The Bible and Disability
The following scripture on the surface seems to discriminate against disabled people, but a look at its meaning, and related scriptures shows that it is not its purpose.
Leviticus 21:16-23 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 'Speak to Aaron, saying, None of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the bread of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, a man blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or a man who has an injured foot or an injured hand, or a hunchback or a dwarf or a man with a defect in his sight or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No man of the offspring of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the Lord's food offerings; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the bread of his God. He … shall not go through the veil or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries, for I am the Lord who sanctifies them.
Firstly we need to know why this statement was made, the bible tells us that the tabernacle and what it contained was a picture of what was happening in heaven. The things taking place in the temple on earth represented what was happening in the heavenly. As we see in the following scripture:
Heb 8:5 Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.
The troubling verse above is talking about priests, we also know that Jesus was said to be our high priest. This is important and we will talk about it in a minute.
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Not only were priests to be whole, but also lambs were offered as sacrifices, they too could not be lame, or blind, they had to be without spot.
Lev 1:10 And if his offering be of the flocks, namely, of the sheep, or of the goats, for a burnt sacrifice; he shall bring it a male without blemish.
Jesus was also said to be this lamb, without brokenness, having no sin.
John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
What this shows us is priests in the temple, and animal sacrifices, had to represent or depict the nature of Christ, which was one of having no brokenness, and no sin. Being pure and spotless.
As with the sheep, God was not discriminating against blind sheep, he was showing by the purity of the offering, that the sacrifice to be offered for sins "Christ" would be spotless and have no sin.
God loves disabled people as much as any other person.
Lev 19:14 Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor put a stumblingblock before the blind, but shalt fear thy God: I am the LORD.
In fact, he mentions people with defects, or difficulties, in the following way in Isaiah:
Isa 56:3-5 Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree. For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
God says that those with defects will be given a 'better' name than the sons and daughters. Why, I believe because they have had to endure more discomfort in this life.