According to Michael Rood’s “The Chronological Gospels–The Life and Seventy Week Ministry of the Messiah,” this past weekend corresponded to a single event that is documented in the books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. This event was the healing of a leper who came to Jesus as he descended the mountain just after giving His famous Sermon on the Mount. This event is captured in Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45 and Luke 5:12-15. You all know the story: a leper comes and kneels before Jesus and with simple contrition asks the Master to heal him of his leprosy. Jesus has compassion for this poor leper and heals him without hesitation. Upon healing the leper, Jesus admonishes the man to keep his healing to himself–i.e., keep it under-wraps. Furthermore, Jesus instructs the man to present himself to the Levitical Priest as one is directed to do in his situation by the Torah.
What struck me about this passage more than the contrition that the man had when asking for his healing by the Master; more than the compassion the Master had towards this poor leper; or even more than the actual healing miracle has to do with the fact that Jesus directed the man to obey Torah. In terms of one who is stricken with leprosy but finds him/herself healed, he or she is given detailed instruction as to how they will be reconciled back in to the community and the various tabernacle and later temple ceremonies. This instruction is recorded in Leviticus 14.
This brief mention by the Gospel writers of Jesus directing someone to follow Torah is given absolutely little to no press in today’s Christian circles. In fact, the Christian community seems to go out of its way to villainize the Law (aka: Torah) and forbids it members of even contemplating observing or obeying Torah. My point is not to argue whether or not Christians are required to obey the Law of Moses or not. More so, my point is that Christian Church leaders, teachers and scholars go out of their way given any chance they can to indoctrinate its members in the thinking that Jesus came to do away with the Law. If that was indeed the case, wouldn’t this be a perfect opportunity for Jesus to sell a philosophy of no more Torah? One has to wonder, especially when we find in another passage of the New Testament where Jesus made it clear that He did not come to this earth to abolish the Law but to make the Law achieve its fullest potential in man–reference Matthew 5:17.
Many will argue that Jesus made the Law reach it fullest potential when the Law was (in concept) nailed to the cross with Him, found in Colossians 2:13. But then, that interpretation whereby Christian apologists equate “the handwriting in ordinances which stood out against us” with Torah or the Law has been seriously questioned. Sadly, the Christian community has been taught some really bad Bible study techniques that involve simply taking individual verse sound bites and making complex and detailed doctrines and teachings out of them. Every believer must be acutely aware that sound Biblical exegesis is effectively conducted when one takes presented or quested verses in context–that is that the verse in question is interpreted within the framework of the entire chapter and in some cases the entire book where it is recorded. If one actually were to dissect Colossians chapter 2 one will realize that the context is talking about sin and the subsequent penalty for sin in the life of man. No where is the Law or Torah mentioned or even alluded to. Instead what is clearly discussed is the sin debt that is owed by every human, that was paid by Jesus. Can you say Hallelujah!
So what does this all mean? Only you and the Holy Spirit that is dwelling in you can answer that question. Clearly , Jesus didn’t do away with Torah, either while He walked the earth nor at His death. This leaves one some serious things to ponder.
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