How does the metzora become healed from his affliction?
(14,2) “This is the law of the metzora on the day of his purification: he shall be brought to the Kohen. The Kohen shall go outside the camp, and the Kohen shall look, and behold, the affliction of the tzara’as has been healed from the afflicted person.”
Behold, first it says that he shall be brought to the Kohen, but then it says that the Kohen shall go outside the camp! Also, the phrase “from the afflicted person” seems to be superfluous since it could have said simply “the affliction of the tzara’as has been healed” and it would have been obvious that it means that it has been healed from the afflicted person.
But there are two ways that the metzora can become healed. The first is by repenting, because the main reason that a person is afflicted with tzara’as is because of sin as it says in the gemora and the Midrash, and I have written at length about this in parshas Tazria. Therefore, if he repents he will become healed from his tzara’as. The second way is through the occurrence of a 'favorable time’. That is, when a favorable time occurs for a Tzaddik (Chazal taught in the gemora Sanhedrin that there are times which are suitable for good things to happen, as it is says in Yeshayohu 49:8 “at a favorable time I answered you”) the metzora is automatically healed, even though he did not repent of his sin. We see this from Chazal’s teaching about Sarah, that when Hashem caused her to conceive even though she was barren, many barren women conceived together with her - even though they did not have the personal merit for this they nevertheless conceived because of the favorable time that happened for Sarah.
Now, the difference between these two ways is that if he becomes healed through his repentance the healing is attributed to him, but if he becomes healed because it was a favorable time for somebody else the healing is attributed to the day and the time, and not to him. And the way that a person can know how his healing came about is to see what Hashem arranges for him when he needs to be examined by the Kohen. Because if he was healed because of the occurrence of a favorable time, then (measure for measure) Hashem will arrange matters so that he will be brought to the Kohen - just as he was healed through others, so too he is brought to the Kohen through others, and he does not merit that the Kohen should come to him.
But if he is healed because he repented then the Kohen will be obligated to trouble himself to come to him. Because, as Chazal teach, in the place that a Ba’al Teshuvah (a sinner who has repented) stands a complete Tzaddik cannot stand, and thus he is greater than the Tzaddik, in this case the Kohen. Thus, when the Kohen sees that Hashem caused him to trouble himself to go to the metzora, the Kohen will understand that the healing came from the metzora’s repentance and so he is due the great honour of the Kohen’s coming to him.
This is the explanation of our posuk: “This is the law of the metzora on the day of his purification” - if the day was the main cause of his purification because there was a favorable time for a Tzaddik, then his law is that “he shall be brought to the Kohen”, and not that the Kohen should trouble himself to go to him. But if Hashem causes that “the Kohen shall go outside the camp”, then from this “the Kohen shall look, and behold, the affliction of the tzara’as has been healed from the afflicted person” - the Kohen shall see and understand that he was obligated to trouble himself to go to him because the affliction was healed because of the repentance of the metzora.