Love Cannot Exist Without the Law

Matthew 5: 17-19
Dt 4:1,5-9 / Ps 147

Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:19)

Those who prefer not to obey
God’s laws forfeit heaven’s treasure,
Those who submit will find the way;
Obedience is love’s true measure.

Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish but to fulfill them. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter, or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Reflection

Moses was Yahweh God’s greatest patriarch and first steward of the Law, the Ten Commandments. God exalted Moses for his obedience and perseverance. The other keeper of the law in the Old Testament was King David. Even though he had Yahweh’s Spirit within him, he still looked to the Law for guidance. (Psalms 119)

The examples and teachings of these two great patriarchs of old have not lost their relevance in the course of mankind’s history. People today need to know that the Ten Commandments, the Psalms, and the other books of the Old Testament have not become antiquated nor irrelevant. The law of God is as much in effect today as it was 3,400 years ago when God gave it to Moses in Mt. Sinai. It is because they think it has become irrrelevant that many young people today indulge in drugs, engage in pre-marital sex, and are drawn into so-called liberated beliefs, like the New Age. We all need to constantly go back to the roots of our faith to understand the mysteries of God’s Word, and be guided in the path of righteousness.

Jesus never regarded the Scriptures of old as unimportant or irrelevant. In fact, in several Gospel accounts, He always quoted from the books of the Old Testament. For Him, the Scriptures were no less than the Word of God, bearing authority and power. We cannot say we believe in our Lord Jesus Christ if we reject the laws of the Old Testament. It would be a contradiction to say that we believe in the words of Jesus but not in the creation account, or the great fllood in Noah’s time, or that the law was given by God to Moses in Mt. Sinai. If we don’t believe the Old Testament, how can we believe Jesus Who taught about them? We might as well be questioning the authority and relevance of Jesus Himself.

Our Lord always emphasized the sacredness and validity of Scripture. “Not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law until all things have taken place.” (Mt.5:18) Obedience to God’s laws and love are the two recurring themes in His teachings. His love has transformed us, but we still need God’s laws and ordinances in Scripture to guide us to His kingdom. Together with the strength, perseverance and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, we strive to follow and learn God’s Word assiduously, and in the process, earn the gifts of the Spirit in order that we can also teach His Good News to others. It becomes our major preoccupation, our mission, our joy and our life.

Those who fear the Lord disobey not His words; those who love Him keep His ways. (Sirach 2:15) By being faithful to all Your commands, Lord, I hope to be deserving of Your great love. Amen.

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