Ezekiel 44:15, 16
But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me…
The priests were an essential element in the Mosaic system, and their duties were prescribed with a precise exactness. After the Captivity, they still fulfilled their appointed duties, although their relative importance was probably diminished, whilst the scribes became growingly the religious leaders and teachers of the people. In the dispensation of the Spirit, the priesthood, so far as it is perpetuated, has been widened so as to include the whole Christian congregation.
I. MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH IS THE APPOINTMENT OF GOD. As the priesthood was instituted by Divine wisdom, so the will and pleasure of the great Head of the Church is that the members of the spiritual society should regard themselves as called by God to the fulfillment of varied duties as his servants.
II. MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH IS UPON THE PATTERN OF THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST THE HEAD. The Son of man came, not to be ministered unto, but to minister. The Lord was himself Servant of all, and those who are his are summoned to follow the example of him who declared that he was among his people as One who served.
III. MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH IS FOR MUTUAL BENEFIT. It is sometimes taken for granted that there are certain persons who minister to their fellow-Christians, whilst the rest simply receive and enjoy the advantages of their services. But in reality there is no one member of the true Church who is not commissioned for some special work which it is for him to do, who has not some gifts and opportunities for serving his fellow-disciples, for the edification of the body of Christ.
IV. MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH IS FOR THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD. The Jewish Church was restricted; the Christian Church has a universal mission - a mission for the benefit of mankind. They who have Christ's Spirit will live as disciples of him who said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself."
V. MINISTRY IN THE CHURCH INVOLVES ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD. With calling and gifts and influence there is associated responsibility. And this responsibility is to him who is the one, only, all-sufficient Judge and Lord. From this responsibility there is no escape; and it must ever be the aim and the hope of every Christian that he himself and his work may be acceptable and approved at last, when every man shall have praise of God. - T.
Parallel VersesKJV: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, that kept the charge of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister unto me, and they shall stand before me to offer unto me the fat and the blood, saith the Lord GOD:
WEB: But the priests the Levites, the sons of Zadok, who performed the duty of my sanctuary when the children of Israel went astray from me, they shall come near to me to minister to me; and they shall stand before me to offer to me the fat and the blood, says the Lord Yahweh: