Num 11:29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!
It was a moment of correction when Moses spoke the above text to a young and perhaps naive Joshua. God was about to anoint 70 leaders with the spirit of Moses, but two of the men were not present. In short, Joshua thought that the two men should not qualify because they had not made it into the Tabernacle, but instead, were outside among the people in the camp. Moses spoke a word that transcended time when he wished that the entire congregation would become prophets and spiritual leaders, not just the 70 men.
By the time John the Baptist entered the scene, a clear separation had occurred. It was etched in their mind that only a few would be “prophets” or spiritual leaders while the rest would become common. Interestingly enough, the term “laity” actually means “common.” By the 15th century most of the church world bought into the false notion that clergy and laity were separated by God. The idea of “laity” comes from the Greek “laos” meaning distinct from any priestly class. Later, the French word “laite,” taken from the Latin “laicus” solidified this idea that there should be no cross over. You were either a minister or you were common.
Moses prayed for the whole congregation to be prophets. Moses wanted the entire nation to seek after God, but they had grown accustom to a high priest and a veil. This separation removed them from their need to minister. It was not until the death of Jesus Christ that the veil was torn and the line was removed. Jesus became our Mediator and High Priest. The apostle made it clear when he wrote Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. The early church believed this truth and it caused all of them to embrace spiritual endeavors and the preaching/teaching of the Gospel. Everyone became a disciple. Everyone taught the New Birth Experience spelled out in Acts 2:38. The heartbeat of Moses had come to fruition and today we must heed those same words to become preachers and teachers. There is no room for “common”. We are all responsible to share the Truth and the name of Jesus! I say, “Would God that all the Lord’s people preached the Gospel!”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole