While on earth, completing His mission
of reconciling men back to God,
Jesus healed many people.
At this point, in Matthew 8,
a man with a chronic skin condition
asked Jesus to heal him -
And Jesus did.
This is what Matthew said,
“Suddenly, a man with leprosy approached Jesus
and knelt before him.
He said, “Lord, if you are willing,
you can heal me and make me clean.”
Jesus reached out and laid hands on him.
“I am willing.” “Be healed!”
And instantly the leprosy disappeared.”
After Jesus healed the man,
he told him not to tell anyone.
Instead he sent him to the priest
to be examined,
and told him to take
the offering required in the Law,
as described in the Book of Leviticus.
“This will be a public testimony
that you have been cleansed.”
At first, it didn’t make sense.
Why would Jesus send a healed man
to the priest?
And why would he tell him
not to tell anyone else?
But then I realized this...
The priest was considered a professional skin diagnoser,
and he would confirm the healing occurred
through the authority of God.
In this way, the Law would testify to the priesthood of Jesus.
Also, once the priest accepted the offering;
the priest could then declare the man fit
to return to the community.
Everyone would know that Jesus healed him.
Not to mention that Jesus was giving
the priest an opportunity to consider the spirit
that the healing power was coming from.
In Mark, Chapter 11, the teachers of the law
questioned Christ’s authority.
“As Jesus was walking through the Temple area,
the leading priests, the teachers of religious law,
and the elders came up to him.
They demanded, “By what authority
are you doing all these things?
Who gave you the right to do them?”
“I’ll tell you by what authority I do these things
if you answer one question,” -
“Did John’s authority to baptize
come from heaven, or was it merely human?
They talked it over among themselves.
“If we say it was from heaven,
he will ask why we didn’t believe John.
But do we dare say it was merely human?”
For they were afraid of what the people would do,
because everyone believed that John was a prophet.
So they finally replied,
“We don’t know.”
And Jesus responded,
“Then I won’t tell you
by what authority
I do these things.”
It’s not miracles or the powers
that reveal the essence of God,
for scripture says that Satan himself
will show all kinds of power,
signs and wonderful things.
Rather, sheep know their shepherd’s voice,
and they respond through their faith.
You would think that a priest
could discern the Spirit of Christ,
but that is not what we see.
The priest did not see
the Promise of God,
the Passover Lamb,
the Suffering Servant,
the Prince of Peace,
the High Priest,
standing right in front of him!
As Christians, we must know,
that we are in the royal priesthood;
heirs to the kingdom of Almighty God.
And when we walk in fellowship with God,
no other human stands between us and Him.
In the past, priests were humans
who made intercession for all men.
They were anointed and ordained
and to offer sacrifices as atonement
for humanity's sin.
“But now Jesus, our High Priest,
has been given a ministry
that is far superior to the old priesthood,
for he is the one who mediates for us
a far better covenant with God,
based on better promises."
If the first covenant had been faultless,
there would have been no need
for a second covenant to replace it.
But when God found fault with the people,
“The day is coming,
when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel and Judah.
This covenant will not be like
the one I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
and led them out of the land of Egypt.
They did not remain faithful to my covenant,
so I turned my back on them."
"But this is the new covenant
I will make with the people of Israel
on that day,
“I will put my laws in their minds,
and I will write them on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
And they will not need
to teach their neighbors,
nor will they need
to teach their relatives,
saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’
For everyone, from the least to the greatest,
will know me already.
And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.”
"When God speaks of a “new” covenant,
it means he has made the first one obsolete.
It is now out of date and will soon disappear.”
“And so, dear brothers and sisters,
we can boldly enter heaven’s Most Holy Place
because of the blood of Jesus.
By his death, Jesus opened a new
and life-giving way through the curtain
into the Most Holy Place.
And since we have a great High Priest
who rules over God’s house,
let us go right into the presence of God
with sincere hearts, fully trusting him.
For our guilty consciences
have been sprinkled
with Christ’s blood to make us clean,
and our bodies
have been washed with pure water.
Let us hold tightly, without wavering
to the hope we affirm,
for God can be trusted
to keep his promise.
Let us think of ways
to motivate one another
to acts of love and good works.
And let us not neglect
our meeting together,
as some people do,
but encourage one another,
that the day of his return
is drawing near.
if we deliberately continue sinning
after we have received
knowledge of the truth,
there is no longer any sacrifice
that will cover these sins.
There is only the terrible expectation
of God’s judgment, and the raging fire
that will consume his enemies.
For anyone who refused
to obey the law of Moses
was put to death, without mercy
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Just think how much worse
the punishment will be
for those who have trampled
on the Son of God,
and have treated
the blood of the covenant,
which made us holy,
as if it were common and unholy,
and have insulted and disdained
the Holy Spirit
who brings God’s mercy to us.”