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The Hundred-Forty-Seventh (Conclusions)

How often have you been confused or come to the wrong conclusions because you weren't aware of, or missed, the details of something? Perhaps it even caused some embarrassment on your part if that conclusion or the confusion resulted in you going off and doing something wrong or completely inappropriate for the situation. I have definitely experienced that on multiple occasions and it has led me to be more cautious in how I approach things.

The details and having the full picture of something is important not just because you act on what you understand about a topic or situation, but also because it's easy for you to create a whole belief system, or your own world essentially, on things that aren't true. I don't know if you've been following it recently, but they've actually made some very intriguing discoveries about the earth as of late. They've found a massive ocean of water deep in the crust when previously they understood it as being essentially solid until the molten magma (except for the pockets of oil of course!). The solid crust is what I learned in school.

They came to this conclusion and created lessons and teachings on it based on a combination of the equipment they had at the time and assumptions they made based on what they were seeing. Now, through newer equipment and analysis they believe they've found, at least under the U.S., a layer of what they call ringwoodite rock which is like a sponge for water. Water under the crust sounds a lot like the fountains of the great deep, doesn't it? (Genesis 7:11, 8:2).

Do they know for a fact that there's water there? Of course not. Again, they are making assumptions much the same way they came to the conclusion previously that there was no water there. The point is they came to that conclusion because they were missing details that they have now, whether they weren't available or they just missed them before.

The same can be true as we study scripture. We could miss details, gloss over them, or they may not be available for us to create the full picture. Don't get me wrong, the important stuff is there: Yeshua, the son of YHWH, who was there at the beginning, became flesh and died so that we may be saved from death of our spirit. There just may be some additional details that may be missing that help us understand things on the periphery of that central and all-important topic.

Did you know that the better part of a whole chapter in scripture is dedicated to just diagnosing leprosy/skin conditions? And that the priest in ancient Israel was the one to diagnose them? (Leviticus 13) Did you also know that the only requirement in the Law for individuals with leprosy was to live alone outside the camp and announce they were unclean around others while they had sores? Additionally, touching human uncleanness (like someone with leprosy, among other things) if you know it's unclean or find out later it's unclean is a sin (Leviticus 5:3) and required a confession and a sin offering (Leviticus 5:5-13).

So, by these things we know that if a leper did not dwell outside the camp and when around others announce he or she was unclean they sinned, and if someone touched a leper it was a sin. We also know that Yeshua, despite being human and being tempted by all things we are, never sinned (Hebrews 4:15). In order for all these things to be true, which they have to be because they are the unerring words of YHWH, when you read the account of Yeshua healing a leper, which is recorded in three different gospels (Matthew 8:1-4, Mark 1:40-45, Luke 5:12-16), you have to come to the conclusion that this individual was healed prior to Yeshua touching him. But without all the details, you might believe His touch healed the leper. Or worse, you might believe that Yeshua was somehow abolishing those parts of the Law despite Him saying He did not come to abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17).

The truth is, Yeshua healed many without even touching them (John 4:43-54, Matthew 8:5-13) as well as cast out demons without even being in their presence (Mark 7:24-30). There was absolutely no need for him to heal leprosy by touching, and in fact if He had, He would have been sinning! And if you're slightly confused about all this because you remember hearing something about a distance requirement for lepers to stay away from people or even knew there was something about when the wind blows where the distance changes, remember that the Pharisees added a lot of extra requirements on top of the Law for some, if not all, the commandments from the Torah.

This actually bring up another important point about having the full picture in order to come to the right conclusions. As much as it is important to note all the details that are included in scripture, it's just as important to note those that are omitted. For example, did you notice what Yeshua told that former leper to do after he was healed? That's right, make an offering!

The cleansed individual was to make an offering once he or she was freed of the disease (Leviticus 14:1-32), according to the Law, so Yeshua commanded him to follow through and complete that offering. He didn't say not to worry about it or that part of the Law isn't applicable anymore. However, when you look at another situation, He did not make a reference to following the Law.

The next healing recorded by Luke, which was also recorded in Matthew and Mark was the healing of the man whose friends lowered through a roof (Luke 5:17-26, Matthew 9:1-8, Mark 2:1-12). In this event, Yeshua forgives the man of his sins. Probably not what anyone was expecting at the moment, and certainly not what the paralytic man was hoping for! Luke and Mark even record that the scribes and Pharisees were thinking in their heart that Yeshua was blaspheming, which was likely the whole point of why He did that before healing the man. He wanted to make the point that He had that authority. The authority that they only ascribed to YHWH.

But what was omitted from Yeshua's statement? Did Yeshua tell him to go grab a lamb or a bull or some turtledoves to atone for the sins? Did He even have the man go make a sacrifice afterward? No, He went on to heal him and sent him home.

Why did Yeshua have a man follow the Law in one instance, and seemingly ignore it in another? He had not completed His all-atoning sacrifice yet, so theoretically the man still had to make a sin offering to be forgiven. However, because of Yeshua's position and that He was here in the flesh, He had the authority and ability to do face to face what once required a sort of "offering communication" to YHWH to complete.

This detail also gives us a clue as to what we will see in the future when Yeshua returns to rule on earth. It tells us offerings other than sin offerings will still occur since Yeshua has the ability to forgive and also since He still told the leper to make the cleansing offering. This helps us better understand verses like those in Zechariah that talk about celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles (Zechariah 14:16-18). During that feast, offerings are made, other than sin offerings, and we can expect to do that when Yeshua is here because the majority of Zechariah 14 is actually set in that time period.

Other details are also important to take note of in order to come to the right conclusions as you study scripture. Have you noticed, for example, how the numbers of followers Yeshua had fluctuated during His ministry and how it even got to the point that His own disciples were gone and even denying Him? Or, how often scripture notes that the apostles and early church members kept the Sabbath after Yeshua's death and resurrection? Sometimes these things get missed if we don't take the time to truly study His word. So, as you go forward in your studies, make sure you don't just read the words and see them on their surface for the big picture events. Take note of the details (that are both there and not there!) to get a full picture and make the connections He wants you to see!

Shabbat shalom and may YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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