Parshiot Tazria and Metzora (“She will conceive” and “A leper”)
Leviticus 12:1-13:59 and 14:1-15:33
Haftarah: 2 Kings 7:3-20
This week, because it is not a Jewish leap year, we read two Torah portions. This article will focus on the latter, Metzora, which deals primarily with leprosy. We have learned previously that most often the leprosy mentioned in the Bible is not referring to that of the medical disease of today, but a divine punishment for prideful behavior. Because of this, it was understood that healing had to come from HaShem. One of the signs of the Messiah would be that He would heal lepers.
The healing of lepers was indeed one of the miracles that Yeshua performed. Even though Yeshua healed the lepers completely, still the Torah required that one cured of leprosy had to show himself to the Kohen (Priest) and follow a specific process for being brought back into the community. The process was completed on the eighth day. We have learned that the number eight signifies new beginnings.
In the book of Matthew, Yeshua goes up to Jerusalem for Passover; the Passover in which He laid down His life for our redemption. Prior to the beginning of the festival, He dined in the village on the Mount of Olives called Beit Ani (Bethany). The name of this village means, “House of the afflicted”. The text states,
“But Yeshua was in Beit Ani at the home of Shimon the leper.” Matthew 26:6
Obviously, if Shimon could host a meal, it would mean that he had been healed of his leprosy. He is simply being identified here as the Shimon who was known as a leper. Because he was known as Shimon the leper, most scholars understand the intent of the text as implying that he had been a leper for an extended period of time. It is also reasonable to conclude that Yeshua was the One Who had healed him. Regardless of these views, one thing is clear—Shimon wanted to host Yeshua in his home. One needs to remember that it was known that the leaders were very displeased with Yeshua so that many people did not want to be even seen with Him. The fear of being with Yeshua at this time was rooted in not wanting to lose one’s status in the community or being viewed as an outcast because one befriended Yeshua. These fears are based in pride. Shimon had struggled with pride and had been severely punished by HaShem for his pride. Now, having been healed, not just from the physical signs of pride, but also from the cause of it, Shimon gladly hosted Yeshua in his home for dinner.
Are you sometimes timid about being associated with Yeshua? Do you at times conceal your faith in Him somewhat? Join me and pray for Yeshua to free us from prideful behavior which can manifest itself in a great variety of manners. Then we will welcome Yeshua into every aspect of our lives and be the witnesses for Him that He wants us to be.
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I very much enjoy your teachings on Torah Class and look forward to your weekly additions.
It has been some time since I heard you teaching on Exodus 20:20 concerning the Hebrews at Mt. Horeb refusing to draw near so that God would prove them that they would not sin. Could you please supply the name of that teaching so I can share it with others.
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