SIRACH 15:15-20, 1 CORINTHIANS 2:6-10, MATTHEW 5:17-37
“TEACH ME, O LORD, THE WAY OF YOUR STATUTES, AND I WILL OBSERVE IT TO THE END.
GIVE ME UNDERSTANDING, THAT I MAY KEEP YOUR LAW AND OBSERVE IT WITH MY WHOLE HEART”. (Ps 119:33)
Jesus does not abolish the old law, rather he comes to fulfil it!
Jesus preached a Gospel of love, forgiveness and sacrifice. It was different from the existing harsh and punishing Jewish law, and therefore challenged the Pharisees & Scribes. Jesus teaches us the essence of the law, thereby extending it beyond its literal interpretation.
The law condemned adultery, Jesus extends it to condemn lustful thinking. The law condemns killing, Jesus extends it to condemn anger. Jesus is asking us to deal with the root of the problem. If there is no anger there will be no revenge; if there is no lust, there will be no adultery. Jesus’ teachings do not abolish the old law, they simply show you how to uphold them through righteousness. This is true fulfillment. From head knowledge move to heart knowledge.
In today’s ever changing world, we are almost too eager to replace the old with the new –old cars with new one, old televisions & stereos with LCDs & home theatres. This attitude, quite alarmingly, has extended to our value system as well! Love, Sacrifice have been replaced by a new and dangerous value “Materialism” stemming from “Self-love”. We try to justify this in terms of “changing times”. Time does not change, people do.
The law is constant, because it comes from an unchanging God. It is our view and understanding of God that changes, sometimes selflessly leading to fulfillment, but mostly selfishly leading to selfish interpretation of the law. So let our prayer this week be one with that of the Psalmist as he says: