Let me confess that I do not like this particular part of Leviticus. As someone with eczema and psoriasis I find it extremely painful to read about being cast out, or seen as unclean because of such conditions. There are distinctions made between raw skin and flaky skin, and how to report, review and make reparations for these conditions.
It is important to note that priests are not physicians. They do not treat or heal. God heals and God alone. The priests are only to give witness to healing and to offer the appropriate responses liturgically for healing. The priest is also charged with making sure that those with conditions that could spread are kept out of the community until healing has been confirmed.
Jesus teaches here about what comes out of a person making them unclean. He here seems to declare all foods clean well before Peter’s vision of the sheet coming down from the sky filled with unclean animals.
This passage has my personal hero, the Syrophoenician woman. This woman who by all accounts is outside of the chosen people still dares to stand in Jesus’ presence and claim a right to the love of God. His claiming heals her daughter. Too often people turn her into an object lesson, but I think she genuinely is a child of faith, unapologetically asking God for what she needs. I wish I was that bold.
Then we have Jesus healing a man who had been deaf and mute. Jesus takes him aside, takes him out of the city, and heals him completely. There is something interesting about Jesus taking him out of the city so that he can be welcomed back into society.
My name is Cardelia Howell-Diamond and I pastor a congregation in Alabama. I'm a clergymama, with a clergymama! I have three lovely littles and an amazing clergyman husband. I love life in the church, even when I don't! I knit, crochet, read, write and sew, though none of these as often as I'd like.