READ: Leviticus 21:16-24
Deformities amongst the Priests
The teachings of this passage are not meant to teach, nor do they consider that any form of deformity is inherior or subhuman! Remember, Leviticus is about living a holy life in the presence of God – particularly about preparing as you come before the Holy God. As we’ve just seen, the priests, and especially the High Priest, had a higher standard of holiness before God.
Be reminded, of course, that throughout Leviticus holiness is pictured and symbolised by God to the people as ‘wholeness’. The point of these laws further illustrate to the people that God wants His people to be whole and dedicated – separated from anything that would make them incomplete in their service to Him.
So these laws regarding who was barred from serving as a priest due to physical deformity, were about separating the physically ‘unwhole’ from the physically ‘whole’. Those priests that were not in some way missing or falling short of God’s ‘whole’ creation could better serve as the picture of holiness. Of course, those that were barred from the serving as priests were not driven or excluded from daily life – they still had greater privelages than the average Joe Bloe in the camp. These incomplete priests were still taken care of and looked after and considered a part of the priest’s society and family – they could still eat of the priestly portions that were allotted from the sacrifices.
The passage continues to paint the picture of God’s holiness and His calling of holiness upon the lives of the people and also on the lives of us. What is it in life that practically prevents you from being ‘whole’ before God???