Thought for the week
'PARSHA TAZRIA / METZORA'
SHINE YOUR LIGHT
2 Kings 5:15: “And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel””
The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week is a double ‘parsha’, ‘Parsha Tazria’ and ‘Parsha Metzorah’. ‘Parsha Tazria’ (she conceives), found in Leviticus 12:1 – 13:59 and ‘Parsha Metzorah’ (one being diseased), found in Leviticus 14:1 – 15:33, is the twenty seventh and twenty eighth weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading; the corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in 2 Kings 4:42 – 5:19 and 2 Kings 7:3-20.
‘Parsha Tazriah’ continues the discussion of the laws of ‘Tumah v'Taharah’ (ritual impurity and purity), including laws concerning ‘metzora’ (leprosy).
‘Parsha Metzora’ begins by detailing how the recovered leper was purified by the priest by a special procedure involving two birds, spring water in an earthen vessel, a piece of cedar wood, a scarlet thread and a bundle of hyssop.
A home could also be afflicted with leprosy by the appearance of dark red or green patches on its walls. In a process lasting as long as nineteen days, a priest determined if the house could be purified or whether it had to be demolished.
Ritual impurity was also engendered through a seminal or other discharge in a man, and menstruation or other discharge of blood in a woman, necessitating purification through immersion in a ‘mikvah’ (ritual pool of water).
This week's ‘haftorah’ describes how G-d, through Elisha the prophet, miraculously cured an Aramite general of his leprous ailment, paralleling the laws in the ‘parsha’ concerning leprosy.
The ‘haftorah’ begins with a brief mention of one of the Prophet Elisha's miraculous feats and goes on to give an account of Naaman, a general in the powerful Aramite army who contracted leprosy.
A young captive Israelite maid advised him to seek the assistance of Elisha the prophet. Acting on this suggestion, the king of Aram dispatched a message to the king of Israel, informing him that he had sent Naaman his servant to the king of Israel to be cured of his leprosy.
The king of Israel panicked, until Elisha sent him a message: “Why have you rent your garments? Let him come to me now, and let him know that there is a prophet in Israel”.
Elisha advised Naaman to immerse himself in the Jordan River. Despite his initial reluctance to do so, Naaman carried out the prophet's orders, and was immediately healed.
Elisha refused to accept any gifts from Naaman, and Naaman promised Elisha that he would no longer serve any deity other than the One G-d, the G-d of Israel, and he departed.
Both the double ‘parshiot’ and the ‘haftorot’ deals with people stricken with skin disease, and both the ‘parshiot’ and ‘haftorot’ employ the term, ‘metzora’ for the person affected by skin disease.
In ‘Parsha Tazria’, a person with skin disease had to live alone outside that Israelite camp; and in the ‘haftorah’ the person with ‘metzora’ had to immerse himself in the Jordan River for healing.
Although this week’s ‘parshiot’ and ‘haftorot’ both address the skin ailment of leprosy, what the ‘haftorot’ also teaches is that, if we live our lives according to G-dly morals and according to His word, trusting in Him at all times, people will see G-d in us and, like Naaman, they will realise that there is only one true G-d in Heaven, the G-d of Israel.
For born again believers in the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, Matthew 5:16 tells us - Yeshua speaking: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Many professing Christians say to me: “I love Israel”.
I appreciate every person who loves Israel - the land; I appreciate every Christian who visits Israel; I appreciate every person who stands with Israel and not against her and I appreciate everyone who prays for the wellbeing of Israel.
I truly appreciate all the wonderful Christian organizations who do so much for Israel and the Jewish people, many actively involved in bringing Jewish people back to their Jewish homeland, ‘Eretz Yisrael’ – Truly, they are fulfilling the scripture in Matthew 5:16 by letting their ‘light so shine before the Jewish people’.
However, I REALLY appreciate Christians who actually tell Jewish people about their ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah), Yeshua.
In fact, the Jewish people are the only people group mentioned by name in the bible who G-d specifically gives the church a mandate for regarding salvation – “To provoke them (Jewish people) to jealousy so that they may be saved”; we see this mandate in Romans 11:11-14: “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.”
If you provoke Jewish people to jealousy and plant the seeds of Yeshua in their hearts and minds, your light will so shine before them that they, too, might come to salvation, as did the Aramite general, Naaman…and this goes for all those in your sphere of influence.
G-d’s desire is for all people, Jews and Gentiles, to accept Yeshua as L-rd and Saviour and come to salvation.
Yeshua sacrificed His life for mankind so that mankind could receive the forgiveness of sin, and have the guarantee of eternal life in heaven.
Only by accepting Yeshua and G-d’s gift of salvation can your sins be forgiven you and eternal life in heaven be granted to you.
Will you accept Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour? Will you confess your sins, repent of them and ask Yeshua to come into your life? You can do this by praying the Prayer of Salvation found at the end of this article.
And then through Yeshua, allow your light to shine before men by sharing the good news of salvation and the forgiveness of sin with those in your sphere of influence.
And like Naaman, they too may realise that there is only one true G-d in Heaven, the G-d of Israel - the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
We love you.
Scripture of the week: 2 Kings 5:9-15: “Then Naaman went with his horses and chariot, and he stood at the door of Elisha's house. And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean…So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. And he returned to the man of God, he and all his aides, and came and stood before him; and he said, “Indeed, now I know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel””
Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.