Disclaimer: I am not a Biblical scholar and I don't play one on TV.
I ended up on Leviticus 21 today. Here is a passage:
16 The LORD said to Moses, 17 “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. 18 No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; 19 no man with a crippled foot or hand, 20 or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.21 No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the LORD. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. 22 He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; 23 yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’”
Lovely. Made me cringe. So those with disabilities can't even offer up a sacrifice even if they want to? What does God think of those with disabilities? The questions continue...
First, I am glad to be a Christian. The veil has dropped and all have access to God. I have seen Andrew 'in action' when he is close to God and it is real. He hears from God, even in the area of sacrifice and giving. (That is another day's post.)
Second, I DO think disabilities are not the original intention of God. They were not in the Garden of Eden. There will be no disabilities in Heaven. Jesus healed the sick and those with a variety of disabilities..physical and emotional as well as spiritual. So why do we think, "that is the way God made you." (This is a pet peeve of mine.) Yes Andrew is made in God's image. But we ALL have disabilities, which can be physical, spiritual or emotional. These disabilities are something to be healed and while God always has a purpose and a plan that was not the ORIGINAL intention pre-apple eating era.
I started googling for interpretations. Most were less than insightful and I probably should have stuck to just listening to God for revelation. The Christian websites pretty much said my first comment above. The Jewish websites commented on Leviticus without the light of Jesus on the cross were not hopeful. I had to 'x' out several before reading too closely because they made me sad. I get the "why" of it. They were not 'perfect' and therefore could not get 'close' to God. I wonder though, how did they feel? What did they think? Do our kids today think of themselves as 'less than' and how do we build them up? Did they feel less loved? Were they angry that others could get close to God? Did they wonder how 'Bob' could get 'close' to God when Bob harbored ill will in his heart and all they had was a physical disability? Why did God place these limitations on just physical and outward appearance? I think He cares much more about heart / internal issues today.
So I need God to speak to me personally on this a bit more. The verse that comes to mind is that God desires mercy, not sacrifice.
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’a]"[a] For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13
This verse too reminds me who Jesus came for. Some might apply this verse primarily to the spiritually sick but I think that in light of the Old Testament and how God does not view disabilities as 'perfection' one could say that he came for those both spiritually and physically (and emotionally) sick. But that we need not focus on the sacrifice... but on mercy.