Through Matthew 10 (vv. 1&8), there should come for the community of faith a deeper realization of the physical and spiritual needs of all God’s children who suffer, the neglected and ostracized victims of numerous diseases of physical body, mind and soul; suffering social and even legal disabilities because of their disease, and often regarded with revulsion and fear. There should be a comprehension of God revealing the injustice, which must be put right through God’s servants. The injustice of the injunctions of approaching and touching and talking with those inflicted by defilement, the weak, the dead, the lepers and the demon infected as stated in Matthew 10:8. Defilement is not necessarily a physical or physiological impairment but rather simply a human being in need, an outcast, the underprivileged, all who suffer because of society’s attitudes. Sickness and weakness is not just physical and mental suffering, but being neglected by fellow humanity and the discrimination of society. Christ commands the ‘Twelve’ to ignore the sanctions placed upon those deemed ‘unclean’ and to heal, cast out, raise and cleanse. There is no supernatural mystery to what Christ authorizes. Matthew 10:1,8 recognizes that Jesus shows concern and deep compassion for those who are sick, weak and afflicted. Simply, Christ treated the ‘unclean’ as human beings in need.
Sources: Browne, Stanley Leprosy in the Bible, (Christian Medical Fellowship: London, 1970)
Cochrane, R.G. Biblical Leprosy: A Suggested Interpretation, (The Tyndale Press, Lowestoft, 1961).