Instruments of God (Leviticus 14:1–3) - Radical
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Instruments of God (Leviticus 14:1–3)

“The Lord spoke to Moses saying, ‘This shall be the law of the leprous person for the day of his cleansing. He shall be brought to the priest, and the priest shall go out of the camp, and the priest shall look.'”

-Leviticus 14:1–3

These verses begin a chapter that unfolds how the priest would be a part of cleansing for a leprous person. Or the house of a leprous person. How the priest was responsible before God. God had entrusted this responsibility to the priest to go and minister to the person with leprosy. So as I read this and think about Leviticus 13, which we considered in our previous podcast episode and thought about how Jesus in Luke 5, went to the leprous person and touched him. 

Similarly, we must not quarantine our homes and churches of those who are viewed as unclean and outcast in the world around us. We must go to them.

Leviticus 14:1–3 Reminds Us of Our Priestly Duties

And now the next chapter to see in Leviticus 14, how the priest was an instrument in God’s hands for ministry to the leprous person and ministry to his or her house. I just think about what we’ve already seen in the book of Leviticus, that we are a royal priesthood. As a result, we have priestly duties as the New Testament, new covenant people of God. That we have direct access to God through Jesus as our great high priest, and we have the responsibility before God of ministering to people around us.

People who are hurting, people who are struggling with sin, people who are looked at as shamed or unclean in this world. Therefore, I just think about my life, I would encourage you to think about your life, when you see this picture of a priest in Leviticus 14, going outside the camp to care for those who are dirty. For those who are despised, those who are despairing.

And I just want you to think about in your life how is that playing out? In my life how is that playing out? How am I going to those who are viewed as unclean in the world around me? Those who are outcast, who are viewed as dirty or despised or shamed. We have been given the responsibility as a royal priesthood of being servants of those who are unclean, outcast, dirty, despised. Shamed in the world around us.

This Verse Calls Us to Ministry

So we’ve got to make sure that in our lives we are not shirking this responsibility. That we are not quarantining ourselves and our homes and our churches, in bubbles that we can create around us. That keep us from getting involved with those who are unclean, outcast, despised, dirty, shamed in the world around us. I think about being on the streets just about a week ago. For I was in one particular country and doing ministry among those who were engaged in prostitution. I was looking at faces of people who had been used and abused. 

And oh, I want to be evidence of God’s grace and God’s love and God’s mercy and ministry to those. So that’s one example. There are so many different ways this can play out in our lives. The key is, how is this playing out in your life and my life.

A Prayer Based on Leviticus 14:1–3

So God, we pray that you would use us as instruments in your hands for ministry to the unclean, the outcast, the despised, the shamed, like in Leviticus 14:1-3. And even in using those terms, God we know that we are unclean people. We are outcast, separated from you, despised, and shamed in our sin. And you reached down your hand of mercy into our lives and you used people to minister to us, to draw us to yourself. We praise you for those who have ministered in our lives in this way.

So God we pray. So that you would use us as the royal priesthood you’ve made us to be. Instruments in your hands for the spread of your grace and your mercy and your love. To those around us who are unclean, outcast, despised, despairing, shamed in the world around us. God, may it be so. So keep us from isolating ourselves from the difficult to reach. God we pray that you would use our lives, use our families, use our churches. Don’t let us create these artificial so-called Christian bubbles where we remain isolated from some of the darkest or most difficult places to do ministry.

Moreover, we pray that our impulse would be to move toward need, not toward that which is comfort. To move toward that which is most dire in a sense, even dangerous in some cases. God, help us to take risks for the spread of your grace and your mercy. We live in a world where people desperately need to see your love and your mercy at work in us. God may it be so. In our lives, in our families, in our churches as a royal priesthood. May it be so. We pray in Jesus name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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