Friday, January 18, 2008

The Law Was Made For Man

Mark 2:23-28.
The disciples pick corn as they walk on the Sabbath. I was struck by the innocence with which the disciples did this. While Jesus and the Pharisees were on the alert for technicalities around the law on the Sabbath, it seems that the disciples weren't. They didn't even realise that they were giving the Pharisees an opening to challenge Jesus.

If the Sabbath was made for man, not vice versa, can we say that the Law was made for man and not man for the Law? I think so. Just a fresh way of looking at it that reminds me that God is not looking for unthinking obedience from us.

Would this mean that it is ok to steal from a person wealthier than you if you are starving? I don't think so, necessarily. But it means that we are encouraged to ask that question. And to keep asking in every situation and context.


John van de Laar said...

Great post, Jenny!

I particularly enjoyed your last paragraph - that we need to be prepared to ask questions in every situation and context.

Michael Card, the Christian musician, has a stunning line in one of his old songs: Could it be that questions tell us more than answers ever do?

After all, Jesus asked more questions than he gave answers!

Sacredise - Seeking to be Fully Alive

rebecca said...

As I read this post the question that was raised in my mind is that the pharisees were one's extremely techincal regarding the law whereas Christ appeared to oppose the Law (but he really wasn't.) in his actions especially towards the weak, the outcasts, the one's who could not enter the temple. I think (and this is just thoughts) is that the Law was used as a weapon to oppress the weak. I see this happening all the time and that was never its intent.


Thomas O. Scarborough said...

I think this is a crucial point. How often do we allow the Law to infiltrate the Church. In my view, all behaviour is directly related to our relationship with Christ, and how we magnify Him. A brief example. If you truly see God as Jehovah Jireh, you won't be thieving. The law, "You shall not steal" becomes obsolete -- rather fulfilled.

Unknown said...

He who has an ear let him hear! Who made the ear for hearing and what was he or she asked to hear?

David Barbour said...

Hi Jenny,

Spent some time in my life in a conservative/legalistic church setup. The pains of breaking out of the mold were traumatic. The guilt one felt, to think differently and express yourself more creatively was implicility forbidden. The freedom I felt though- the moment I did what the community deemed was in error but I knew was more in the Spirit of God. Thank God for Jesus the giver of grace upon grace.


Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks for your comments all! Sorry that I have not responded before - life has been a little stressed!
Becky - I think you have a good point about the law being used to oppress. We do see that now too. I'd like to think about it a bit more.
Yes - the God of questions, mystery, grace and also authority.

tonymyles said...

I like the concept that we see in Joseph's life (Mary's husband). He was known as a "righteous man," but for the first time the word changed in the traditional sense. The old school meaning of righteous was someone who kept the letter of the law, whereas Joseph was known as a "tsadiq," or someone who kept the spirit of the law.

Maybe that's the fuller revelation of following the law as mankind progressed/progresses.