hem of Jesus’ garment that she might be made whole. Think about the fact that as she pressed through the crowd she touched the garments of others as she maneuvered herself within and in the midst of them. Think about the fact that anyone she came in contact with as she was making her way to Jesus could have become unclean simply because this woman came in contact with them. How absolutely astounding it is to think about and consider the fact that as this woman dared come unto Jesus, and as this woman dared stretch forth her hand to touch the hem of His garment, she would have risked making those whom she came in contact with unclean. Please don’t miss and lose sight of this absolutely incredible reality, for this reality has the ability to dramatically alter how we view this passage of Scripture in the Old Testament, as well as what we find in the New Testament. This woman had been unclean for twelve years, and after twelve years she heard about Jesus the Christ and dared risk everything to press through the crowd and throng of people which followed and surrounded Jesus. Oh I can’t escape the reality that this woman risked making all those before and all those around her unclean simply so she could come near and come unto Jesus the Christ. What’s more, is that not only did she risk making those whom she came in contact with as she pressed through the crowd, but she risked making Jesus the Christ unclean as well. Of course we know and understand that not only did this woman not cause Jesus to become unclean, but instead was touched by the virtue and power which was present within Him, but so also those whom this woman touched were themselves free from being made unclean. Scripture revealed that power or virtue came forth from Jesus the Christ when this woman touched the hem of His garment, and I would dare say that this woman who had been healed was free from making those whom she came in contact with unclean as she came in contact with them. Oh, I can’t help but wonder what those who were present on this particular day thought when they heard that this woman had an issue of blood, and that this woman had that issue of blood for twelve years. I am sure there were those who walked with and followed Jesus the Christ during that time worried that they themselves might be made unclean knowing that this woman brushed up against and/or came in contact with them. I am sure that this was perhaps one of the main and underlying reasons why this woman was so incredible fearful when she came and appeared before Jesus the Christ, for she knew that she had not only come in contact with others who were walking with and following Jesus, but she also touched the hem of Jesus’ garment as well.

What I so love about the words which are found within this narrative and account of Jesus the Christ is that within them we encounter a Jesus who was even willing to minister to those things which caused men and women to become unclean in the sight of God and in the sight of men. We tend to spend a great deal of time talking about how Jesus casts and drives out demons and brings deliverance to those who were oppressed by demonic activity. We tend to spend a great deal of time focusing our attention on how Jesus caused the blinded eyes to see, the deaf ears to hear, the lame to walk, the crippled to rise again, and even the mute to speak. I am convinced that we fail and neglect to also recognize that not only did Jesus come to heal, and not only did Jesus come to deliver, but Jesus also came to cleanse. With every encounter Jesus had with one who had leprosy we find and encounter a Jesus who not only came to heal and deliver, but we also find a Jesus who was willing to cleanse, restore and make whole. With the encounter of this woman who had the issue of blood for twelve years we find another powerful example of a Jesus who was willing to cleanse those who were unclean. When power and virtue went out from Jesus’ being it did so within and upon this woman in order that she might be cleansed of her issue of blood, and in order that she might no longer be unclean. Oh pause for a moment and think about and consider this absolutely wonderful and incredible reality concerning this woman, and how this woman was made whole of that which had caused her to be unclean for twelve years. Finally after twelve years this woman was clean in the sight of God and in the sight of men. Finally after twelve years this woman’s issue of blood was stopped and she was immediately and completely healed and made whole. Oh that we would recognize and understand this absolutely wonderful and incredible reality, for it has the ability to radically alter our thinking concerning the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, for within it we find a woman who was willing to risk it all to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment knowing she was herself unclean, and yet in the place of fear and risk she found cleansing and restoration after twelve years. Oh that we would read these words and truly understand the absolutely wonderful reality that after twelve years this woman experienced that one who was able to cleanse her completely. What’s more, is that not only was Jesus able to cleanse this woman, but He was also able to make her clean according to the law of Moses, which was something I am convinced was of great worth and great value to this woman. Oh how absolutely wonderful and remarkable it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman was now not only clean and made whole, but this woman was made clean according to the law. Consider what this would have done for her relationships, and what this would have done to her interactions with others. Consider how this would have dramatically impacted and affected this woman and how she related to others, for finally after twelve years she could enjoy and experience fellowship. After risking making others unclean by pressing through the crowd, and after risking even touching the hem of Jesus’ garment while being unclean she was made whole, and from that day forward was clean according to the law of Moses and would be free enjoy and experience relationships once more. The underlying question we must ask ourselves when reading these words is what are you willing to risk in order that you might be made clean in the sight of God and man? What are you willing to risk in order that your ability relate to others might be restored unto you as you are finally able to experience relationships with others—perhaps for the first time in several years? What are you willing to risk that you might reach out and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment that you might be made whole and that you might once and for all be clean in the sight of both God and men?

RISKING THE MESS TO FIND CLEANSING! As I bring this writing to a close I feel the great need to bring us to the place where we understand that there are times within our lives when coming to the place where we can enjoy relationships once again may very well appear to be messy, and quite possibly unclean. This woman with the issue of blood had spent twelve years unclean, and her being unclean undoubtedly would have impacted her ability to interact and relate to those before and around her. Undoubtedly this woman was unable to enjoy true relationship and true connection with others because of the risk that was involved in being with her. For anyone whom this woman touched, and anyone who touched this woman—that individual would immediately become unclean. Regardless of whether or not they were unclean until the evening, there was still the underlying principle that connecting with this woman would have with it the risk of being unclean in the sight of both God and man. How incredibly interesting it is to think about and consider the fact that this woman could have essentially defiled and contaminated those she came in contact with—simply because she was unclean according to the Law of Moses. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt that anything and everything you touch somehow contaminates those around you? Have you ever felt that you cannot truly enjoy and experience relationship with others because you feel as though connecting with them somehow carries with it risk? What is so amazing about the story of this woman is that she was willing to risk the mess in order to once and for all be clean. This woman was willing to risk the mess of exposing herself in public in order that she might touch but the hem of the garment of Jesus. The question we must ask ourselves is whether we are willing to throw caution to the wind and risk the mess in order that we might experience true and complete cleansing within our hearts and lives. This woman knew that by pressing through the midst of the crowd she would rub up against others, and with her being unclean—such contact would have caused them to be unclean. Imagine what those whom she came in contact with thought as they realized that when she brushed up against them she was unclean according to the law of Moses. It is quite intriguing to think about and consider that this woman was willing to risk contact with those in the crowd in order that she might make her way to where Jesus was—and not only make her way to where Jesus was, but also be made whole of her plague and uncleanness. It is quite astounding to think about and consider the fact that this woman was willing to risk exposure and contact with others whom she might cause to become unclean that she might behold and come in contact with He who was and is altogether clean and altogether pure. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand that there are times within our lives when becoming clean in the sight of God, and becoming clean in the sight of men may very well look and appear messy, and might very well require us to expose ourselves and risk everything in order that we might come in contact with that One who is altogether clean that the plague within us might once and for all be stopped, thus resulting in a complete and utter cleansing and wholeness we perhaps haven’t experienced in years. I ask you again—are you willing to risk the mess to enjoy relationship again? Are you willing to risk the mess in order that you might find cleansing and wholeness once again—perhaps for the first time in what might very well have seemed like an eternity.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s