The Law

I’m passing this along as a reflection on Christ’s words about fulfilling the Law and what that means. I continue to believe we misinterpret when we think Jesus or Paul meant to remove Gods Law. It makes more sense to see their comments as speaking to its relative importance (Mark 12:33) rather than as its exclusion.

Mark seems to express the down to earth “man on the street” understanding.

Mark 12:28-34

28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.

The “fulfillment of the law” makes more sense to refer to His redemptive grace as the ultimate paschal lamb rather than the removal of the law that helps us understand the need for that very same redemption. Without the law we are not aware of our sin and don’t understand our need for His redemptive sacrifice and blood.

Our society wants us to remove the law and so remove the understanding of our sinfulness and continual need of Gods redemptive grace. The world says everything is relative and so not sinful therefore we don’t need Redemption, we don’t need God.

Luke 24:44-47 (right before his Ascension…what was fulfilled is what was spoken about the messiah and his redemptive death)

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem

Matthew 5:17-20 (right after giving direction about how to live a blessed life…beatitudes…the law will not pass away until the earth passes away.)

17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

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About Rob Brock

A Catholic convert with a fire for discipleship, catechesis, and formation that leads to transformed lives in Christ. View all posts by Rob Brock

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