No Love Without Obedience

Matthew 5:17-19
2 Cor 3:4-11 / Ps 99:5,6,7,8,9

Whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:19)

Those who prefer not to obey
God’s laws will lose 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 come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, 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. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Reflection

Our greatest model of faith and obedience in the Old Testament is Abraham. Out of His love, trust and obedience to God, He was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac. (Gen. 22). His faith in God exceeded his love for his own son. Next to Abraham was Moses, through whom Yahweh God handed the Law, the Ten Commandments. God exalted Moses for his obedience and perseverance. The third major figure in the Old Testament was King David. Even though he had Yahweh’s Spirit with him, he still looked to the Law for guidance. (Psalms 119)

The examples and teachings of these three great patriarchs of old have not lost their relevance in the course of mankind’s history. People nowadays 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 people today are drawn into so-called liberated faiths, 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 His 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 Jesus but not in the creation account, the great flood in Noah’s time, or the law that was given by God to Moses in Mt. Sinai. Questioning the Old Testament, which Jesus taught, would be questioning the authority and relevance of Jesus Himself.

Our Lord always emphasized the sacredness and validity of Scripture. Love and obedience to God’s laws 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 should strive to follow and learn God’s Word assiduously, so that in the process, we can earn the gifts of the Holy Spirit and also teach His Good News to others. It should be our major preoccupation, our mission, 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 become worthy of Your great love. Amen.

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