Jesus reinterprets Torah for disciples in Idaho Falls

Read Matthew 9:1-12:50

Some come to Jesus and say, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”  In response, the master Rabbi teaches the Jews how He, “the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

I like what Michael Williams recently wrote in 2012, “Like Moses, Jesus came to deliver his people from their bondage to the law into a place of rich life.  That place is found in relationship with him.  And when the law is correctly understood, it points to the same thing.  Some Jews, at least, had missed the point.  They had focused so narrowly on the law that they hadn’t seen the expansive life to which it pointed.  They were like someone who stands too close to an impressionistic painting.  Near the painting all the dabs and strokes of paint seem to be a random jumble of unrelated color.  But as you back away, the larger coherence and purpose of all those details come into focus. . . . By quoting the Old Testament more than any other New Testament author, by repeatedly indicating that what was written in the Old Testament finds its realization in the life and ministry of Jesus, and by structuring his gospel around five key discourses (to parallel the five books of the Old Testament), Matthew makes his unique perspective clear:  Jesus fulfills the Old Testament.  He fulfills its demands, and he fulfills its intention.  He has not come to replace the Old Testament revelation with something different, but to cause the intent and purpose of the Old Testament to finally be realized.  ‘Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets.  I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.’  Jesus fulfills the Torah, or law, of Moses.  But he fulfills its original intent, which was far different from what the teachers of the law understood it to be.  The Torah, as Jesus describes it, was not intended to be a fence to keep out life, but rather a fence to keep out death.  It was not intended to be an enemy of life, but rather a description of life.  Jesus reinterprets the law of Moses by stripping off the layers of paint that had been applied to it by the religious leaders and revealing its original beauty and character underneath.  When restored to its luster, the law emerges as a description of the deepest possible human experience of life with our Creator and with those who bear his image.  Because Jesus reveals that kind of life perfectly, and because He is the one who makes that kind of life possible for us, he is the fulfillment and focus of the entire Old Testament.  This is the good news worth exploring and experiencing!”

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