In the Old Testament, the disabled were excluded from the holy place. In the New Testament, Jesus touched and healed the disabled. Why the difference?
Why did God alienate disabled persons in the Old Testament? It’s a really good question today from a listener named Gina. “Hello, Pastor John. I’m reading through Leviticus in my Bible reading plan. One thing that has confused me is why God would not allow people with physical defects to approach the altar (specifically in Leviticus 21:16–21).
“The tone changes drastically in the Gospels. There Jesus welcomes the blind, the lame, and the diseased right into his very presence. So why would God in the Old Testament not allow them near the altar? It seems sad to me. Those people would have certainly have felt even worse for it. And likely experienced heightened social alienation, too. I’m thankful for the New Testament, because there are so many of us with physical defects. But why the discontinuity? To what purpose?”