What does it mean that the Jewish people are the First Born Nation? What is such a big deal about the first born in the first place?
Just recently, a friend of mine told me they could just not understand why it is that Jewish law rules that the first born son gets a “double” portion of inheritance. He thought it unfair.
I replied that he doesn’t understand because he’s never seen a real first born in action, a first born that is living up to his responsibilities. A first born that deserves a double portion.
A first born who sets a stellar example for their younger siblings is the first born that deserves a double portion. He takes the lead, and sets the standard for righteousness. A parent can proudly say to the other children, “One day when you grow up, you’ll be just like the First Born.” And the other children respect and agree with the assessment of the First Born’s greatness. It is clear.
This is what G-d intends for the Jewish People, the First Born Nation. He intends us to be a deserving first born that sets a stellar example for the world, in terms of love of G-d, love of our neighbor, and love of all creations. If our words and deeds make Jew and Gentile love G-d, we are doing our jobs, and we deserve a double portion – the very double portion called “redemption” that Yaakov purchased from Esau.
And if we don’t act like the First Born, we don’t deserve a double portion. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid.