SUNDAY AUGUST 31 Jesus Did Not Change the Law What does Matthew 5:17–19 teach about Jesus’ attitude toward the law? Although the word law is often used to refer to the first five books of the Bible (also known as Pentateuch or Torah), in this case the context seems to indicate that He was referring primarily to the Ten Commandments. When saying He had not come to “destroy” the law, Jesus is literally saying, I have not come to make invalid or abolish the Ten Commandments. His statement is very clear and probably meant to show that it was the religious elders, not He, who had been destroying the law, reducing its effect through their tradition (see Matt. 15:3, 6). In contrast, by filling it with a deeper meaning, Christ had come to “fulfill” the law, thus giving us an example of what perfect obedience to the will of God looks like. (See Rom. 8:3, 4.) Read Acts 7:38. Who was the Angel who spoke to Moses and gave him the law on Mount Sinai? (See Isa. 63:9, 1 Cor. 10:4.) Why is this important? “Christ was not only the leader of the Hebrews in the wilderness . . . but it was He who gave the law to Israel. Amid the awful glory of Sinai, Christ declared in the hearing of all the people the ten precepts of His Father’s law. It was He who gave to Moses the law engraved upon the tables of stone.”—Ellen G. White, Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 366. The fact that Christ Himself gave the law to Moses on Mount Sinai makes it even more important for us to take it seriously. Also, if the Lawgiver Himself further explained it through His teachings, as we find in the Gospels, we would do well to obey that law. One would be hard pressed to find in the life and teachings of Jesus anything imply-ing that the Ten Commandments are not binding on Christians. On the contrary, His words and example teach us the opposite. Though we know that the law is still binding, we also know that it does not, indeed cannot, save us. (See Gal. 3:21.) How then do we understand the relationship between law and grace?
Posted on: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:31:21 +0000
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