Jesus and the Law

Today’s reading is Luke 6: 1-19

rootedchristWe see in today’s reading part of the running debate between Jesus and the religious leaders regarding the law.  It is easy when we read this to think that the religious leaders are just bad guys that only want to harm others.  How can they be against Jesus healing on the Sabbath?  That’s so wrong.  What’s their deal?  Well, here is what is going on.  The religious leaders were not bad people.  They had just put their focus on the wrong thing.

If you go back in the history books, you’ll see that the people were taken into exile by the Babylonians.  Why?  They broke the law and the covenants.  The religious leaders decided while in exile if they ever got out, they would build a religious system that would keep them from breaking the law and thus keep them from experiencing God’s judgment.  The religious system that was set up was not “bad” it was done to allow the people to know how to obey the law and keep them from breaking it.

But what happened was this.  The teachers began to focus more on the human portion of the law instead of the heart of the law, mercy, justice, loving God fully and loving your neighbor fully.  In short, they began to focus more on legalism than upon holiness.  So when Jesus healed on the Sabbath or His disciples ate grain on the sabbath the religious leaders lost their minds, because they were so afraid of breaking the law that they had missed the point of the law.

Jesus never called His followers, then or now, to break God’s law.  He did, however, call (them and us) to follow not just the letter of the law, but the heart of the law.  Today, may we live, love, and serve our God fully.

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