Leper Cleansing July 10 2011 No 8





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Published on Mar 19, 2012

Pastor Curt Crist, www.welcometograce.com

In the remainder of Mark chapter 1, we read how Christ cleansed a leper and verse 44 records that event for us. Notice the muzzling directive that Christ gives to the leper in this passage.

Mark 1:44: "And (Jesus) saith unto him (to the leper he'd just healed), See thou say (how much?)...nothing to any man: but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them."

Did the leper hold his tongue? Could you hold yours?

Mark 1:45 "But he (that leper) went out, and began to publish it much and to blaze abroad the matter..."

They're seeking Jesus out. They want near this man. They want to know more about this man. Why, because they want something from this man. The fame of Jesus of Nazareth is spreading like rapid fire, like wild fire, folks, although he was requesting all the while that it NOT be spread at all! He wanted his identity to remain under wraps, at least for a time.

Christ told the leper to say nothing to any man but to show himself to the priest? Why the priest, we might ask? Other than the fact that if we go back to Leviticus 26, it was part of that law program that if you recover from leprosy, you were supposed to be cleansed by the priests and that would involve a sacrifice. Why would Jesus want the leper to present himself to the priest other than that law issue?

There's another issue sitting here. You see, the real test would not be that leper's obedience to silence Christ was well aware how that would turn out. The real test would be the priest's discernment. Would that priest to whom the healing would be revealed...perceive that the long-awaited Messiah had actually come on the scene without being told? Would that priest of Israel, (keeping in mind that Israel's religious leadership was her governmental leadership were one and the same) would that priest believe the Gospel of the Kingdom, the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven was really at hand? Would that priest repent and be baptized...for the remission of his sins? Would Israel, for that matter, repent...and be baptized...for the remission of their sins? Christ knew the answer to that as well, but he allowed that priest the opportunity to demonstrate his lack of belief thus proving the spiritual condition of Israel's religious leadership and in turn proving the spiritual condition of the nation under that priesthood the nation Israel.

So, what Mary had known, what John had known, what the shepherds had known, what even the demons were well aware of which was the identity of Jesus of Nazareth (at least two-thirds of that identity) the Pharisaical crowd in Israel did NOT know much less would they want to know it and Christ was giving them plenty of opportunity to prove their lack of belief and he was accomplishing all that apart from having his identity openly revealed by Him or the by the 12. These Christ identity rejecters would be the ones (when the time was right) demanding the death of the king (and God knew that). The death of the king would be absolutely essential to complete God's plan with man through time. And again, that would be true for both programs of God, the earthly as well as the heavenly.

The Gospel of God has implications for both programs. It has implications specifically related to the earthly program. It has implications specifically related to the heavenly program. So we share something in common with Israel of time past when it comes to the Gospel of God. What I'm trying to show you here is that while the Gospel of The Kingdom was being openly proclaimed by Christ and the 12, and that's what Christ directed his apostles to proclaim, Christ did NOT want the 12 or the demons or anyone else, for that matter openly proclaiming His identity as the Christ the Son of God.

This tells us that the good news that Israel's promised kingdom was at her doorstep and the identity of the king who would reign in that kingdom were two different good news messages. They were not one and the same. The Gospel of The Kingdom was NOT The Gospel of God. One was being openly proclaimed while at the very same time Christ was directing that the other be kept silent. The time would come when The Gospel of God would indeed be openly proclaimed. In fact, we're going to be seeing that Paul openly proclaimed it everywhere he went. Paul always began with the Gospel of God because as we said The Gospel of God would have direct implications where both programs of God would be concerned, the earthly as well as the heavenly.


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