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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Leviticus 21

Verses 1-24

  1. Intro:
    1. There is a price to pay if you want to be a spiritual leader!
      1. [1] Our Conduct [2] Our Physical Characteristics [3] Our Religious Duties.
  2. OUR CONDUCT! (1-15)
    1. ​​​​​​​Maintain a life that is above reproach!
      1. Col.1:21,22 “And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight;”
      2. In your obedience & your devotion to God.
      3. “Spiritual Leadership” is to set the example!
        1. Q: Are you? How are you? How aren’t you?
    2. See Hos.4:9 “like people, like priest.”
      1. The bad priests copied the sins, which they should have reproved. But they didn’t reprove them. They just encouraged them to keep their sacrifices coming(for their profit)!
    3. (1-6) Obedience over affection!
      1. They could show sorrow at the death of a loved one, yet still act like the servants of God.
      2. They were not to act like the pagans (5).
      3. 1 Thes.4:13 “But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope.”
    4. (7-9) Family is important!
      1. So with a churches leaders. His wife & family are an important part of his ministry!
        1. 1 Tim.3:5 “He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)” (NIV)
        2. Titus 1:6 “An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.” (NIV)
      2. “A godly marriage w/godly children constitutes a spiritual fortress from which God’s servants can go forth to do battle for the Lord.” (Warren Weirsbe)
      3. Pray for your church leaders & their families, as they are special targets of the enemy!
        1. Heb.13:17,18 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you. Pray for us; for we are confident that we have a good conscience, in all things desiring to live honorably.”
    5. The High Priest could only take as a wife a virgin.
      1. To assure the nation that his 1st born was truly a descendant of Aaron.
      2. God wasn’t setting up 2 standards of holiness, but the priests were to show (as Christians workers should today) what God really meant for all.
        1. I can’t think of any standards Kelly & I changed when I became a pastor. Or any that we would change if I wasn’t a pastor any more.
      3. Paul said, “We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God:” (2 Cor.6:3,4)
  3. OUR PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS! (16-24)
    1. ​​​​​​​Q: Why was this an issue?
      1. [1] The sacrifices that the people brought to the Lord had to be w/o blemish, so it was only right that those who offered them be the same.
      2. [2] The priests also represented “the High Priest who was to come”, & there was no defects in him.
        1. This was not to humiliate or intimidate anybody w/a physical disability.
        2. The priests were special, with a very important & physical job to do.
        3. Note: They were not kept from the priesthood, nor kept from participating in other priestly functions.
    2. Q: What about today?
      1. God wants his servants today to be blame-free(blameless), not blemish-free.
        1. 1 Tim.3:2,10 “A bishop then must be blameless, …But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.”
      2. Our physical defects aren’t an obstacle to either our salvation or service.
        1. Jesus invites all, “Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.” (Lk.14:21)
      3. Fanny Crosby (great Hymn writer) was blind.
        George Matheson (author & Hymn writer) was also blind.
        Amy Carmichael directed the work of her mission in India from her sickbed.
        Robert Murray McCheyne (Scottish Presbyterian preacher) had a weak heart.
        Charles Spurgeon had to leave London in the winter to restore his health in the south of France.
        1. Physical handicaps need not be a barrier to Christian service if we depend wholly on the grace of God.
        2. Regarding Paul’s thorn in his flesh, 2 Cor.12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness."
      4. A beautiful soul often lives in a crippled body, & people like that can be greatly used of the Lord.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Leviticus 21". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/leviticus-21.html. 2017.