Okay, so yesterday I was giving the kids in Sunday School a lesson about Jesus healing the leper in Mark 1:40-45. I took sort of the easy way out and pivoted on the modern metaphorical use of leper, making the lesson about accepting those who others will not accept. We talked about cooties, and being nice to the weird kid in class. Which is fine, but I’m not sure it is the point of gospel writer’s story.
Anyway, here is something that Jesus said to the leper that really struck me, “But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
I had the kids look up the cross reference and, sure enough, in Leviticus 14:1-32 there is offering to be given when you have someone cured of leprosy. If you follow the link you will notice that there is even a provision for indigent Hebrews if they cannot afford the standard sacrifice.
So, healing lepers (whatever that means) happened often enough that this guy could have gone to the priests and said, “Hey, uh, I’ve been cured of my leprosy, so, do I sacrifice like a dove, or what?” And they would be able to help him out. This is what keeps bugging me about the healing stories in Mark–the fact of the healing is not particularly miraculous. Jesus is an awesome healer, and that’s a big deal, but the systems seems set up to accept the fact of healing already.
My question for those who believe Jesus these healings were very much like modern faith healings, but evidently effective, why are there no more legitimate faith healers? When did that stop?
My question for those who don’t believe that Jesus could set his hand on people and make germs and viruses flee the body, what do you think was going on? Was it all a put on? Do you think there was something going on that was lost in translation?