After four hundred years of slavery, living under another people’s law, the newly emancipated Hebrew people needed something to guide the way. God gave them the 10 Commandments through Moses. He has simple rules, easy to understand, not too wordy. But you see, we seem to not appreciate simplicity. Over the centuries, the Hebrews continued “clarify” what God had meant. They added over 600 laws for their people to follow. These covered how to dress, how to greet people, how to worship, how to interact with everyone else in the society, etc. These laws became so complicated and detailed that it was easy to violate them. Some laws even contradicted other laws, making it actually impossible to avoid a violation.
In our own country, we repeated very much the same process. We took 10 original laws (of course these were man made laws and not God’s laws) and we spent the next couple centuries complicating every law in the land. Now we have such a complicated legal system that it wastes billions of dollars every year. While it took the Israelies many centuries to over complicate their legal instructions, we managed to accomplish even more complication in a fraction of the time.
But our solution to this over complication is really not that different to the solution that was offered to the Jews. The way this solution came about was rather tricky however. At the time that Jesus’ ministry had begun to grow, the Pharisees and Sadducees were the ruling classes of the Jews. Both groups struggled with the fact that Jesus did things differently and that they could not control Him. So they sought to trick Him so that others would see He was not in fact a good Rabbi to follow.
“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””
Then Paul said in 1 Cor 13, that if we have it all, do everything right… but have not love, then it is all for not. Then another Paul was joined by John, Peter and Ringo… saying, “All we need is love.”
Jesus’ point was in the last phrase of the passage; that all law of Moses, of the Prophets, of all spiritual leaders… every last law we live under today, are all dependent upon the kind of love that Jesus spoke of. If we truly love God with everything we have AND we love our neighbor as much as we love ourselves, then we will be doing all that God has asked of us. No amount of human law can ever change that, it can only complicate it.
I pray that you appreciate my blogs. They are my way of journaling as I read His word. If you do like them, please be sure to click the Follow Hisfamily Ministries button in the top right corner AND to spread the word. Share these posts with others and perhaps they will be blessed too.