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Vayikra/Leviticus 13:6 And the priest shall see him on the seventh day a second time
The word (an adjective, used here in feminine form as an adverb, meaning 'a second time' or 'again') is at first glance misleading because this is actually the third time that the cohen will have seen the person who may be afflicted withtzara'at. The first time he would have placed the sufferer in isolation for seven days; the second time was at the end of that first seven-day period, when a second week in isolation would be prescribed if necessary. The text describes the third inspection at the end of the second block of seven days. Only if at this third inspection, after two waiting periods for the condition to clear, tzara'at is still present is the person declared unclean.
John Ortberg, in his book 'Love Beyond Reason', has a chapter entitled "The L-rd of the Second Chance", in which he educates the non-golf-playing readers about the wonders of a 'mulligan': if your shot shies crazily off the course and becomes completely unplayable, then you simply disregard it, you don't write it down - as if it had never existed - you 'take a mulligan'. Do you remember Yeshua doing the same thing?
In John 21 we find the passage where Yeshua rehabilitates Kefa over breakfast. But see how the narrative paints in the 'second chance' motif. After the talmidim have been out all night fishing and caught nothing, Yeshua "said to them, 'You don't have any fish, do you?' 'No,' they answered him. He said to them, 'Throw in your net to starboard and you will catch some.' So they threw in their net, and there were so many in it that they couldn't haul it aboard" (v5-6, CJB). Doesn't that remind you of Luke 5:1-11 when Yeshua first called Kefa? But it goes on: "when they got out upon the land, they saw a charcoal fire already laid" (v9, NASB), because a few chapters earlier, Kefa had stood warming himself by a charcoal fire in the courtyard of the Cohen Gadol when he denied Yeshua for the first time (John 18:18). That's why when "Yeshua said to them, 'Come and have breakfast.' None of the talmidim dared to ask Him, 'Who are you?' They knew it was the L-rd" (v12, CJB). And then Yeshua restored Kefa by asking him three times to confirm that he loved Him; three times to reverse the three denials.
G-d always wants to give us a second chance if we will take it from Him - the choice is ours. In one of the great passages from the Tanakh, G-d says: "Come now, let us reason together, says the L-rd; though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are like crimson, they shall become like wool" (Isaiah 1:18, ESV).
Further Study: Micah 6:2-8; Revelation 7:13-17
Application: Have you blown it recently? Do you need a second chance? G-d is just waiting to help you do just that. Ask Him if you can take a mulligan and get it off your chest.
© Jonathan Allen, 2005
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