Today's Lectionary Text
Matthew 5:17-18Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For I truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished
In these verses from Matthew 5:17-18, Jesus Christ spoke about what many still are trying to say today -- the law does not apply now that Christ has come; the Old Testament is not necessary for us to achieve the goal offered us in Christ Jesus by Grace. That is just not so.
Psalm 78:2 speaks of the Old Testament writings of the law and the prophets saying: “I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from of old.” Jesus Christ spoke in parables so that the hidden meaning of the words of old would still be hidden, except they were made known through His life example. Jesus Christ lived out the teachings of the Prophets and He lived into the Law and what was said to be good and not sin according to God's Law given to the people to understand sin.
Many of the day, and even today, feel that they just can't understand the Bible and its truth. That is why so many stay away from Bible study and church. They feel they have come to know what is necessary for life on earth and they do not believe there is a need for “what was written” long ago. That “wisdom” of the old sayings and truths is exactly what is missing in the world today. It never really caught on and practiced by the multitudes; instead, the crowds always sought out the powerful leaders who promised good things yet gave out only crumbs because of their selfishness for themselves. Money and power corrupt even those who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, as they become more established in their position. People do not seek to share their abundance with anyone, for they love having the privileges provided by their position. They like the feeling of power, and they don't want to share what they have with anyone. Often if there is a partnership, it becomes evident that two powerful people cannot agree on what is right and good for all. Only Jesus Christ is able to discern what is good and right for us and He said it begins with obedience to the law and the prophets.
Grace isn't God's Grace until we first repent of our sins and lean into living as Christ by the Spirit's leading us into understanding the mysteries of the Old Testament Lessons concerning living for God. Jesus Christ came to show us how to live into the life God desires for us to live. All we have to do is seek to be like Him, and we can only do that when we leave the worldly temptations behind us and live for Christ in the world doing good for others and telling them all we have learned.
“Teaching them,” that comes from the Great Commission that Jesus Christ left with the disciples and for all generations after them. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20) This applies today to all who seek to follow Jesus Christ into glory. There are no short cuts, and it depends on your decision to live as God instructed us in the Old and New Testaments through the Law, the Prophets, and finally the Life of Jesus Christ, His Son. Are you up for the things of today that we all have to do for Christ in making disciples?
--Pastor Rodney Heilbrun
Franklin First and Macon UMC’s
Prayer for Reflection
I pray that the Holy Spirit of God, who comes upon all who call on the name of Jesus Christ as Lord, will lead you into all righteousness and living for God in Christ. Asking always in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
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