Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Yeshua the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.
Leviticus 22 teaches us about the Terumah: the portion of foods only eaten by priests and their dependants. These portions may come from altar offerings or harvest tithes. Priests were not paid for their work at the Temple or for their teaching the Torah, so they were dependant on that tithe for themselves and their dependants.
The instructions about who can eat or not eat of that portion of food are given in detail and they teach us how God views family relationships and dependencies. A priest’ daughter, who is naturally allegeable, but who marries one who is not a priest loses the right to eat it as she belongs to the family she marries into. On the other hand if she is widowed or divorces and returns to the full dependency of her father, she is again allegeable. Also a foreign servant bought with money and who becomes a permanent part of the priest’s family can partake of the Terumah.
The inadvertent consumption of Terumah by someone not allegeable incurred the punishment of the law of theft; it is considered robbing God (Malachi 3:8). People were taught to not eat anything that was not properly tithes or separated. Pharisees who were ultra concerned about it even made sure to tithe mint and cumin; they also lived a life which excluded them from fellowship with others. The Master commanded them for this practice though He rebuked them for their lack of wisdom in properly weighing the matters of Torah (Luke 11:42). While the Master obeyed the Torah, He also taught us wisdom in its application (Matthew 12:1-3; Luke 10:8). All in all though, this command really teaches us the principle of priorities; the idea of setting the needs of the Kingdom ahead and before our own; it is at the heart of “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” (Matthew 6:33).
The same principles are at work in the adoption of the nations into Israel. As disciples of the master, of He who is the High-Priest of the Tabernacle up above (Hebrews 5:10; 9:11) we are adopted into His family, and thereby are allowed to eat from the table of the High Priest King of which others cannot partake (Hebrews 13:10).
As bought and adopted members of this High Priest’s family we partake of His table and enjoy the bounty of His household. This should not be taken for granted. May we always show ourselves ensamples of the calling wherewith we are called and reflect the virtue of the Master of the house, of the Kingdom of God!