Leviticus 15: Lessons For Keeping Your Mind and Body Clean Before God

Introduction: Leviticus Chapter 15 sets forth God’s rules for dealings with the unclean things that come from a man or woman’s body. Like the rules for leprosy, these rules should be read at two levels. First, for some types of emissions, like sexually transmitted diseases, God’s rules protected believers from diseases that they could not see or fully understand. Second, through Jesus’ teachings, the different types of emissions should be understood either as symbols of unclean thoughts or original sin. Either kind of sin is offensive to God. In Old Testament times, the different kinds of emissions discussed in this chapter made a person unable to enter the Temple until either the evening of the discharge (the beginning of a day on God’s calendar) or until the person made an appropriate sin offering. This was called “ritual uncleanness”. With the exception of sexually transmitted diseases, the bodily emissions discussed in this chapter had nothing to do with “moral uncleanness.” With the destruction of the Second Temple, most non-orthodox Jews stopped following these laws. Likewise, following Jesus’ death, many Christian’s incorrectly assumed that there was no reason to study these rules. Yet, the New Testament makes clear that every single rule of the Old Testament, including the rules for dealing with unclean bodily emissions, holds wisdom that is valuable for training and instruction: “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Tim. 3:16). If we cannot immediately see how a rule is relevant for “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” the correct answer is not to assume that the rule is irrelevant today. Instead, the correct approach is to look for a hidden meaning that might not be immediately apparent.

Once a believer understands the symbolism used in this chapter, God reveals several messages that remain relevant today. First, Jesus instructs that the things that come out of a person make that person unclean. When you emit unclean words or other things from your mouth or you body, you must turn to God’s Word to reveal what is unclean within you. You must then repent of whatever is unclean within you. Second, in the case of sexually transmitted diseases, God instructs you to avoid contact with such persons and the environments where such diseases are present. Third, in the case of male emissions, He instructs men to repent of unclean thoughts that lead to such emissions. Fourth, in the case of emissions stemming from the union of a husband and a wife, He also instructs believers to repent of any unclean thoughts. Fifth, in the case of female menstruation, He instructs that such emissions are symbols of original sin and our need for repentance. Sixth, through the symbolism of the woman with chronic bleeding discussed in both this chapter and in the book of Mark, He reveals that the bride of Christ is impure in all that it does unless Jesus heals it of its sin. Finally, from these rules, He instructs that believers are to constantly strive to be holy and pure in even the most private aspects of their lives. Your walk with God does not end with your salvation. That is only the first step. Being “sanctified” is a life-long process that requires constant work.

1. Seven Rules For Cleansing the Daily Sin Emitted from the Flesh Lev. 15:1-3.

(1) Recognize that anything that comes from the flesh is unclean. Without Christ, almost anything that comes out of your mouth or body is unclean and offensive in God’s presence: “1 The Lord also spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel, and say to them, ‘When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean.’” (Lev. 15:1-2). According to Jesus, is it not what goes into your body that defines you (Mk. 7:14b-15a). Instead, it is “what comes out of a man is what defies him.” (Mk. 7:20). According to Paul, “. . . the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are immorality, impurity, sensuality.” (Gal. 5:24). Furthermore, “. . . the lust of the flesh . .. is not from the Father, but is from the world.” (1 Jo. 2:16). “[T]he mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God . . .” (Ro. 8:7). “[A]nd those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Ro. 8:8). Every believer must therefore “. . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (Ro. 13:14). For “. . . flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 15:50). “For the mind set on the flesh is death . . .” (Ro. 8:6). Thus, “[i]f you live according to the flesh, you must die. . . ” (Ro. 8:13). Thus, without Christ, almost anything emitted from your flesh (including your words) is unclean in God’s holy presence. To live in the Spirit, you should therefore look to cleanse your mind daily through the Holy Spirit (Ro. 12:2).

(2) Jesus came to fulfill the hygiene laws, not abolish them. God told the Jews to be holy and to draw a distinction between the clean and the unclean because He is holy (Lev. 11:44-7). Yet, for different reasons, most Jews and Christians do not follow the purification rules in this chapter. Many Jews see no reason to follow these rules because the impurity described in these rules only kept them from entering the Temple. For the last 2,000 years, there has been no Temple for the Jews to observe these rules. Some Christians also assume that these rules must have been made irrelevant following Christ’s death. Alternatively, some find the rules in this chapter simply too personal to discuss. And this is to be expected. As a result of their original sin, even Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness (Gen. 3:7). Yet, ignoring these rules is a mistake. Jesus warned: “Do not think that I came to abolish the law or the Prophets, I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17). In the case of the blood sacrifices, Jesus became the blood sacrifice. In the case of the dietary laws, Jesus became our food. In the case of hygiene laws, Jesus instructs that believers make “spiritual sacrifices.” (1 Pet. 2:5). These spiritual sacrifices are designed to make you pure and sanctified before God.

(3) Your body must still remain pure because God’s Holy Spirit dwells within you. After Jesus’ death and the destruction of the Second Temple, the Holy Spirit has resided in every believer (1 Cor. 3:16-17). An unclean person could die if he or she entered the Temple in an impure state (Lev. 15:31). If your body is now the temple where the Holy Spirit resides, you should be motivated to stay spiritually clean at all times.

(4) Your most private desires and personal issues have become unclean through original sin. In addition to bringing into the world disease, strife, harder work, increased child pain, and death, original sin distorted mankind’s sexual desires (Gen. 3:15-16; Ro. 8:20). Whenever distorted thoughts arise, God wants you to address them. Throughout the Bible, God shows that He cares about the most intimate details of a believer’s personal life. For example, God has numbered every hair on your head (Matt. 10:30-31; Lk. 12:7). Thus, if God cares about keeping your mind free from sin, so should you.

(5) Your unchecked sin spreads quickly. Paul warns that “one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption . . .” (Gal. 6:8). Thus, you are to make your body a living sacrifice free from immorality and corruption (Ro. 12:1; 1 Cor. 6:15). Like mold, yeast, or leprosy, sin spreads. This is also true of sexual diseases. If you fail to cleanse yourselves of sin in the most private areas of your life, that sin will spread. Jesus warned that: “The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matt. 6:22-23). Job denied himself by making a covenant with his eyes: “I have made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I gaze at a virgin?” (Job 31:1). If you do not control your covetous desires, they will ultimately consume you: “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” (Jam. 1:14-15). If you are entertaining flirtations, internet pornography, or other unclean things, that sin will eventually spread to other parts of your life.

(6) Your unchecked sin will not impact your salvation, but it can “hinder” your prayers. Some will be able to disguise their private sinful thoughts by leading a double life. Because believers cannot lose their salvation from sin after they accept Christ as Lord and Savior, many see no need to worry about sinful thoughts. But is there a consequence if you hold onto your private sins and refuse to give them up for God. In the Old Testament, God warned that He will not hear the prayers of someone who is openly sinning against Him (Is. 1:15; Ps. 66:18; Prov. 28:9). Likewise, God warns in the New Testament that sin can “hinder” your prayers (1 Pet. 3:7; cf., Jo. 9:31). The reason for this is that sin cannot be in God’s presence. He “cannot look on wickedness.” (Hab. 1:13). Over the long-term, if you remain unclean and separate from God by your private sin, your love for Him will fade. For this reason, Jesus warns that believers cannot have two masters (Matt. 6:24; Lk. 16:13). Jesus warned Peter to let Him wash the sins off Peter’s feet (the sins of the world.). If Peter had refused, he could have had no part of Jesus (Jo. 13:8). Thus, you must let Jesus cleanse you on a daily basis.

(7) Cleanse your thoughts by reading the Word and confessing your hidden sin. Although every believer has a dirty heart and mind, God has provided a solution. He is not just the God of the Spirit. He is also “the God of the flesh.” (Jer. 32:27; Jo. 17:2). After warning that He will not hear the prayers of a sinner, His first piece of advice is to: “Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean.” (Isa. 1:16). He can wash you of any iniquity or uncleanness (Ps. 51:1-3, 7). When Peter asked Jesus to wash his feet, hands, and head, Jesus responded: “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet.” (Jo. 13:10). In other words, Christ died once to atone for your sins. Yet, your flesh must still be washed of the sins of the world. God instructs that there are two things you must do to cleanse yourself. First, you must read the Word to expose your sins (Eph. 5:26). God’s Word can expose any hidden sin (Prov. 30:5). Second, if you confess your sins, God promises “to cleanse [you] from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9).

2. Seven Rules Regarding Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Lev. 15:3-15.

(1) Avoid a man with sexually transmitted diseases. After introducing the concept of “ritual uncleanness”, the discussion of this chapter turns to one kind of uncleanness, sexually transmitted diseases. Some English translations refer to a “running of the flesh.” (KJV) (Lev. 5:3). Other translations refer to a man’s “discharge” (NASB/NIV). According to some commentators like Matthew Henry, this most likely refers to a male with a sexually transmitted disease. Gonorrhea might be just one of the many types of diseases encompassed by these verses. We can assume that this is not something like diarrhea or infections of the nose, eyes, or mouth because these verses are: (1) specific to men and (2) the man with the discharge had to make a sin offering: “This, moreover, shall be his uncleanness in his discharge [running of the flesh]: it is his uncleanness whether his body allows its discharge to flow or whether his body obstructs its discharge.” (Lev. 15:3). The ancient Jews had no understanding about how diseases were spread. Yet, they benefited from following God’s hygiene laws. During times like the black plague in Europe, they had a lower rate of mortality from diseases than the Christians who presumed God’s hygiene laws to be irrelevant following Christ’s death. Thus, the wisdom of God’s health advice was ahead of its time, even if it was not understood. This is still good advice today. Believers should avoid placing themselves in circumstances where they may contract diseases of any kind, especially sexual diseases.

(2) Avoid environments where sexual diseases are most likely present. In addition to avoiding persons with sexually transmitted diseases, the Jews were required to avoid touching anything that was unclean. Anything that such a man with a sexually transmitted disease touched, sat on was ritually unclean before God: “Every bed on which the person with the discharge lies becomes unclean, and everything on which he sits becomes unclean.” (Lev. 15:4). Modern epidemiologists would counter that a sexually transmitted disease cannot be passed through casual contact. Yet, the point of God’s rule was to separate those who are clean from an environment that is unclean. Thus, a believer should avoid places where the unclean gather to protect themselves from putting themselves into temptation. In modern terms, a believer should avoid going to places where they might be seduced into premarital sex. Alternatively, they should avoid places where they might become drunk or where they might use drugs. All of these activities can compromise a believer into engaging acts that might transmit diseases.

(3) Bathe in the Word of God after coming in contact with an unclean person or environment. Any person who comes into contact with an unclean man, his clothes, his furniture, or his environment had to bathe to be made clean: “Anyone, moreover, who touches his bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening; and whoever sits on the thing on which the man with the discharge has been sitting, shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Also whoever touches the person with the discharge shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Or if the man with the discharge spits on one who is clean, he too shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. Every saddle on which the person with the discharge rides becomes unclean. 10 Whoever then touches any of the things which were under him shall be unclean until evening, and he who carries them shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 11 Likewise, whomever the one with the discharge touches without having rinsed his hands in water shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 15:5-11). In modern times, believers come into contact with unclean settings and people every day. Like Peter, your feet must be washed of any filth that you are exposed to (Jo. 13:8). To do this, you must read the Word (Eph. 5:26). You must then confess your sins. If you do, God promises to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 Jo. 1:9).

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(4) Avoid sexual diseases by following God’s Word. God promised that “If you will walk in My ways I will put none of these diseases upon you that were in Egypt.” (Ex. 15:26). Egypt symbolizes this world, the land of bondage. Besides a fluke blood transfusion with tainted blood, there are no sexually transmitted diseases that can be contracted if a man and a woman are leading a life according to God’s Law. The lesson is that God does not hold back on anything that is good for you. Thus, do not try to eat from the forbidden fruit. Nothing good can come from it.

(5) To be healed of sin, you must be broken before God. God warned that a contaminated pot could not be cleansed with water alone: “12 However, an earthenware vessel which the person with the discharge touches shall be broken, and every wooden vessel shall be rinsed in water.” (Lev. 15:12). Every person is a “clay pot.” (Is. 64:8). In a similar way, the cooking wear used for a sin offering had to be broken (Lev. 6:28). If we are clay pots and the holy blood of Christ is in us, God must break us of our own will and remold us like clay. God “shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.” (Mal. 3:3). Has your own will been broken by Jesus’ blood? Are you motivated to please yourself? Or, do you seek to please God with your actions?

(6) Wash in God’s Word when Jesus heals a sexually transmitted diseases. If and when God heals a person with a sexually transmitted disease, that person must also cleanse their mind of their old ways by reading and washing in God’s Word: “13 Now when the man with the discharge becomes cleansed from his discharge, then he shall count off for himself seven days for his cleansing; he shall then wash his clothes and bathe his body in running water and will become clean.” (Lev. 15:13). Washing in the Word is an important step in renewing your mind in the Spirit (Ro. 12:2). If you don’t renew your mind, your flesh will drive you to repeat your mistakes.

(7) Make a “thank offering” when healed of a sexually transmitted disease. The Bible does not give a cure for the man with a sexual disease. Nor does science have one today. The Bible only says that a man who is healed on the eighth day, a day of new beginnings, should offer a blood sacrifice: “14 Then on the eighth day he shall take for himself two turtledoves or two young pigeons, and come before the Lord to the doorway of the tent of meeting and give them to the priest; 15 and the priest shall offer them, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on his behalf before the Lord because of his discharge.” (Lev. 15:14-15). Jesus is the only person who can heal a person of sexual disease (Is. 53:5; 1 Pet. 2:24). Thanks to His one-time sacrifice, you are no longer called upon to make blood sacrifices (Heb. 10:12). Instead, believers are called upon to make “spiritual sacrifices” as a thank offering to Christ (1 Pet. 2:5). You can do this by making your life a “living sacrifice” to Him (Ro. 12:1). Have you glorified God with your life? Or, are you still living as if you were a prisoner to the desires of your flesh?

3. Rules For Cleansing a Man After His Discharge. Lev. 15:16-17.

(1) The symbolism of a man’s lost seed. Under the ritual purity laws, a man’s seminal discharge or “seed” made the man “ritually unclean” until evening for purposes of attending the Temple. This was true even if the man did not have a disease and even if it did not stem from a sinful thought: “16 Now if a man has a seminal emission, he shall bathe all his body in water and be unclean until evening. 17 As for any garment or any leather on which there is seminal emission, it shall be washed with water and be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 15:16-17). As set forth previously, being “ritually unclean” was not the same as being “morally unclean”. In the context of these verses, there were two kinds of uncleanness. First, a man’s “seed”, like blood, is a symbol of life (Gen. 1:11-12; 22:17; 47:19). When a man and a woman come together, they symbolize one flesh (Matt. 19:16). The man’s “seed” was God’s intended mechanism for allowing that “one flesh” to create offspring. For this reason, Jesus says that what God has joined together, “let no man separate.” (Matt. 19:6). Onan, for example, was punished when he was directed to lay with his widowed sister-in-law and disobeyed God by “wast[ing] his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother.” (Gen. 38:9). Thus, a lost seed in the wrong context was a symbol of wasted life. This is not a prohibition against birth control. This is merely a recognition that original sin has distorted human sexual desires. Even the symbol of original sin is unclean in God’s presence.

(2) The symbolism of the lost Word of God. These verses also have another symbolic meaning. Here, the lost seed can also symbolize the misused Word of God. The seed or Word which fell on the road and fell on a hardened heart was snatched up by Satan (Mk. 4:4). Only the seed falling on good soil or the believing heart was fruitful in the Lord by producing a spiritual offspring in the Spirit (Mk. 4:20). Those who accepted God’s seed “have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Pet. 1:23). Believers render themselves unclean when they speak foul things of the flesh instead of the Word of God. You defile yourself by misusing God’s Word, the Lord’s name, or by speaking out of the flesh. When you do these things, you should cleanse your mind and confess your sin.

4. Rules For Cleansing a Man and a Woman After Their Union. Lev. 15:18.

(1) Temporary “ritual” uncleanness in the union of a man and a woman. In Canaan in Old Testament times, many men and women had sex in their temples as an act of worship (Nu. 25:1-9). To set themselves apart from this world, the Jewish man and the woman after a sexual union were deemed ritually unclean (and not morally unclean) until nightfall of the day of the act, the end of the Jewish day: “18 If a man lies with a woman so that there is a seminal emission, they shall both bathe in water and be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 15:18). This meant that the man and the woman could not go into the Temple if they were together on the Sabbath before services. The Torah provides another example of this type of ritual uncleanness when the Jews approached Mount Sinai / Horeb (Ex. 19:14-15). Moses told the men to be consecrated, washed, and ready to meet the Lord. As part of being consecrated, he also warned them not to have sexual relations before approaching God: “Be ready for the third day; do not go near the woman.” (Ex. 20:26). From these Bible examples, God reveals that a man and woman have temporary ritual uncleanness (and not moral uncleanness) after being together. Although God does not state the exact reasons for this, we can infer from other texts that this rule existed because original sin distorted the desires of the flesh to make even a proper union between man and a woman an act that cannot be in God’s presence: “[A]nd those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Ro. 8:8). Believers should not infer from these verses that sex within the context of a marriage between a man and a woman is sinful. Instead, believers should draw from these texts that our thoughts are inherently unclean before God. Through Christ, believers should ask Jesus to cleanse them daily.

(2) Jesus will cleanse all forms of uncleanness. Whether you have mere ritual uncleanness or more serious immoral uncleanness, Jesus promises to forgive any sin that you confess: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jo. 1:9). Likewise, by the washing of the Word when you read it, you are made pure (Eph. 5:26). Through the washing of Word and the confession of sin, you make yourself pure for the bridegroom Christ (Rev. 21:9). If you have not confessed your sin because you don’t think you need to, you will appear to God like an unclean person dressed in “filthy rags.” (Isa. 64:6).

5. Rules for Cleansing a Woman Following Her Discharge. Lev. 15:19-24.

(1) The symbolism behind the woman’s lost menstrual blood. A woman’s menstrual bleeding also made the woman “ritually unclean” to be in the Temple. In Hebrew, her week of separation was called the “niddah.” A woman was also unclean for seven days if there was blood in her menstruation: “When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 15:19). Like male discharge, a woman was unclean following her discharge regardless of the circumstance. For example, a woman was ritually unclean for seven days after giving birth to a boy: “When a woman gives birth and bears a male child, then she shall be unclean for seven days, as in the days of her menstruation she shall be unclean.’” (Lev. 12:2(b)). “Also you shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness during her menstrual impurity.” (Lev. 18:1). God reveals through Ezekiel that menstrual blood can be thought of as a symbol of sin. Ezekiel used it as a symbol of mankind’s defilement of the land through sin: “Son of man, when the house of Israel was living in their own land, they defiled it by their ways and their deeds; their way before Me was like the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.” (Ez. 36:17). Like the man’s seed, this “ritual uncleanness” had nothing to do with being “morally unclean”. Blood symbolizes life (Lev. 17:11; Dt. 12:23). The blood inside the baby gives it life. As a punishment for her sin, God told Eve in the Garden of Eden that He would “multiply” her pain in childbirth, something that God never meant to be a bloody event (Gen. 3:16). If the blood gives the baby life, the lost blood discharged each month symbolizes lost life caused by original sin. Each person is sinful because they are conceived in sin: “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me.” (Ps. 51:5). “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned . . ” (Rom. 5:12). Only Jesus can cure this disease.

(2) Even the symbol of original sin cannot be in God’s presence. Menstruation only exists amongst primates and humans. And primates do not have a blood flow similar to humans. If the discharged blood symbolizes death or original sin, that blood could not be in God’s presence. The mother was temporarily separated from God by the sin of the discharged blood, even though she had done nothing wrong: “20 Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 22 Whoever touches anything on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 23 Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 14:20-23). The message was that sin of any kind, even unintentional or inherited sin, had to be atoned for before the woman could be in God’s presence. Moreover, there was no way for people to cleanse themselves without God: “Who can make the clean out of the unclean? No one!” (Job 14:4). This rule was not limited to women. If a man ignored God’s Law and slept with his wife during her time of menstruation, he also was barred from God’s presence: 24 If a man actually lies with her so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.” (Lev. 14:24; 18:19; 20:18).

(3) Be cleansed to be the bridge of Christ. The woman purified herself at the end of her week of separation by full immersion in pure water. Some see no relevance to this practice today because there is no longer a Temple for someone to enter. But our bodies are the temple today (1 Cor. 3:16-17). Much as the wife did for her husband, believers should cleanse themselves to be ready to be the future bride of Christ (Rev. 21:9).

6. The Church: The Woman Suffering From Chronic Bleeding. Lev. 15:25-30; Mark 5:25-34.

(1) A woman with long-term bleeding was ostracized. Based upon these rules discussed above, if a woman suffered from chronic bleeding, she could never go into the Temple: “Now if a woman has a discharge of her blood many days, not at the period of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond that period, all the days of her impure discharge she shall continue as though in her menstrual impurity; she is unclean.” (Lev. 15:25). Likewise, any chair or bed that she sat on would automatically be deemed unclean: “Any bed on which she lies all the days of her discharge shall be to her like her bed at menstruation; and everything on which she sits shall be unclean, like her uncleanness at that time.” (Lev. 15:26). Furthermore, anyone she touched would become unclean as well: “Likewise, whoever touches them shall be unclean and shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.” (Lev. 15:27). A woman in this condition would be unable to find a husband. She would not have a family to give her joy and provide for her in her old age. She would further feel ostracized in almost any part of society. Because the Bible reveals the Church to be the bride of Christ and because the Bible reveals that everyone is a sinner, the picture of the woman with chronic menstrual bleeding is a picture of how every person who has not found atonement through Christ looks to God.

(2) The healing of the woman with long-term bleeding In the Gospel of Mark, a woman with bleeding that lasted twelve years approached Jesus. She touched the corner of Christ’s garment (most likely a Jewish tassel), and she was healed. Because of her faith, her uncleanness transferred to Jesus. Again, the woman is a picture of the Church. Only through faith in Christ, can your uncleanness be transferred to Christ: “25 A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, 26 and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse— 27 after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. 28 For she thought, “If I just touch His garments, I will get well.” 29 Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My garments?” 31 And His disciples said to Him, “You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’” 32 And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.” (Mk. 5:25-34). If you are suffering from any illness, are you praying for Jesus to heal you? If you think He can’t heal you, you need to reexamine your faith.

Jesus heals the woman with long-term bleeding (image credit)2

(3) Give thanks for Jesus’ healing. The Bible does not say how a woman was to be healed of her long-term bleeding. But if she was cured, she was to make a blood sacrifice: “28 When she becomes clean from her discharge, she shall count off for herself seven days; and afterward she will be clean. 29 Then on the eighth day she shall take for herself two turtledoves or two young pigeons and bring them in to the priest, to the doorway of the tent of meeting. 30 The priest shall offer the one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. So the priest shall make atonement on her behalf before the Lord because of her impure discharge.” (Lev. 15:28-30). Christ fulfilled the Law by becoming a one-time sin offering for everyone (Heb. 7:21; 10:12). Yet, after Christ fulfilled the Law, believers are still called upon today to make “spiritual sacrifices.” (1 Pet. 2:5). If you are healed by Jesus’ stripes, you should respond with a “sacrifice of praise”: “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” (Heb. 13:15). Are you giving the best of your time, talent, and treasure to make yourself a “living sacrifice” for Christ? (Ro. 12:1). If you are doing nothing to thank Christ, how grateful are you for what He has done for you?

7. Sanctification: Be Clean and Holy at All Times.

  • Be pure and unstained by the sins of the world. Without Christ, uncleanness of any kind will separate you from God’s presence: “31 Thus you shall keep the sons of Israel separated from their uncleanness, so that they will not die in their uncleanness by their defiling My tabernacle that is among them.” 32 This is the law for the one with a discharge, and for the man who has a seminal emission so that he is unclean by it, 33 and for the woman who is ill because of menstrual impurity, and for the one who has a discharge, whether a male or a female, or a man who lies with an unclean woman.” (Lev. 15:31-34). Although Jesus will cleanse you of all impurities of the flesh, you must wash your sins daily to be sanctified for Christ: “Let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:22). Staying unstained by the sins of the world is also part of the definition of true religion: “Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (Jam. 1:27). As outlined above, you must wash daily with the Word (Ep. 5:26). You must then confess your sins (1 John 1:9). To stay sanctified, you must also renew your mind daily to live in the Spirit and not the flesh (Ro. 12:2). Are you inviting God to examine your heart to expose your hidden sins?