#DailyDevotion How’s That Law Keeping Going For Ya?
Matt. 517“Don’t think that I came to set aside the Law or the prophets. I didn’t come to set them aside but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away, not an i or the dot of an i of the Law will pass away until everything is done. 19Anyone, then, who sets aside one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But anyone who does and teaches what they say will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20I tell you, unless your righteousness is much better than that of the Bible scholars and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.”
This text is often used by the Judaisers in Christianity to convince Christians that they are to obey the Old Testament laws i.e. the Law of Moses, which is God’s covenant with Israel. Sure they may say we are no longer bound to the sacrificial system or to the laws which governed Israel but everything else you were still bound to do. Yes, there were moral laws, ritual or ceremonial laws and civil laws, but the whole law was comprehensive whole of a single covenant. If you broke any of the covenant, you broke the whole covenant.
Never the less, Jesus’ point here is true enough in dealing with his people Israel, in particularly, the Jews. Jesus didn’t come to set aside the Law and the prophets but to fulfill them. That is to say, Jesus came to fulfill what was written about him by the prophets and by the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, i.e. the Law and to do what no man has ever done especially any Jew, Pharisee or Scribe, he actually lived God’s Law, the Law he gave to the Israelites perfectly in word, thought and in deed.
In the sermon that follows this Jesus teaches us about the 5th commandment Matt. 5:21-26, the 6th vs. 27-32, 8th 33-37, 9th and 10th, Matt. 6 vs. 1-4, 16-18, 3rd vs. 5-15, 1st vs. 19-34 and 7 vs. 1-6, 2nd vs. 7-11 finally Jesus sums up the Law for us in 7:12-29. I find it interesting Jesus jumps around a bit with the Ten Commandments and never quotes them directly. He also doesn’t get into the ceremonial and civil laws here. Never the less, if you asked Jesus at the time he most certainly would have taught you to obey them as well. Most importantly, Jesus pulls the rug out from underneath those who may outwardly give a good showing of obeying the Law but do not do so according the spirit of the Law, with their all their hearts, mind and strength.
So how about that, get out there is obey the Law with all your hearts, mind and strength even down to the i and dot of an i. How are you doing going about doing that? Probably not too well. Thank God Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” Jesus fulfilled the Law for us. All of it. He completed the Law of Moses, the Covenant with Israel, set it aside and made a new covenant with us. This is God’s New Covenant with us: I am your God. You are my people. I forgive your sins for Jesus’ sake and remember them no more. I give you my Holy Spirit who writes my Law upon your hearts and in your hearts you will keep and do all my will. My Son Jesus will live his life out in you and I will live, will and work in you to do my will. John in his first epistle tells us this, “This is the commandment of God, believe in his Son Jesus Christ whom he has sent and love your neighbor as yourself.” This is the New Covenant we live under. The old is passed with ALL its laws, commandments, etc. .Thanks be to God Jesus presents all who trust in him for their salvation blameless, righteous and holy to his Father in heaven.
Heavenly Father, apart from faith in Jesus Christ your son we can do no good. Grant us faith and your Holy Spirit to trust Christ and to love our neighbor as ourselves. In Jesus name. Amen.