Pastor Mark brought out one of the amazing names of the Messiah that the people of Israel would have been looking to see fulfilled in their Messiah. Jewish history tells us the following: And of Messiah —what is his name? The early sages answer, “He is the Leper Scholar.” (Sanhedrin 98b) Have you wondered why scholarship would be associated with the Messiah? The Brit Chadasha (New Testament) tells us, “Then Jesus and His companions went to Capernaum, and right away Jesus entered the synagogue on the Sabbath and began to teach. The people were astonished at His teaching, because He taught as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:28-29)
What amazing words! Yeshua’s teaching was done with authority. Of course, He did not have to wonder or guess at what the Word meant. He was the Word that had become flesh (John 1:14), and His “scholarship/authority” was obvious to everyone when they heard Him. People were amazed!
And how was He a leper? He was crucified outside the gate; He was separated and treated as a criminal. The leper had to go outside the camp – separated from others who did not want the disease he had. Jesus also suffered outside the city gate, to sanctify the people by His own blood. (Hebrews 13:12)
The Hebrew word for “afflicted” is “nega”. A leper was afflicted (nega) with a spiritual condition. Yeshua allowed Himself to become afflicted with our spiritual conditions. “He bore our sicknesses and carried our suffering; yet we considered him plagued, struck by God, and afflicted (nega).” (Isaiah 53:4)
Pastor Mark brought out the repetitious explanation of how the leper would have to be examined. (Leviticus 13) Yeshua was examined. “Then Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, and said to them, you brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined Him here in your presence and found Him not guilty of your charges against Him.” (Luke 23:13-14) This is another amazing sign pointing to the Leper Scholar.
He went willingly, enduring the shame, enduring beatings and death on an execution stake because He bore our spiritual leprosy and our afflictions – all of them, as though He was the leper. “Surely He took on our infirmities and carried our sorrows; yet we considered Him stricken (nega/negua) by God, struck down and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
He was stricken with an affliction even as the leper! His love is overwhelming!