Yeshua witnesses to the priests?

There is a story in Matthew where Yeshua provides some unusual instructions to a man whom he has just healed of leprosy:

Mat 8:2-4: “And, behold, there came a leper and worshiped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, show thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”

Why would Yeshua tell this man to be quiet until he saw the priests? This command is actually in fulfillment of a very detailed ritual it is outlined in Leviticus 14:

Lev 14:2-4: “This shall be the law of the leper in the day of his cleansing: He shall be brought unto the priest: And the priest shall go forth out of the camp; and the priest shall look, and, behold, if the plague of leprosy be healed in the leper; Then shall the priest command to take for him that is to be cleansed two birds alive and clean, and cedar wood, and scarlet, and hyssop:”

The rest of this ritual goes on for essentially the rest of chapter 14.

However, I was interested in this passage because it specifically says that Yeshua used this healing as an opportunity to witness to the priests based on their own Torah obligation. They were obligated to declare this man clean, and when he told them it was Yeshua who healed him, they would be without excuse.

In another passage, Yeshua explained to his disciples:

Mat 15:24: “But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Since these priests were some of the lost sheep Yeshua came to save, this episode served to demonstrate to the priests who he really was, their long-awaited Messiah.

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