This morning we kicked back into our Sermon on the Mount series with the staff here at KIVU. We finished last week with the Salt and Light analogy, and today was the first time we read where Jesus started to address the "religious" leaders of the day.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly 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. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
The significance of this set up couldn't be more overstated. Jesus begins to draw in the religious-ness of the day as He begins to outline some of the parts of faith setting apart the Kingdom of God from the World.
One of the staff members this morning used a metaphor of God who used the law to put a cast on humanity. He set up the rules and boundaries so we knew right from wrong. He delivered the righteousness of faith through Moses and the Prophets of old. And now Jesus is about to show the importance of living righteous without the boundaries of the cast. It's the difference in living by the law or living by the spirit of the law.
Intuitively it seems as though the spirit of the law might be an easier way to live. Images of freedom and deciding what the core of faith can be in your own heart drive us to develop systems of belief whereby Jesus morphs into this hippie walking through a squishy life.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
The spirit of the law requires dedication and devotion to understanding the heart of God. The law is easy. Check the box and you know where you stand. The Spirit of the law is much more difficult to learn how to live by. We have to be in constant communication with the overall philosophy of God's worldview to understand the essence of the life He wants us to live.
It was a POWERFUL morning, and we spent a significant amount of time praying to understand how God came to fulfill the giving of the law to us here on the planet.