Pod Prep: 4-29-16
God Is Not Petty but Abundant In His Laws of Love
God Is Not Petty In His Administration of the Laws of Love
When we read Romans 14 it is clear that God does not want people dividing and quarreling over doubtful issues. Note that the weak brother is the one that is most fearful and picky about meats because they might have been sacrificed to idols. See Romans 14:2. Paul says be tolerant of the weak brother. David and a few of his men were running for their lives and God allowed them some tolerance in regard to laws about sacred food. Christ used that example to explain to the Pharisees that His disciples were not breaking the Sabbath by gathering a small amount of food as they traveled on the Sabbath. Christ went out of his way to heal on the Sabbath breaking burdensome Pharisaical rules on the administration of the Sabbath. Note Mark 3:1-5. They knew Christ could heal and that healing was a sign that God supported what He was doing. Yet they still acted out of jealousy and pettiness regarding their rules of administrating the Sabbath. The Jews went from being much too lax concerning God’s Laws and getting in trouble, to becoming merciless in their administration of the law. Christ was trying to draw them back to proper administration of the laws of God. They transgressed the spirit of God’s laws to enact their own laws. Christ never broke any of God’s Laws. Mark 2:23-28, Mat. 5:18-20, Mat 15:19, Mat 19:17.
Note that in Mark 2:24-27 Jesus explains to them that the purpose of the Sabbath is to refresh mankind spiritually and physically and their administration of it was voiding the true purpose of the Sabbath. Note also Matt 12:4-8. People felt hemmed in and miserable on the Sabbath under that kind of administration. The Pharisees forgot that the Sabbath is a Feast day. It should be a festival built around worship of the creator God. He created the Sabbath by resting from his other creative work. Christ said He is Lord of the Sabbath. They were spiritually so mismanaging the laws that they were misleading the people. They were petty. Note Mark 8:15. In comparison to these worldly leaders of Judah, Christ’s administration of God’s ways was easy, yet deeply spiritual. See Matt 11:28-29.
Gods administration of His Laws show His love and friendship for us
Our first goal is to improve and deepen our relationship with God. We need to learn that He loves us. Everything God does is for our ultimate benefit because He loves us. See John 3:16-17. It is a wonderful thing to be chosen to be part of the first resurrection. Note I Peter 2:9. John explains that if we keep His Commandments in the right manner we abide in God’s love and are close friends of Jesus Christ. See John 15:9-10, 14-15. In God’s mercy he showed his love for us while we were sinners. See Romans 5:8. God will guard us until His second coming. Note II Tim 1:12.
Christ filled and raised the Laws of Love to great spiritual heights
Jesus said in Matt 5:17 that He came to FILL UP OR FULFIL THE LAW. It is obvious as one reads this Sermon on the Mount, that Christ is making the law fuller, stronger and more comprehensive. He is giving it more depth and spiritual meaning and application. The law of love is raised up to a high standard. No doubt this standard was meant originally, but the Israelites never fully understood it. Possibly Moses and a few prophet might be the exception.
Note Matt 5:21-22 Jesus is saying that it is not enough to just avoid murder. One must not hate someone or condemn them in an angry manner.
Jesus said we should not only not commit adultery but not even look upon a woman to think about it. Note Matt 5:27-28.
Further, He said one should not just love our friends but show love in our actions to even our enemies. If only our present society could be lifted to such heights. No violence! Note Matt 5: 44-46.
Balanced Administration and Spiritual Depth Are Not Contradictory
Balance actually supports mercy, grace and the depth of the law of love when properly understood. The Scribes and Pharisees ruled the people theologically in a manner that included over 630 rules. Most of which were excessive. This did not make the people extremely righteous. It probably drove many people away from God or made them self-righteous like the weak ones mentioned in Romans 14. The brother who is overly sensitive and easily offended is the weaker Christian.