When Jesus was unclean

This topic is an addendum to my last post in the series, Not everything Biblical is Christian, Part 8 - Jesus and nocturnal emission laws. I concluded that post by saying, "I still don't know where Jesus is in this passage, Deuteronomy 23:10"
If there be among you any man, that is not clean by reason of uncleanness that chanceth him by night, then shall he go abroad out of the camp, he shall not come within the camp: 11 But it shall be, when evening cometh on, he shall wash himself with water: and when the sun is down, he shall come into the camp again. 
The King James version is more of the Hebrew to English word for word translation. The modern versions are more explicit about what the Hebrew alludes to "in happenings of the night."
10 "If any man among you becomes unclean because of a nocturnal emission, then he shall go outside the camp. He shall not come inside the camp, 11 but when evening comes, he shall bathe himself in water, and as the sun sets, he may come inside the camp. ESV
Since I raised the question last week, I've been mulling it over, what does this have to do with Jesus? The question before this question is why does this have to do with Jesus?

There are two things Jesus said that make me ask why. In John's gospel when he is disputing with the Jewish religious leaders he says, 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me... And in his Sermon on the Mount he says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish these things but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:17. These assertions by Jesus are why I look for him in the Old Testament. But not everything is a picture, type, metaphor or allegory of Jesus. Whatever is not Jesus concealed provides a setting for him and his life in 1st century Israel.

This rule in Deuteronomy 23:10, which is also in Leviticus 15:16 and (maybe) Numbers 5:2*, is context for Jesus' life. Jesus lived a normal human life, without sin as he is fully God, yet he is fully human as well. Human males, as they enter puberty, start to produce gametes in their gonads that are typically emitted nocturnally. In the vernacular, teenage boys have wet dreams. According to the Jewish law, this made them unclean. Since Jesus was normal, he must have experienced normal adolescent boy ceremonial uncleanliness.

A Jesus without sin is hard to fully identify with. But a Jesus who experienced uncleanliness, (and later rejected such laws and rules) is one who I know has felt another dimension of our souls. Because of this realization, that only comes from pondering some obscure rules in the Mosaic laws, I have a fresh encounter with my savior. These weird laws, for me, make Jesus more immanent. I wish I could have heard these verses taught this way when I was 12 years old.

* For some additional thoughts on the weirdness in Numbers 5, see my blog post from April 2014.


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