“And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the people of Israel.” Exodus 19:6
Kingdom of Priests – You and I are adopted into the Kingdom. It doesn’t matter what ethnic background you have. Ancient or contemporary, adoption is the method of entrance. Once you enter, you have a role to play in the community. That role depends on who God made you to be and how the Spirit equips you to serve. But at least one role is common to all who enter. All are priests. God created a kingdom of priests, a mamlechet kohanim. No one who is adopted into the Kingdom is exempt from this role. Of course, this implies that women are priests just as much as men. God does not consider gender when it comes to adoption and He doesn’t consider gender exclusion when it comes to the priesthood.
“Wait a minute!” you object. “Only men could serve as priests before the Lord.” You’re right, kind of. The truth is that only certain men could serve as priests in the Levitical order. If you were from the tribe of Judah (like Yeshua), you could not be a Levitical priest. Now you know why Hebrews says that Yeshua is a priest after the order of Melchizedek. He doesn’t qualify as a Levitical priest (that turns out to be very important). Neither do most of the men of Israel. A priest is an intercessor between God and others. There are qualifications for being a priest. Those qualifications are established by God, not men. So, only some of the males in Israel could act as priests for Israel, but everyone in Israel acted as a priest for the nations. In other words, God chose a small, select group of men to act as His priests in the role of intercession between Him and His people, but He chose all of His children to act as intercessors between Him and the rest of the world. Gender has absolutely nothing to do with this “nations” choice. Everyone in the Kingdom is a priest to the rest of the world.
For centuries the Christian church has endorsed the idea that only males should be the intercessors, proclaimers and pastors of the flock. I have a difficult time finding the Scriptural authority for such a claim. Don’t turn to Sha’ul’s letters. He bases his arguments on the Hebrew Scriptures and the Hebrew Scriptures clearly state that everyone in the Kingdom is a priest to the nations. Don’t try to use Kefa’s (Peter’s) epistles. He actually quotes this verse from Exodus. Furthermore, the Bible clearly teaches that only those from the Levitical order are qualified as priests of Israel. So, where did we find the authority to suggest that all males and only males have the right to act as the head of the congregation? It came from somewhere. You might want to investigate how this change entered our Christian thinking. In the meanwhile, it’s time to re-think our exclusion of God’s own choice. If God qualifies all as priests to the nations, who are we to say, “Sorry, we only allow men in the pulpit”?
Topical Index: priests, women, mamlechet kohanim, Exodus 19:6