Once again we see medical wisdom alongside symbolism. Just as Levites were there to help the Israelites repent of sin, they were also there to monitor their physical health. God was their social leader and head of government. And, due to Israelite stubbornness, every part of their lives pointed them back to God, His plan, and the atonement of Jesus Christ (see post for Leviticus 12). As I read this chapter, I felt bad for those with leprosy. What a bane! Then, I wondered why God didn't set up a health care system. And, it came to me...ultimately, God is The Physician. God is The Healer. And, instead of setting up a separate healthcare system for physical ailments, His priesthood representatives (Levites) were also tasked with this duty. To remind the Israelites that God (and His appointed priesthood servants) were those that could help them spiritually (which is ultimately more important than our physical state). Often the idea of talking with the bishop (the pastor/minister) carries a stigma. We often don't go to the bishop until we are in over our heads, not only in sin, but in other poor decisions in our lives. Yet, it doesn't have to be that way. Bishops are there to aid us in improving in righteousness and in basic wisdom. We can go to them to find out what things we may need to do better. We don't only have to visit them to confess heinous sins.
Bishops are NOT perfect. Many make mistakes. But despite this, they do have power, and specifically authority, from God to identify issues and to forgive sin. Not all priesthood representatives have this same authority. It is unique, and we should take advantage of it as much as we can.
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