In the Bible, height, mentioned in an Old Testament passage to Moses when choosing the priests of Israel, has raised legitimate concerns about the destiny of short people. Can short people go to heaven?
The Bible verse in question is Leviticus 21:18-21, where God says:
“No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is a hunchback or a dwarf, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the food offerings to the Lord. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.”Leviticus 21:18-21
From this passage, it’s no wonder so many questions abound about short people not being allowed in heaven.
However, like so many passages in the Old Testament, this verse is taken out of context.
You see, priests served in the temple and offered sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of the people. Special places where only priests were allowed to enter were designed for them in the temple, believed to be God’s holy place.
Any physical defect was considered impure in the Mosaic law. People allowed to go close to God were supposed to be without blemish. Even the sacrifices that were offered to God were to be pure.
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However, that was during Moses’ time, when the regulations of the Mosaic Covenant bound the Israelites.
The places the priests served were sacred and were to reflect purity and spiritual perfection, but these were ceremonial regulations adhered to in the Old Testament and do not apply today.
It doesn’t mean that short people are bad or sinful – God wanted people who would serve Him to reflect His image and pose no doubt to those being led to Him.
Can Short People Go to Heaven?
Jesus established a new covenant that allows all people, whether short or tall, young or old, to serve Him. 1 Peter 2:4-5 says:
“As you come to Him, the living Stone – rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to Him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 2:4-5
This passage proves that short people are not blemish as they were said to be, but a royal priesthood through Jesus Christ regardless of our height or physical appearance.
Therefore, the question of whether short people can go to heaven based on the criteria of selection of priests in the book of Leviticus has been answered by Jesus. He uses those who are willing to represent Him in the world.
Our heights or physical appearances do not determine our eternal destination. Heaven has no short, tall, skinny, fat, or skin color requirements.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”In John 3:16
From this Scripture, we learn that everyone is assured of a place in heaven as long as they believe in Jesus. It states that ‘whoever’ believes. If short people choose to believe in Jesus, nothing can hinder them from going to heaven. Similarly, should tall or medium-height people not believe in God, they cannot go to heaven.
Consider the story of Zacchaeus, a short man living in sin. If he had died while still sinning, he would have ended up in hell. However, he met Jesus along his journey, an encounter that transformed his life.
Zacchaeus’ height did not stop Jesus from interacting with him. Jesus reached out to him, and Zacchaeus repented.
If you are as short or shorter than Zacchaeus, know that what matters most is the condition of your heart. Jesus reaches out to you daily just as He reached out to Zacchaeus.
It is up to you to welcome Him into your heart and let Him transform your life. He promised that He would prepare us a place in heaven. Therefore, when we welcome Him into our hearts, He will lead us to a path that will see us in heaven when the time comes.
Additionally, God’s criteria for determining those who will work for Him or who will go to heaven is not based on our outward appearances. Rather, He looks at the condition of our hearts.
When God sent Samuel to anoint Israel’s next king after the death of King Saul, Samuel thought God would choose someone tall and well-built.
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When he saw Eliab, one of Jesse’s tall sons, he thought he was the one God had chosen. However, God rejected Eliab and said:
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”1 Samuel 16:7
We can have peace knowing that despite being short, God does not judge us based on our height. If we do what He wants, we will go to heaven and live with Him forever.
Our heights do not influence God’s grace nor hinder or extend God’s salvation to us. Physical characteristics do not determine a person’s relationship with God. We cannot judge or say that tall people have good hearts while short people are evil.
It all depends on the state of our hearts.
The Bible also tells us that we are made in the image and likeness of God – short or tall, we represent the image of God on earth.
“Even small children are known by their actions, so is their conduct really pure and upright?”Proverbs 20:11
Our actions will determine whether our conduct is pure or not. What we do and say reveals a lot about the states of our hearts, which is what the Lord looks for. He created us to live upright lives whether we are short or tall.
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Jesus has made us one; in Him, no male or female, tall or short, black or white. We are all members of His body, and we all have our significance in this body.
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”Galatians 3:28
If we all choose to follow Jesus and believe in His teachings, we will all go to heaven. In Jesus, we find a shared inheritance of the kingdom of God.
God extends His love, mercy, grace, and salvation to everyone willing to believe in Jesus. He is the only way to heaven and does not look at us based on our earthly distinctions.
If we have fallen short of His glory, we can do what Zacchaeus did and turn back to God. We can confess our sins, repent, and seek the righteousness of God to secure a place for ourselves in heaven.