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Hebraic Definition of Kingdom (2 of 4)

Shane Willard

Page 8 of 10
Leviticus 21:18, here we go. For no man in whom there's a blemish shall draw near: a blind man or a lame man or disfigured man or deformed, or a man that is broken footed or broken handed, or a crookback man or a crushed one, or one who has a blemish in his eye or scurvy or a scabbed person, nor anyone with crushed testicles. That was a problem back then okay, that was a problem. The reason is because when another king took over another area they didn't want them reproducing past him so they would take the young men and they would put them through a procedure where they would take two rocks and [makes the sound of banging the rocks together 00.37.22] crush them together okay. That would keep them from reproducing, so if that happened to you you were disqualified from doing what God's talking about here. No man of the seed of Aaron the priest in whom there was a blemish shall come near - it doesn't mean they can't come near to anything. What does it say? Oh good, here we go - that shall come near in order to offer the fire offerings of God for he has a blemish. He shall not come near to offer the bread of his God, but he shall be able to eat the bread of his God, the most holy of the holy; only he shall not go into the veil, nor shall he come to the altar because he has a blemish.

Now here's the problem. In that culture you were a rabbi because you earned it. You were a priest by birthright, so priests and kings were born into their position. Rabbis had to earn it. Now any time you have a system where you're born into something you have the potential for bad eggs. Look at their kings. Their kings were godly, godly, godly, ungodly, ungodly, godly, ungodly, godly, sort of medium godly, ungodly, godly, godly, ungodly. They'd got through these patterns. Why? Because you were born into it. There wasn't any proving ground or development okay, you were just simply born into it. So how do you handle it when a priest is a bad egg? Well God says listen, if they have any physical blemish you can't starve them. You have to let them live among you and they can eat the bread, even the holy bread. They can do that, but they can't offer offerings and they can't go into the veil if they have a blemish. So what they would do to keep the bad eggs off of the ceremonial parts is they would sneak up behind them and they'd clop off the bottom of their ear. They'd take off their ear lobe okay.

The book of Josepha which is a Jewish historian, he talks about this practice of lopping off the ear lobe okay, and the reason was is once someone had a physical blemish it kept them from offering offerings and from going into the veil. So the servant of the high priest, if you're the servant of the high priest what are you studying to be? The high priest. The servant of the high priest is actually leading the charge against Jesus. Peter takes his knife out and cuts off his ear. What's he doing? He's saying this: If you are going to kill the real temple then you have no business serving in the temple made with the hands of men, so if you're willing to kill - if you're so blind and so stubborn that you're going to kill the real temple, I'm going to make sure that you never serve in the temple made with the hands of men again - and he cuts off his ear. In other words you'll never be able to serve there again, never ever, ever. Ever never. What's Jesus' response? He puts his ear back on.

So in the [unclear 00.40.30] what's He doing? He's restoring physical appearance, He's restoring hearing, He's taking away pain, but there's something way bigger here. What's He doing to the high priest's servant? He's restoring him back to his office. He's saying no, no, no, I'll restore you back [to ministry. 00.40.47] Let me give you a revelation of the kindness of God here. Jesus is restoring to His ministry the man who is leading the charge to kill Him. That's how nice God is. Let me ask you a question. You want to establish the kingdom of God in your life? One of the questions we have to deal with is this: why is it that our tendency is to cut people's ears off? Why is our first response when you see this much weakness in a minister, why is it, why is our first response to find any reason to cut their ear off? Why is that? What is it about us that finds that fun? Why is our first response to cut people's ears off when the one we're supposed to be duplicating is actually the one putting people's ears back on?