Leprosy Lesions Leaven Lev. 13 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Sin, false doctrine and Biblical error are likened to leprosy, lesions [cancers] and leaven in the Bible. They all spread and affect surrounding cells.
Leprosy – Lev 13-14 – leprosy typifies sin. Leprosy and sin start small [Lev 13:2]. There is a temptation to hide leprosy like there is a temptation to hide sin. In Lev 13:2 the leper is to be brought to the priest like we need to go to Jesus. Leprosy and sin spread [Lev 13:7]. As leprosy spreads you can’t feel it. Neither can you feel sin when your conscience is seared. Leprosy makes you unclean; others can be infected by it [Lev 13:44-46]. Likewise, sin often spreads to others you know. Therefore, the leper is to be separated from the congregation and so is the sinner under certain circumstances [1 Cor 5]. Leprosy can kill and so can sin.
Because the bacteria that cause leprosy multiply very slowly, symptoms usually do not begin until at least 1 year after people have been infected. On average, symptoms appear 5 to 7 years after infection but may take 20 to 30 years. Once symptoms begin, they progress slowly. Likewise, you usually don’t begin to see the effects of sin right away.
Specific symptoms vary depending on the type of leprosy. Likewise, with the consequences of sin; the symptoms vary.
The most severe symptoms result from infection of the peripheral nerves, which causes deterioration of the sense of touch and a corresponding inability to feel pain and temperature. People with peripheral nerve damage may unknowingly burn, cut, or otherwise harm themselves. Repeated damage may eventually lead to loss of fingers and toes. Also, damage to peripheral nerves may cause muscle weakness that can result in deformities. For example, the fingers may be weakened, causing them to curve inward (like a claw). Muscles may become too weak to flex the foot—a condition called footdrop. Infected nerves may enlarge so that during a physical examination, doctors can feel them. Likewise, sin begins to affect your heart, mind, body, spirit and soul.
The physical toll of leprosy typifies the spiritual toll of sin. It eats away on you until you die [Rom 6:23]. Comments on leprosy were found in the Merck Manual Consumer Version www.merckmanuals.com.
Lesions – 2 Tim 2:15-18 – profane and vain babblings will eat as doth a canker. Biblical errors, like the pre-wrath rapture, spread and eat away truth in the body of Christ. The word lesion comes from a Latin word that means an attack or an injury. Errors do this to the body of Christ. Lesions can be gross [seen with the naked eye] or microscopic. It’s the same way with babblings; it may take a while for the deadliness to appear. When cancer cells break away from a tumor, they can enter the bloodstream or the lymph system and spread. Same way with errors. They spread to others and destroy their faith. Some of the cancer cells that breakaway die. Others may settle in a new area and start to grow and form a new tumor. This process is called metastasis. The same thing happens with errors.
Leaven – 1 Cor 5:7-8; Matt 16:6-12 – Leaven typifies sin and false doctrine. The essentials of any bread dough are flour, water, and of course yeast. As soon as these ingredients are stirred together, enzymes in the yeast and the flour cause large starch molecules to break down into simple sugars. The yeast metabolizes these simple sugars and exudes a liquid that releases carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol into existing air bubbles in the dough. As more and more tiny air bubbles fill with carbon dioxide, the dough rises and the bread gets leavened. The leaven works through the whole loaf. It’s the same way with sin and false doctrine. Look how reformation denominations are going back to the Roman Catholic Church.
Conclusion: to keep from contracting leprosy, you would have to be very careful around lepers. Likewise, you should separate yourself from sinners whose sins you might begin committing. As you would immediately treat and try to kill off cancer cells, so you should immediately remove error when you learn the truth through studying. As leaven permeates an entire loaf, so sin and false doctrine affect all areas of your life and spread to others in close association with you. Keep out the leaven in your life and purge out the leaven in your congregation.