What of the Law?

What of the Law?

You have heard the law… but I say to you!

matthew-5-19You and I are subject to the law and Jesus himself was subject to the law, both human and divine.  As Jesus grew up he obeyed Joseph and Mary. He obeyed the law of the land (Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s).  And, of course, he obeyed the law of God.

In today’s Gospel if we look deep enough, it is Jesus’ attitude about the law that is important to him… and to us!

He found no fault with the law. His problem was the way it was interpreted and applied by the leaders of the day.  For them  it was the letter of the law that was important. Follow that and you were okay.  But for Jesus it was the Spirit of the law that was important.  What was important was not how many commandments we follow or obey, but the spirit in which we obey them.

The Pharisees, both of the time, and the Pharisees of this time, look only to the outward sign. God looks at the heart.  So Jesus tells us to look not just at our actions, but at our thoughts and desires, even though they may never lead to actions.

When we look at the commandments as only addressing acts and actions, such an interpretation leads to minimalism… doing enough just to get by…doing the bare minimum.  But Jesus says they must be interpreted in a positive way; One example: thou shalt not kill.  But he said, interpret this in a positive way.  You must love your neighbor. Another example: thou shalt not steal; And he said you must share your goods with your neighbor when he is in need.  Thus also giving rise to our need to be good stewards of all that is given us… God’s gifts!

~ Deacon Paul

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