February 3, 2017: Jesus, a Law-Breaker or a Law-Bringer?

Morning: Matthew 5:17-26; Noon: Exodus 20:18-22:31; Evening: Psalm 23

Have you ever experienced a transition in bosses and said to yourself, “I’m so glad there is new boss in town! Things are going to get a whole lot easier now”? Maybe you didn’t say it in that exact way, but you may have been thinking something along those lines. Perhaps the old boss was hard-lined and showed little flexibility. The new boss suddenly brought hope for change and the assumption that things would get better, at least in what you termed “better.”

Much like a new boss, the Messiah’s coming also brought with it the hope of change and ultimately a better life. The Mosaic law had certainly become a heavy yoke to bear, and certain factions of Judaism had made things even more difficult. The Messiah’s coming did bring hope, and a more abundant life He did provide. However, the change that would come would not be one of complete reversal or destruction of the old way. Instead, the change was one that would funnel through the old law, and eventually blossom into a greater more mature spiritual government. Jesus would continue to exercise law in His kingdom, and His righteousness would exceed even that of the Pharisees! This principle is exemplified in what follows as one of His first executive orders. The guilt of murder shall no longer be recognized as an external act only, but one that may even be charged against one internally! Of course, it is true that the old law had implied these same principles already, but they had fallen by the wayside through the corruption and neglect of religious leaders.

How do you think most people interpret Jesus rule today? Some would suggest that in fulfilling the Old Law, He has now done away with the concept of law altogether. Do you think that would be consistent with Jesus character? Jesus established His kingdom with great respect for the former law, even reaffirming principles that had been abandoned and forgotten. Would Jesus then turn around and establish anarchy in His own kingdom? One that was governed purely out of the emotional impulses of men? If you have time, consider some of these passages and see what you think: Matthew 7:21-23, 28:18-20; John 15:10; Acts 2:42; Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 5:24; Colossians 3:27; 2 John 9; Revelations 22:14.

Is Jesus ruling over you?

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