Why did Jesus tell the leper not to say anything about being healed, but to go to the priest and show himself?


Mark 1:43 - 44

ESV - 43 And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once. 44 And said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them.

Clarify Share Report Asked February 20 2020 Mini Angela Acosta

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say, first, that, in the specific case of the leper cited in the question, the Mosaic Law required certain steps to be taken before a leper could be declared legally clean (Leviticus 13-14). Even though Jesus had healed the man, He wanted him to immediately satisfy those requirements in obedience to the Law (in the same way that Jesus fully obeyed the Law), and thus serve as an official public testimony of both the man's obedience and healing, rather than to be delayed as a result of talking to others before those required steps had been performed. 

Also, as in other cases where Jesus advised people whom He healed not to tell others about it, I would say that it was because Jesus did not want to be primarily known or sought out merely for being a worker of miracles, or for physical healing. His primary earthly mission (prior to His atoning death and resurrection) was to bring spiritual healing and salvation through faith in Him and the forgiveness of sins, which was a greater human need than even physical health (as shown by examples such as Mark 2:1-12), since the effects of being reconciled to God through faith and forgiveness would be eternal, rather than ceasing with temporal death.

February 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
go, show yourself to the priest. The purpose was to offer sacrifices and the priest would then pronounce the former leper ceremonially clean (Lev. 13:6, 13, 17, 23). See, too, Luke 5:14. He was to go to the priests and follow the instructions given in Leviticus 14 so that he might be declared clean and received back into the social and religious life of the community.

1:44 which Moses commanded Refers to a sequence of 2 sacrificial offerings God mandated to mark a diseased individual’s healing and reintegration into the community (Lev 14:1-32). Jesus has already cleansed the man. Now, the priest must directly examine him to certify that the source of uncleanness has indeed gone.

The cleansed leper was not above the law. He had to follow it, according to Jesus, "as a testimony {or witness} to them." There was no record of a cleansed leper in Jewish history after the healing of Miriam in Numbers 12:10-15. So a cleansed leper would be very big news among the Jews. 

Once the cleansed man presented evidence to the priest that he had truly been cleansed by Jesus, the priest would be forced to investigate the claim, and the evidence would then be presented to the Jewish Sanhedrin for the final word on the matter. Thus by sending the man to the priest, Christ was, in essence, sending evidence to the highest recognized authority among the Jews that the miracle-working Messiah was in their midst. 

Like sin, leprosy is deeper than the skin (Lev. 13:3) and it spreads (Lev. 13:5-8). It defiles and isolates (Lev 13:44-46); and it renders things fit only for the fire (Lev 13:47-59). Anyone who has never trusted the Savior is spiritually in worse shape than this man was physically.

February 20 2020 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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