Search This Blog

Should our pastors/priests/ministers wear robes today?

For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen—the work of a weaver—and the turban of fine linen, the linen caps and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. The sash was made of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn—the work of an embroiderer—as the LORD commanded Moses. Exodus 39:27-29

In the Old Testament, the priests who ran the sacrificial system in the tabernacle and temple wore garments designed by God. This gave them a high responsibility and singled them out from the others. Their job was holy and they needed to abstain from certain practices, like touching dead things in the outside world. They didn’t get special treatment, just special rules and circumstances. Their garments singled them out.

In the New Testament, the priests and Pharisees wore special garments too, yet Jesus never wore anything official, just his daily robe, nor did he ask others to wear anything special. In fact, he attacked those who wore the garments--not because they wore garments, but because they felt self-righteous when they put the garments on.

The priests of that day wanted special privileges and preferred seating at banquets. They lost touch with the common man. Jesus said they just piled rules on people that no one could possibly withstand. He called them whitewashed tombs, they looked all clean and holy on the outside (meticulously clean robes) yet inside they were a mess.

Once Jesus died on the cross, and the temple veil torn ending the usefulness of the sacrifices in the temple, the temple priests’ job officially ended in God's eyes. When the temple was destroyed in 70 AD, there was no place for the priests to practice.

While there is nothing wrong with religious leaders wearing robes today, it isn’t necessary biblically. The Bible says nothing about it to the religious leaders in the New Testament. The Old Testament practice of holy garments meant to point to a New Testament fulfillment of a coming high priest. The book of Hebrews makes it clear...Jesus is now our high priest, the only one we need.

Jesus didn’t wear anything holy. He didn’t need to. It was his heart that was pure and clean, not his clothes.