Good morning! Today is July 10th, 2019. In today’s passage we examine how the priests continue looking at what it means for something to be “clean” and “unclean.” We see that this goes beyond just the foods the Israelites were allowed to eat. It extends to their own bodies, as we began to see in Chapter 12, and extends even to the clothes they could wear. In this passage we see that having a skin disease (the term “leprosy” is used throughout, but refers to different kinds of diseases) can make a person unclean, but it isn’t as simple as those who had it were unclean and those who didn’t were clean. As we read this passage, continue thinking about what the terms “clean” and “unclean” mean, and continue looking for Christ as the one who becomes unclean and the one who declares us clean.

The following guide is a resource for your personal time of abiding with the Lord and for your Community Group when you meet. It can also be used for times with family or friends around the table. See below for a helpful commentary on today’s reading.

CONNECT

VISION + STORIES- Take time to connect (Highs and Lows) and be reminded of our shared vision- We are a people abiding in Christ, to join His vision of transformation in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and city.
_ What is one way you see the Lord working in the lives of those you are walking with to discover the gospel?

SING + PRAY- Take some time for song (guitar, hymn, acapella or read a Psalm) and extended prayer as an individual/community.  A simple path of prayer is to pray through one of the Psalms as a group or use the acronym ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).


DISCOVER
(IN LARGE GROUP)

+ WHAT is this passage saying and what is a key truth or thought that I/we learn? (Use the questions interspersed through the passage to help make additional observations to clarify the main point)

[ Leviticus 13:1-59 ]
1The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 2 “When a person has on the skin of his body a swelling or an eruption or a spot, and it turns into a case of leprous disease on the skin of his body, then he shall be brought to Aaron the priest or to one of his sons the priests, 3 and the priest shall examine the diseased area on the skin of his body. And if the hair in the diseased area has turned white and the disease appears to be deeper than the skin of his body, it is a case of leprous disease. When the priest has examined him, he shall pronounce him unclean. 4 But if the spot is white in the skin of his body and appears no deeper than the skin, and the hair in it has not turned white, the priest shall shut up the diseased person for seven days. 5 And the priest shall examine him on the seventh day, and if in his eyes the disease is checked and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall shut him up for another seven days. 6 And the priest shall examine him again on the seventh day, and if the diseased area has faded and the disease has not spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean; it is only an eruption. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean. 7 But if the eruption spreads in the skin, after he has shown himself to the priest for his cleansing, he shall appear again before the priest. 8 And the priest shall look, and if the eruption has spread in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a leprous disease.

9 “When a man is afflicted with a leprous disease, he shall be brought to the priest, 10 and the priest shall look. And if there is a white swelling in the skin that has turned the hair white, and there is raw flesh in the swelling, 11 it is a chronic leprous disease in the skin of his body, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean. He shall not shut him up, for he is unclean. 12 And if the leprous disease breaks out in the skin, so that the leprous disease covers all the skin of the diseased person from head to foot, so far as the priest can see, 13 then the priest shall look, and if the leprous disease has covered all his body, he shall pronounce him clean of the disease; it has all turned white, and he is clean. 14 But when raw flesh appears on him, he shall be unclean. 15 And the priest shall examine the raw flesh and pronounce him unclean. Raw flesh is unclean, for it is a leprous disease. 16 But if the raw flesh recovers and turns white again, then he shall come to the priest, 17 and the priest shall examine him, and if the disease has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce the diseased person clean; he is clean.

_Why are both the person with no leprosy and the person consumed by leprosy considered clean? 
_How does this change your understanding of what it means to be clean and unclean? 

18 “If there is in the skin of one's body a boil and it heals, 19 and in the place of the boil there comes a white swelling or a reddish-white spot, then it shall be shown to the priest. 20 And the priest shall look, and if it appears deeper than the skin and its hair has turned white, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is a case of leprous disease that has broken out in the boil. 21 But if the priest examines it and there is no white hair in it and it is not deeper than the skin, but has faded, then the priest shall shut him up seven days. 22 And if it spreads in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a disease. 23 But if the spot remains in one place and does not spread, it is the scar of the boil, and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

24 “Or, when the body has a burn on its skin and the raw flesh of the burn becomes a spot, reddish-white or white, 25 the priest shall examine it, and if the hair in the spot has turned white and it appears deeper than the skin, then it is a leprous disease. It has broken out in the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a case of leprous disease. 26 But if the priest examines it and there is no white hair in the spot and it is no deeper than the skin, but has faded, the priest shall shut him up seven days, 27 and the priest shall examine him the seventh day. If it is spreading in the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean; it is a case of leprous disease. 28 But if the spot remains in one place and does not spread in the skin, but has faded, it is a swelling from the burn, and the priest shall pronounce him clean, for it is the scar of the burn.

29 “When a man or woman has a disease on the head or the beard, 30 the priest shall examine the disease. And if it appears deeper than the skin, and the hair in it is yellow and thin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean. It is an itch, a leprous disease of the head or the beard. 31 And if the priest examines the itching disease and it appears no deeper than the skin and there is no black hair in it, then the priest shall shut up the person with the itching disease for seven days, 32 and on the seventh day the priest shall examine the disease. If the itch has not spread, and there is in it no yellow hair, and the itch appears to be no deeper than the skin, 33 then he shall shave himself, but the itch he shall not shave; and the priest shall shut up the person with the itching disease for another seven days. 34 And on the seventh day the priest shall examine the itch, and if the itch has not spread in the skin and it appears to be no deeper than the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him clean. And he shall wash his clothes and be clean. 35 But if the itch spreads in the skin after his cleansing, 36 then the priest shall examine him, and if the itch has spread in the skin, the priest need not seek for the yellow hair; he is unclean. 37 But if in his eyes the itch is unchanged and black hair has grown in it, the itch is healed and he is clean, and the priest shall pronounce him clean.

_How does the priest know whether the spot is diseased or not?

38 “When a man or a woman has spots on the skin of the body, white spots, 39 the priest shall look, and if the spots on the skin of the body are of a dull white, it is leukoderma that has broken out in the skin; he is clean.

40 “If a man's hair falls out from his head, he is bald; he is clean. 41 And if a man's hair falls out from his forehead, he has baldness of the forehead; he is clean. 42 But if there is on the bald head or the bald forehead a reddish-white diseased area, it is a leprous disease breaking out on his bald head or his bald forehead. 43 Then the priest shall examine him, and if the diseased swelling is reddish-white on his bald head or on his bald forehead, like the appearance of leprous disease in the skin of the body, 44 he is a leprous man, he is unclean. The priest must pronounce him unclean; his disease is on his head.

45 “The leprous person who has the disease shall wear torn clothes and let the hair of his head hang loose, and he shall cover his upper lip and cry out, ‘Unclean, unclean.’ 46 He shall remain unclean as long as he has the disease. He is unclean. He shall live alone. His dwelling shall be outside the camp.

_Why do you suppose the unclean person must wear torn clothes?
_What must the unclean person cover? Why?

47 “When there is a case of leprous disease in a garment, whether a woolen or a linen garment, 48 in warp or woof of linen or wool, or in a skin or in anything made of skin, 49 if the disease is greenish or reddish in the garment, or in the skin or in the warp or the woof or in any article made of skin, it is a case of leprous disease, and it shall be shown to the priest. 50 And the priest shall examine the disease and shut up that which has the disease for seven days. 51 Then he shall examine the disease on the seventh day. If the disease has spread in the garment, in the warp or the woof, or in the skin, whatever be the use of the skin, the disease is a persistent leprous disease; it is unclean. 52 And he shall burn the garment, or the warp or the woof, the wool or the linen, or any article made of skin that is diseased, for it is a persistent leprous disease. It shall be burned in the fire.

53 “And if the priest examines, and if the disease has not spread in the garment, in the warp or the woof or in any article made of skin, 54 then the priest shall command that they wash the thing in which is the disease, and he shall shut it up for another seven days. 55 And the priest shall examine the diseased thing after it has been washed. And if the appearance of the diseased area has not changed, though the disease has not spread, it is unclean. You shall burn it in the fire, whether the rot is on the back or on the front.

56 “But if the priest examines, and if the diseased area has faded after it has been washed, he shall tear it out of the garment or the skin or the warp or the woof. 57 Then if it appears again in the garment, in the warp or the woof, or in any article made of skin, it is spreading. You shall burn with fire whatever has the disease. 58 But the garment, or the warp or the woof, or any article made of skin from which the disease departs when you have washed it, shall then be washed a second time, and be clean.”

59 This is the law for a case of leprous disease in a garment of wool or linen, either in the warp or the woof, or in any article made of skin, to determine whether it is clean or unclean.

_Does the priest seem to function as a doctor in this passage? Or do you think designating between “clean” and “unclean” something different than just diagnosing diseases?
_What does it mean for a garment to be unclean?

PROCESS (IN BREAKOUTS OF 2-3’S, GUYS/GIRLS)

+ HOW is the Lord calling me to action/obedience? Is there sin to confess, a next step to take, how has it gone since last time
_In what way does this passage foreshadow Christ? Do we see him in the leper becoming unclean? In the priest pronouncing others clean? Both?
_ Does this passage invite us to present our own “spots” and “diseases” and sins to our High Priest who declares us clean?

+ WHO am I walking with and praying for to discover Jesus, what is my next step?
(e.g., Build trust by spending time with them, set-up an intentional time to share your story, begin a discovery study on the teachings of Jesus with them)
_ Just like the priests, as part of the Great Commission [Matthew 28:18-20] God has commanded us to teach others to obey His commandments. What steps will you take to follow through on obeying this command this week?

STUDY GUIDE ( ESV Study Bible - www.esv.org )

_ Leprosy. The “leprosy” mentioned in the Bible was not what is commonly called leprosy today (Hansen’s disease). Rather, it may have been a form of psoriasis or a fungal infection. Nonetheless it was highly contagious, so those who had leprosy had to follow strict rules of hygiene.
Lev. 13:1–59 Leprous disease (v. 2 and throughout ch. 13) could include many skin ailments. The basic symptoms are given in vv. 2–3. What today is called leprosy (Hansen’s disease) was unknown in the Near East at the time of Leviticus.
_ In the OT, lepers tore their garments and veiled their faces (13:45) as signs of mourning, and to show that they were separated from public worship and community life. In the NT, Jesus had a special concern for lepers and other social outcasts (Luke 7:22).

_ Lev. 13:3 The law required unclean people to live outside the camp until they were free of disease (vv. 45–46) and to present a sacrifice as part of a cleansing ceremony (14:1–32). The purpose of this law was to prevent what is unclean from coming into contact with what is holy, which would be dangerous for the unclean person and for the whole community. The law did not imply that the unclean person was under God’s condemnation or that he or she should be excluded from the love of the community.

_ Lev. 13:9–17 This is the case of a person with a severe, chronic skin condition. The patient has raw flesh, that is, it is red and oozing. His condition is easily recognizable, and therefore no quarantine is needed. The priest simply declares him ritually unclean and impure.

_ Lev. 13:18–44 These rules deal with various cases of the leprous disease in relation to other common skin diseases. The priest is to determine if the condition makes the person unclean (compare 10:10–11) in order to protect the community.

_ Lev. 13:45–46 The person with a skin disease is to tear his clothes, go bareheaded, and have his beard and mouth covered—all signs of mourning (compare Ezek. 24:17, 22).

_ Lev. 13:47–59 leprous disease in a garment. Causes of such disease include various molds or fungi. If the disease spreads or does not go away, the owners are to burn the item. If the disease lessens, they may tear out the damaged portion and sew the item back together.