Of declaring the leper to be clean. (1-9) The sacrifices to be
offered by him. (10-32) The leprosy in a house. (33-53) Summary
of the law concerning leprosy. (54-57)
The priests could not cleanse the lepers; but when the Lord
removed the plague, various rules were to be observed in
admitting them again to the ordinances of God, and the society
of his people. They represent many duties and exercises of truly
repenting sinners, and the duties of ministers respecting them.
If we apply this to the spiritual leprosy of sin, it intimates
that when we withdraw from those who walk disorderly, we must
not count them as enemies, but admonish them as brethren. And
also that when God by his grace has brought to repentance, they
ought with tenderness and joy, and sincere affection, to be
received again. Care should always be taken that sinners may not
be encouraged, nor penitents discouraged. If it were found that
the leprosy was healed, the priest must declare it with the
particular solemnities here described. The two birds, one
killed, and the other dipped in the blood of the bird that was
killed, and then let loose, may signify Christ shedding his
blood for sinners, and rising and ascending into heaven. The
priest having pronounced the leper clean from the disease, he
must make himself clean from all remains of it. Thus those who
have comfort of the remission of their sins, must with care and
caution cleanse themselves from sins; for every one that has
this hope in him, will be concerned to purify himself.
The cleansed leper was to be presented to the Lord, with
his offerings. When God has restored us to enjoy public worship
again, after sickness, distance, or otherwise, we should testify
our thanksgiving by our diligent use of the liberty. And both we
and our offerings must be presented before the Lord, by the
Priest that made us clean, even our Lord Jesus. Beside the usual
rites of the trespass-offering, some of the blood, and some of
the oil, was to be put upon him that was to be cleansed.
Wherever the blood of Christ is applied for justification, the
oil of the Spirit is applied for sanctification; these two
cannot be separated. We have here the gracious provision the law
made for poor lepers. The poor are as welcome to God's altar as
the rich. But though a meaner sacrifice was accepted from the
poor, yet the same ceremony was used for the rich; their souls
are as precious, and Christ and his gospel are the same to both.
Even for the poor one lamb was necessary. No sinner could be
saved, had it not been for the Lamb that was slain, and hath
redeemed us to God with his blood.
The leprosy in a house is unaccountable to us, as well as
the leprosy in a garment; but now sin, where that reigns in a
house, is a plague there, as it is in a heart. Masters of
families should be aware, and afraid of the first appearance of
sin in their families, and put it away, whatever it is. If the
leprosy is got into the house, the infected part must be taken
out. If it remain in the house, the whole must be pulled down.
The owner had better be without a dwelling, than live in one
that was infected. The leprosy of sin ruins families and
churches. Thus sin is so interwoven with the human body, that it
must be taken down by death.
When that God who is rich in mercy, for his great love
wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath
quickened us by his grace,
, we shall manifest the
change by repenting, and forsaking former sins. Let us follow
after holiness, and let us compassionate other poor lepers, and
desire, seek, and pray for their cleansing.