We sometimes wonder how on earth the Jews were supposed to follow all the decrees and laws that were put in place. To make matters worse they kept adding to them and making them even more unattainable. The purpose of all those laws wasn’t meant to have them fulfil them all but to put their trust in a God who would love them. Jesus turned that all in and said love God, love your neighbour, accept my sacrifice and work at telling others about me. Are you focused on rules or are you working on your relationship with God and reaching others?
One day Jesus spoke the following to those following:
If you believed Moses, you would believe me,
for he wrote about me.
But since you do not believe what he wrote,
how are you going to believe what I say?”
(John 5:46-47 NIV)
There are some who believe that the Old Testament is irrelevant and not required for Christian living. I make the case that even Jesus knew the Old Testament scriptures were a valued part of His ministry.
In the above verse, for example, Jesus was explaining to the people that if they couldn’t believe the teachings of Moses how were they going to grasp His. The crowd had been living their lives with the understanding that to get close to God you needed to follow all the rules, ones made by God and the ones added by the religious leaders. God to them was a stickler for the rules and ready to smack your hand with a ruler if you didn’t.
The OT is filled with lots of life lessons, and we do see all the laws that seem overwhelming that were given to the Jews. God gave those to His chosen people to help them to be set apart from the normal. If they lived a lifestyle that God had shown them they would have never been defeated so many times. Their health would have been amazing, their love life with their wives would have been the envy of every outside man. They (and I can only assume this) would have become the greatest nation on earth and would still be around today.
But they didn’t, so Jesus said if You can’t even follow the teachings of Moses, how are you going to follow mine?
Pick up the bible, study a book of the OT, dig deep and see what truths you can find that lead you to Jesus. Apply them to your life and grow. They will show you how to love God as Jesus told us. They will give you wisdom on how to love your neighbour. The OT will point you to Jesus through the words spoken about him ages before he was even born. You will see the importance of reaching the lost with the message of His love. Jesus didn’t throw out the OT but showed us a perspective of how it can be applied to our lives.
Dear Jesus, your whole word is important to us. Help me to take time daily reading your scriptures, I ask You to reveal Yourself to me in everything I read. Guide us in how to reach others who don’t know your love. Show us how to love God more and how much he loves us. Help us to love our neighbours with a love beyond our comprehension. Let us live our lives working at improving our relationship with you and not on rules.
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