One interesting pattern we’re going to study once we get into the Book of Numbers is the Nazarite and the Nazarite vows.
Understand that just as Levirate marriage has nothing to do with the Levites, a Nazarite has NOTHING TO DO WITH A NAZARENE!!!
A Nazarene is somebody who hails from Nazareth (Yeshua’s birthplace).
So then, who or what exactly is a Nazarite?
A Nazarite is a COMMON person who has been promoted to HOLY status for the purpose of serving God.
When I say COMMON person, I mean a NON-PRIEST which by definition also means a NON-LEVITE.
In other words, the Levites were equivalent to the religious professionals of our day like pastors, ministers, and teachers while the Nazarite was a layman who through a vow had been set apart to serve God.
The strongman Samson was one of the more famous Nazarites.
In modern Hebrew, the word “nazir” is usually used to refer to both Christian and Buddhist monks.
Now here’s the thing.
Even though the Nazarite was not a member of the priestly tribe of the Levites, his status was elevated to the point where he was on par with a priest!!!
Let’s not overlook the significance of this point.
Here we have your average layman who by going through a series of rituals, which were actually quite similar to what a Levite went through to become a priest, transformed from COMMON to HOLY!
A Levite priest is a priest by birth.
He is born with the credentials to become a priest.
On the other hand, a Nazarite has to be grafted into service for God because he’s just an ordinary Israelite.
However, once an Israelite becomes a Nazarite, his status in terms of HOLINESS becomes pretty much the same as a priest.
The only difference is that he can’t serve at the Tabernacle.
Now let’s apply this concept to Jews and Gentiles.
A Jew is born INSIDE the covenants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
A Gentile is born OUTSIDE the covenants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
However, just as there was a provision for the ordinary Israelite to be made equal in status before God through the Nazarite vows, so through Yeshua, provision has been made for the gentile to be made equal in spiritual status before the Lord.
Paul talks about this and uses the events recorded in the Book of Numbers to drive his point home.
One of the most important points he makes is that if the Israelites, although already saved, were punished for their sins before God, what makes a Yeshua believer think he can escape punishment for his or her sins?
One meme I saw recently on my Facebook wall said it all as follows:
“For the Jew, Torah should lead them to Messiah.
For the gentile, Messiah should lead them to Torah.”
Though the starting point is different, the end result is the same.
Redeemed believers in ONE body!
Posted from Jerusalem, Israel, Monday, August 7th, 2017.