A leper healed (7 of 8)
Mark 1:44 (KJV)
And saith unto him,
See thou say nothing to any man:
but go thy way,
shew¹ thyself to the priest,
and offer for thy cleansing
those things which Moses² commanded,
for³ a testimony unto them.
¹) Leviticus 14:1-32
²) Moses is mentioned 8 times in Mark (Mark 1:44; 7:10; 9:3-4 (9:4-5); 10:3-4; 12:19,26)
From other translations:
And said to him, See that you tell nothing [of this] to anyone; but begone, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your purification what Moses commanded, as a proof (an evidence and witness) to the people [that you are really healed]. [AMP] and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them." [ESV] "Say nothing to anyone. Take the offering for cleansing that Moses prescribed and present yourself to the priest. This will validate your healing to the people." [MSB] "See that you don't tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." [NIV] "Go right over to the priest and let him examine you. Don't talk to anyone along the way. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy, so everyone will have proof of your healing." [NLT] and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing those things which Moses commanded, as a testimony to them." [NKJV]
Now let us see what this verse is telling us.
Say nothing to any man
The prohibition against talking about it was probably to allay excitement, and to avoid needless opposition to the Christ.
Jesus commands more often people whom He has healed not to tell anyone. This is Mark’s first time to mention such a comment. Jesus exhorts the man not to testify to anyone of his healing (cf. Mark 5:43: 7:36; 8:26; Matthew 8:4; 9:30).
Some explain this that this command is not to be understood absolutely, but in conjunction with the command that follows it. And that it means, that before being allowed to speak about his healing and cleansing, he must first go to a priest to show himself to him. However, I do not see this in these words.
Shew thyself to the priest,
The command to report to the priests was in accord with the Mosaic regulations.
The priest can declare him clean, and allow the healed man back into the society (Leviticus 14:2-3).
Before he could go among the people, the man had to go to a priest and show himself to him, so that he can declare him clean according to the law (Leviticus 14:2-3).
This act of the healed man was necessary according to the law if he wanted to be able to live freely among the people again.
and offer for thy cleansing those things which Moses commanded,
The showing to the priest included the purification offering, as decreed and written by Moses (Leviticus 14:4-32).
For a testimony unto them.
Without the formal testimony of the priests the people would not receive the leper as officially clean.
The Lord Jesus had cleansed him, the priest had to declare him clean. The latter will ultimately be ‘for a witness to them’ (cf. Mark 6:11; 13:9).
- It implies a testimony of real healing, which is what priests had to observe and confirm.
- This also includes a testimony to the fact that Jesus strictly adheres to the law of God.
- Above all, this means a testimony to the divine power and love (Mark 1:41) of the Lord Jesus. A testimony both to the priest who observes it, and to everyone who hears it.
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