02/19/18 Once Unclean

READING: Leviticus 11-14

“He must live alone in a place outside the camp.”

Leviticus 13:46

It must have been bad to have a skin disease in the ancient Hebrew world. While a man exhibited a contagious disease, he had to show grief and mourning by tearing his clothes, letting his hair hang loose, covering his mouth, and crying out, “Unclean, unclean!” (Lev. 13:45). He also had to be isolated from others; he “must live alone in a place outside the camp” (Lev. 13:46). The goal was to protect others from the disease, but being put outside the camp was also considered an indication that the person was distanced from God; thus, expressions of mourning would seem appropriate.

When I read these requirements, however, I better understand the joy of lepers in the New Testament whose lives Jesus changed. It makes much sense to me that the leper in Mark 1 told everyone that Jesus healed him – even after Jesus told him not to tell anyone prior to his going to the priest to be pronounced clean. If your world had been mourning and isolation, how would you keep to yourself that Jesus had healed you?

It’s just what Jesus does. He reaches out to outcasts, and He invites them to Himself. He loves and saves even those whose conditions had forced them to the sideline. He gives them life abundant when they had been living a life of isolation and shame. They had been crying out, “Unclean,” but now they could only shout His praises.

We’re not much different from the leper, actually. We, too, had been unclean. But . . . God almighty stepped into our lives, saved us, and called us to make disciples of all the peoples in the world. We who are now cleansed by the blood of the Lamb have great reason to proclaim His name to our neighbors and the nations.


  • Thank God for His willingness to make you clean. 
  • Tell somebody what God means to you today.

PRAYER: “God, thank You for reaching out to me when I was living far from You. Thank You for making me clean.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Leviticus 15-18