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What is leprosy?

The World Health Organ­iz­a­tion (WHO) explains lep­rosy (also known as Hansen’s dis­ease) as a chron­ic infec­tious dis­ease caused by Myco­bac­teri­um lep­rae. The dis­ease mainly affects the skin, the peri­pher­al nerves, mucos­al sur­faces of the upper res­pir­at­ory tract and the eyes. Lep­rosy is known to occur at all ages ran­ging from early infancy to very old age. Lep­rosy is cur­able and early treat­ment averts most dis­ab­il­it­ies. How is this sick­ness trans­mit­ted? The exact mech­an­ism of trans­mis­sion of lep­rosy is not known. At least until recently, the most widely held belief was that the dis­ease was trans­mit­ted by con­tact between cases of lep­rosy and healthy per­sons. More recently the pos­sib­il­ity of trans­mis­sion by the res­pir­at­ory route is gain­ing ground. There are also oth­er pos­sib­il­it­ies such as trans­mis­sion through insects which can­not be com­pletely ruled out. The Hebrew term ẓaraʿat is tra­di­tion­ally rendered “lep­rosy” due to its trans­la­tion by the Greek as lep­ra (cf. LXX, New Test­a­ment, and Joseph­us). The Greek lep­ra cov­ers a wide range of dis­eases that pro­duced and pro­duces scales. The Greek lep­ra may have included true lep­rosy (Hansen’s dis­ease), but is def­in­itely not lim­ited to it. In fact, bib­lic­al descrip­tions of ẓaraʿat do not include the nec­ros­is asso­ci­ated with Hansen’s dis­ease. The term ẓaraʿat is a gen­er­ic name, embra­cing a vari­ety of.….

Segregation of lepers

Why did the Jews isol­ate a per­son suf­fer­ing from lep­rosy? There is much reas­on to believe that the segreg­a­tion of lepers was mainly due to reli­gious reas­ons than as a hygien­ic restric­tion. Among the Jews, Ẓara’at was looked upon as a dis­ease inflic­ted by God upon those who trans­gressed his laws. It was a divine vis­it­a­tion for evil thoughts and evil deeds. Every leper men­tioned in the Hebrew (Old) Test­a­ment was afflic­ted because of some trans­gres­sion. For instance.….

Jesus and leprosy

As a faith­ful Jew, Jesus did not con­demn the idea of isol­at­ing the leper. How­ever, he restored those afflic­ted with this dis­ease, and made them return among their people. As explained above, incur­able by man, many believed God inflic­ted the curse of lep­rosy upon people for the sins they com­mit­ted. Hence, they were so des­pised and loathed that they were not allowed to live in any com­munity with their own people (cf. Num 5:2). Among the many defile­ments of ancient Jew­ish laws, lep­rosy was second only to a dead body in ser­i­ous­ness. A leper was not allowed to come with­in six feet of oth­er people, includ­ing his own fam­ily. Lepers lived in.…..


The key les­son of the incid­ent of the leper is that sin defiles us in the sight of God, but through Jesus, we can be healed of the plague of sin that sep­ar­ates us from God. God loathes sin. It is repuls­ive to him. Sin bans us from the pres­ence of God because God will not allow sin­ful man or woman in his sight (cf. Ps 5:5; Hab 1:13; Rev 21:27). This is not only true of sins that are nor­mally regarded as filthy and repuls­ive, but it includes all forms of dis­obedi­ence and rebel­lion (cf. 1Sam 15:23; Prov 15:9). All sin is abhor­rent to God. But those who have been redeemed from sin by grace through faith in Christ (cf. Eph 2:8–9) can stand in God’s pres­ence in full con­fid­ence that we are accep­ted “in the beloved” and we praise him for the grace he extends to us for that pur­pose (cf. Eph 1:5–7). The news of Christ spread fast and far until it reached the out­casts from Jew­ish soci­ety, the very dregs of humanity.…

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the 6th Sunday of the Year (B) is found on vol. II pages 96–116. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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