By O’Ceallaigh –
Primogeniture (Pri-mo-GEH-ni-choor) .
The term is defined by Merriam-Webster as: “ 1. The state of being the firstborn of the children of the same parents, 2. An exclusive right of inheritance belonging to the eldest son”
Now, I haven’t done a whole lot of research on this but the other night Pastor Frank used the term in Mid-week service and gave us a bit of detail. That got me thinking about how it might apply to the Christian now and in the days, weeks, months and years – and millennia to come.
You see, the estates of the nobility were passed to the eldest by tradition or law and were thereby held intact rather than being split several ways between the several heirs.
Pastor Frank explained that this is a great benefit not only to the heirs, but to the entire community which the estate, or the manor, services.
If the estate were to be given to, shall we say, four heirs as individual receivers, the 1000 acres would be reduced to 250 acres for each one. In the next generation should each of the 4 heirs have only 2 heirs, the estate would be reduced to 8 small “estates” of only 125 acres in each one.
Simple logic sees the benefit of keeping the estate entire! When the “First Born” inherits under Primogeniture, he becomes the “ruler” of the estate. The remainder of the heirs, however, benefit from the “entire estate” along with the first born.
Now, that seems like a rather protracted explanation which, we ask, leads to where?
In my cogitations, I began to think of Jesus and the fact that He is referred to as the “Firstborn of every creature” (Colossians 1:15) and wondered where this would take me.
Now, I don’t want to get theological on you, but Jesus was born! His mother was Mary. He was sired by a miraculous conception with the Holy Spirit (Ghost) having a part in it which we do not fully comprehend. In addition, we see Adam’s son Cain as the First Born of all Creation. How does this work?
Note what Spiros Zodiates says. He is a Greek scholar and author of notes in the “Key Word Bible.” Regarding this reference and the word ‘protokos’ used here which is translated ‘firstborn’ he says: “What it means in this passage is that Christ holds the same relation to all creation as God the Father because He is above (preeminent to) all creation.”
This makes sense to us because, “In the beginning was the Word…all things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made…And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:1,2,14) This is referring to Jesus, there at Creation and with us also in John’s day through the Incarnation.
Now what does this all have to do with Primogeniture?
The apostle Paul wrote, in his letter to the Romans, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God…And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…;”
Christ the Elder, the Firstborn, the preeminent one, inherits the entire estate. But we are “Joint heirs with Christ.”
Under the law of “Primogeniture,” we share, as sons and daughters of God, the entire estate. That estate which we inherit works to the benefit of the entire community – the entire Universe.
What, in your mind, are the implications of that?