While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him.
And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
Jesus told him to go to the priest because the Mosaic law required that an offering be made by anyone who had been cleansed from leprosy.
And the priest shall take one of the male lambs and offer it for a guilt offering, along with the log of oil, and wave them for a wave offering before the LORD. And he shall kill the lamb in the place where they kill the sin offering and the burnt offering, in the place of the sanctuary. For the guilt offering, like the sin offering, belongs to the priest; it is most holy.
The priest shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and the priest shall put it on the lobe of the right ear of him who is to be cleansed and on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.
This ceremony illustrates what happens when someone puts his faith in Christ and is cleansed from his sins.
It begins with a guilt offering. Guilt must be atoned for by blood. The lamb is a symbol of Christ, whose blood atones for our guilt. Not only did the sacrifice have to be made but blood from the sacrifice had to be applied to the body of the one being cleansed. Christ died for the sins of the whole world but each of us must personally believe in him before our sins can be forgiven.
The blood is applied to three parts of the body: the lobe of the right ear, the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot.
The ear is first because in order to be saved it is necessary to hear the gospel.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
After salvation we must study the Bible in order to continue to hear what God wants to say to us. Being saved will enable us to understand it in a way we couldn’t before.
The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:14
The hand is next. We must not only learn what the Bible says but we must put what we learn into practice.
Be doers of the word, and not hearers only.
Finally we come to the foot. In the Bible the feet are often associated with the idea of going to carry the message of salvation.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation.
The final command Jesus gave before he left the earth was to go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Not all of us are called to go in the same way. Some become full time missionaries and go to some distant part of the world, some go next door to speak to a neighbor, and some go into the next room to speak to a member of their family.
The ear, the hand, and the foot are symbolic of a Christian’s three major responsibilities: to study the Bible to find out what it says, to obey it, and to tell others how to be saved.