Jack, and others, very much appreciate your engagement and thoughts. I think on this one though, I guess I'll have to respectfully agree to disagree. The passages I cited earlier (from Leviticus) make it clear that for any man to touch another man with leprosy makes him ceremonially unclean. I don't think Jesus is somehow exempted because He is the Son of God, in a similar way that I wouldn't see Him exempted from getting hungry or tired because He is the Son of God. Since He is fully God but also fully man. And I don't see any other passages in Scripture that would lead me to come to the conclusion that Jesus was any different in this respect; IE, that being the Son of God made Him automatically immune from becoming ceremonially unclean.Amen! What a glorious truth, that Jesus took our sin and uncleanness upon himself to make us clean! Very biblical indeed.
But, as has been pointed out, to take that point from this particular passage/incident is probably a wrong reading. Great point, wrong place to get it. Happens all the time.
Does this stipulation (in your judgment) apply to Jesus once he has entered into his role as Christ? Once he is the publicly revealed Lord of the Sabbath, and greater than the Temple?On the flip side, for Jesus not to follow the ceremonial law would be a breach of the moral law, specifically breaking the fifth commandment since God laid this on His people. For Him to fulfill all righteousness, He must have kept the 5C perfectly.
Does this stipulation (in your judgment) apply to Jesus once he has entered into his role as Christ? Once he is the publicly revealed Lord of the Sabbath, and greater than the Temple?
It is important to think this through. At some discernible level, Jesus Christ must demonstrate that not only is he above the directions of the lesser, temporal authorities who must bow their knee to him, and whose legal powers are subject to his review; he also needs to demonstrate that MOSES bows the knee to him.
Because Moses is not responsible for promulgating (mediating) the moral law--not only does it precede Sinai, it is the literal Voice of God from the mountain top that thunders those ten words--we may therefore say that Jesus' constant and unfailing obedience to it as a man never once deviated (even if it had different expressions according to his ages and stations). He did not obey the moral law strictly as it was found in the Sinai-code; but as it was the moral law, and part of the Sinai-code.
So, Moses continues to rule Israel for fifteen centuries, through the Law, particularly the judicial and ceremonial laws of the nation. Jesus dutifully (in conformity to the 5C), and also wisely (and more the latter than the former as time went on) followed the judicial and ceremonial law from childhood until he was 30yrs of age, at the very least. But to be clear: he does not do this for the same reason that every other man subject to it does it.
As a man, Jesus was subject to the moral law that binds all mankind--Jews and Gentiles alike. As a Jew, and a man under age, Jesus was subject to the judicial and ceremonial law, as the heir "does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all," Gal.4:1. But something happens when Jesus takes up his Anointed role. He takes on his title of Master, and Moses bends the knee.
We see Jesus as Christ participating in the religious life of the Jews. Jesus did not casually toss Moses aside, once he took on his Lordship. But, if you argue that the Lord Jesus dutifully followed all the ceremonies just an ordinary Jew subject to Moses would, then the "Lord" is not the Lord; but Moses is Lord.
A child who is emancipated is not bound to every dictate of his parents, as he once was. Jesus did not obey his mother on more than one occasion recorded in the Gospels, Mt.12:46-50; Jn.2:4. Why? Because his mother was required to bow her knee to Jesus, as was his (grand)father David, Ps.110:1 & Mt.22:41-46.
The Lord Jesus Christ, before he took his titles, did what was required of him for our sake by complying and conforming to the judicial and ceremonial law. He kept all that for us, Gal.4:4-5, not merely in the simple sense of the 10C, but as a Jew with all the extra duties of a Jew. If "fulfill all righteousness" does imply that Jesus obeyed (not simply embodied) in every conceivable way the Jewish ceremonies, then he did all he had to do for our sake prior to his baptism/anointing.
But Jesus as Lord and Christ has the prerogatives of a Lord! Even the LORD, so great is his authority! He began to demonstrate that authority immediately. He did not curry favor with the present crop of Jewish leaders, and gather a coalition of powerful political partners. No, he put those cats in their place; they saw what was coming (he would take away their place) and didn't like it, Jn.11:48. He chose his own fresh set of ministers, a whole new cabinet for a whole new order.
He did abolish the traditions of the Pharisees. He did return the Sabbath to the people for their delight, as opposed to their chore. That was the moral law restored to its glory. But he did not owe them their taxes, even according to the Law. He did not owe a single sacrifice (even as a child or a young man). The Day of Atonement did absolutely nothing to restore his relationship with his Father; it was never in any danger. He had no native corruption of body or soul.
Jesus as Lord makes laws for others; he does not conform to a "higher" law. The moral law was in fact a mirror of his own (human) soul, unsullied, unfallen, like Adam before catastrophe. The moral law was the very constitution of the Man, Christ Jesus; and He no more would violate it than God would deny His own (divine) nature. Moses' law is something else, something lesser that the office of Christ.
It is no slight matter, this of which I'm calling for our reasoning together. Whatever we need of Jesus' obedience under the ceremonies and judicials of Judaism, we have from his days without title--30yrs at least. But when Jesus takes his titles, he is no more subject to Moses than a child is subject to his parents when he is 30yrs old, and master of his own household.
This is fairly well put. However, we need to distinguish between what is functionally the case in the person of the Lord Jesus, and what is formally the case in the kingdom of the Lord Jesus.1. The ceremonies were not formally abrogated until the veil in the temple was torn, if I'm not mistaken. Therefore, the ceremonial law was still to some degree in effect.
I indicated above how Jesus does not take out his red pen, and begin wholesale revisions and cancellations of Jewish law and culture. This is aptly reflected in his own words, "I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill," Mt.5:17. He said this (presumably) in response to the accusation (real or theoretical) that he was a revolutionary. There would not one jot or tittle of the Law be moved until all was accomplished, v18. Christ Jesus has no desire to destabilize the social context supporting his atoning work, or distract from the very text through which he is to be recognized by the people by unwise, injudicious cancellations.2. Prior to His baptism, He would have been under the ceremonial law, being willfully submitted in obedience to the moral law which calls for obedience to authority. He was not at this time exercising Lordship in abrogating the ceremonial law. Since it was still in effect, He would have submitted until the proper time.
I don't ascertain the connection of this point (3) to those above. Would the baby Jesus be considered "unclean" at certain times, places, or conditions? Definitely, from an observer's standpoint. He would be outside the covenant community if he was not circumcised, and considered unclean on that account. Not that his actual condition would have been so, since he was sinless--not even conceived in sin. But he would have been considered so, and quite reasonably.
On the flip side, for Jesus not to follow the ceremonial law would be a breach of the moral law, specifically breaking the fifth commandment since God laid this on His people. For Him to fulfill all righteousness, He must have kept the 5C perfectly.