JESUS IS OUR MODEL
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.” Matthew 5:17.
Jesus was continually attacked by the Pharisees for “breaking” the law. The problem was that they did not understand what God’s law was about. All God’s commandments were teaching them how to obey the greatest commandment (love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and your neighbour as themselves. – Deuteronomy 6:5; Leviticus 19:18. They thought that keeping the law meant slavishly keeping all sorts of petty rules so that they didn’t offend God and get punished.
That’s what people do who worship false gods and idols. They have to do whatever they can not to offend their gods because, if they do, bad things might happen to them.
Jesus came to show us that God is not like that at all. God is our heavenly Father. He loves us as His sons and daughters. He is not angry with us every time we make a mistake or do something wrong. He sent Jesus to pay the debt for all our sin. He has accepted us back into His family as His children and now He is teaching us how to live as members of His family.
Jesus did not come to do away with God’s holy requirements. He came to show us to fulfil them by loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves because, in that way, we will live the way God wants us to live.
To be a disciple of Jesus is to be generous and kind to everyone because that’s how Jesus treated people when He was here on earth. He did not interpret God’s laws as God’s way of policing us and catching us out when we fail to keep every little detail of the law. He interpreted God’s laws as the way He wants us to show kindness and mercy to people who don’t deserve it because He showed kindness to us through Jesus.
Whenever God spoke to His people through Moses, He said, “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, where you were slaves.” He wanted them to understand that the way they lived was to say “thank you” to God for rescuing them from slavery and leading them, providing for them, protecting them and living among them in the tabernacle all the way from Egypt to the Promised Land.
When they went into the land and drove out the Canaanites, they were not to forget what God had done for them. They were to love Him and one another out of gratitude for His kindness to them.
Jesus came to show His people that God still wanted them to live like that. We must also live thankful lives, following Jesus and doing what He commands us because He rescued us from something far worse than slavery in Egypt. He set us free from slavery to sin, which destroys us, and will eventually send us to hell if we refuse to receive God’s gift of eternal life.
“For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption through His blood , the forgiveness of sins.” Colossians 1:13, 14.
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
Watch this space. My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master, will soon be on the bookshelves