I am glad wise and just were not in the evangelists’ descriptions of the rich ruler who approached Yeshua with a question that should shock both Jew and Gentile. The question puts Moses and the prophets in poor a light as possible. Dead on arrival describes the truth seeker who has the misfortune of running into a Pharisee (isolationist) or an “expert”.
What the one good thing a Jew might do (to inherit life) might had definitely eluded the Jewish people. One might say they rejected it. All the covenant-making, glory, patriarchs and the seed of the ages, were not good enough: questions were better than faith. That is why the claim of descent from Abraham and is to be taken with a grain of salt.
The man in Mt. 19:16 was not described as one of the testers sent out by the religious factions opposed to Yeshua.
And behold, a man came up to him, saying, Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life? (have, better, get)
The gospel is not debatable. Its promise and purpose were not revealed to Jew or Gentile so that no party will be able to say they had advanced notice. No one with eyes or ears can ever say they do not see or hear the difference. People who say the gospel is simply more of the same (law, prophets, and writings, patriarchal customs and folk tales) are likely to be fence-sitters. They are likely to be suffering from indecision
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Do you trust someone who tells you he can describe your new life in detail? If you do, what do you have to work out in fear and trembling?
What does someone need to tell you about the Saviour that takes up to 14 years? If you are not a miseducated zealot like Saul of Tarsus God is ready to connect with you and connect you with his church the moment you confess and believe.
Should we not follow the lead of the apostles in acknowledging the believer’s journey?
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Matthew 23:15
Every time you run to the words of Moses and prophets you disrespect God. Like a dog to its vomit and a pig to the mud, you forget who matters.
In the first six chapters of Matthew’s gospel alone we find the following direct commands of the Saviour of the world. None are intended to test or prove the hearer (prove, Exo. 20:19-20) nor yet to show him lost and condemned (Romans 3:19-20). If we take the time to examine for ourselves the obedience claims and the love practices of our brothers we will find a black hole of kindergarten pictures and toys arranged around a death cult. The words of the many are decidedly unlike Yeshua’s words. From the Life comes life, and from the dead, death.
It is obvious that finding all the relevant commands by Yeshua and his apostles is neither recommended nor healthy. The Holy Spirit is the dynamic guide and that relationship is intensely personal. The Holy Scriptures, which people are interpreting to put human beings ahead of Christ, is not private at all, but they are the measuring stick for the hypocritically righteous crew. Listen closely and you will hear them saying, “Oh look! We found another command. ‘Thou shalt not sin.'”
Chasing commands can become ridiculous. It is destructive. Even the evaluation of someone’s lunch shows the absence of genuine love.
Think soberly the next time you are tempted to say “I love Jesus and am keeping his commandments”
Here is a phrase you have probably heard. It is trash. Someone’s mouth is in gear but the engine is not running.
Maybe one can talk without words but no Christian can believe or live without faith.
The FIRST RIGHTEOUS MAN needed to hear nothing from the Law. It had nothing to say to him. He had a singular focus and source, His Father, for words and actions, and with atomic precision, on laying his life down and taking it again. Finding the gold of revelation has kept men busy while the glitter seems to be everywhere. John the Baptist let Israel know that the tree was about to fall, and that the symbols and analogies were about to be swallowed up by the reality of God’s Son. We, 2000 years later are trying to turn the tree’s stump, rotting leaves, broken branches, spoiled halfripe fruit, types and carnal regulations into Edenic greatness.
Moses commanded the Israelites, He never commands God. He does not, like Isaiah and Daniel, call the nations (gentile/heathen) to peace with God. God’s Son showed that he was not interested in carrying out sentence against violators of the law when he was asked to concur with an execution by stoning. Genuine love constrained him.
Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? John 8:5
But was he only objecting to a case of injustice because the man who slept with the woman was not accused? Was he signaling the end injustice by law? No-one was ever rendered sinless for the purpose of stoning. Hence every instance of stoning was a miscarriage of justice whether the person was innocent or guilty. Apparently, executing innocent people was not unheard of in Israel. The weightier matters of the law, if one is looking for the gold, should be full compliance (a failed enterprise), but that is not what Yeshua taught. He taught that justice, mercy and faith[fulness] were the priorities. The Decalogue never says “Forgive those that wrong you”.
Would Jesus agree with Paul (1 Timothy 1:5-11) that the law
1. Is for producing love without pretence
2. Is for lawless people
3. Is for disobedient people
4. Is for the ungodly
5. Is for sinners
6. Is for the unholy
7. Is for the profane
8. Is for murderers of fathers
9. Is for murderers of mothers
10. Is for manslayers
11. Is for whoremongers
12. Is for them that defile themselves with mankind
13. Is for menstealers
14. Is for liars
15. Is for perjured persons
16. Is for (PEOPLE ENGAGED IN) any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine?
This incomplete list of 16 tells us that Paul is not seeing “Law” as the ten commandments. Is Paul out on a limb? Why would any Christian adopt the Law as delight for night and day? There is only terror.
Christ was born subject to the Law but it was never his guide. People who accept Christ’s offer of life are freed from the law, free from its curses, free from death, and free from condemnation. The only barrier against failure is Christ himself, not our performance.
The first RIGHTEOUS MAN did not need to hear thou shalt not. The law was not proclaimed to produce righteousness. Commandment-keeping by grace is a $13 coin. Grace works through faith in the service of salvation, and the Law is not a faith venture. In response to the Law one either can say “I am guilty” or be silent.
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the Lord, who addressed the words of this song to the Lord on the day when the Lord rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said: (Psalms 18:1-2)
With no enemies left what can life be? For David, love celebration.
I love you, O Lord, my strength.
There is no mention here of either sword or slingshot. God is powering him.
See how he thinks of God!
The Lord is
OMG!!! Have you seen those incredibly bewitched people who want to see all followers of Yeshua circumcised and enrolled as Moses’ disciples?
Everything is the law and the prophets
Law and prophets made their exit when John the Baptist showed up.
The crooked paths must leave the building.
What exactly is the character that God is forming in us? Is it not the goal for Christ to be formed in us, (Galatians 4:19)? Yeshua had a crisp view of what is great about the sacred texts, and that for Him and the early disciples was the Law. The great thing about the Torah is not found in the Covenant Handwriting (the Decalogue). It is obvious to us, as it was to the succeding generations of Hebrew people, that there had to be a break in the anxiety and fruitless labour cycle. They could not keep claiming that the law is great and does wonders for the people who embrace it, while no exit appears. This is where the search for the one thing to do begins. If one violation brings the sacred journey to a screeching halt, one has reason to think that there is one thing that can either end the cycle or put the traveller on the right path. If one’s character is defined by what one does not do, we have to admit that the character remains hidden, because one can actually do nothing that is good and just and holy and still claim to be obedient. People have a longing to be accepted as something they are not. The things God wants to produce in us are not inaction and condemnation.
Trying to debate one’s way into righteousness is still popular. Yeshua faced it regularly.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Matthew 22:35-36
The answer to this question does more than state what is great in the law. It also shows two ideas as false. First that only the Decalogue is admissible as a moral guide. Neither total love for God nor love for one’s neighbour is found in the Decalogue. Second, the vast majority of Christians legitimately have no regard for dietary scruples, what to wear, or festivals of any kind. It is moot to mention the issues of uncleanness or rebellious children, two (of many) circumstances which can result in capital punishment.
Consider the injustices that would abound if people are being sentenced to death for sabbath violation anywhere on the planet today.. Who would be the executioners? If people are being cut off for coming into contact with unclean animals, other individuals or vessels anywhere on the planet today there would be no safe place anywhere. There would be all kinds of kangaroo courts and lynchings, but Christ does not allow condemnation.
If law is paramount then someone had better tell us who is responsible for our conduct and for seeing that the consequences apply. Christians who think they know the law and do everything to put it at the top of their list have removed themselves from any benefit of grace. The Law is not of faith: faith liberates and law imprisons. The Law was not introduced for righteous people; but some people do not believe that the saved are also justified, are just and holy and good. The Law was not introduced to create righteous people. That is why the evangelists wrote “The law was done when John showed up”. By the time Christ died on the cross the law was the husband of yesterday, the man we had no right to be in bed with.
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