Daily Reflection – 6/9/2023
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”( Matthew 5:17-19)
This is one of the most discussed teachings delivered by Christ, because what it means in theory and in practice has been a subject of intense scrutiny for centuries.
Let’s begin with the foundational teaching. Biblical scholars agree that Jesus completes the law of the Old Testament with the new law of love, to love one another as he has loved us.
The law of love reaches to the ends of the earth. There is no created being in the universe that is outside the law of love that Jesus has come to teach us. There is no being, not even the smallest, that escapes the demand of this law. When Jesus says – “the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter”- he is showing us the completeness of this law. Love and its demands reach to the farthest ends of the universe, to the smallest created being, and to the end of time. That truly means that law of love asks us to love all people, not just our family, our friends but even those who rub us the wrong way.
That’s where the going gets tough for most people.
The commandments of the old law as recorded in the Ten Commandments (e.g. Thou shall not kill; Thou shall not commit adultery; etc.) are grave transgressions but they are also easy to define because they relate to external actions.
Christ’s commandments (e.g. to not show anger; to not lust in the heart; to forgive our enemies; etc.) have more subtle expressions, and because of this often times they are more difficult to obey. Living these commandments with the proper motivation and a dedicated attitude is what makes a person great. How? When we follow the law of love, our persona changes. We act out of love, therefore we become love. Kindness marks our actions, therefore we become kind.
Jesus came to challenge us all not only to follow God’s commandments, but to lead others to follow them as well. If we want to truly lead others towards Jesus by following God’s commandments, we cannot simply follow the rules, because people will recognize that we are not being sincere. Instead, we must enter into God’s commandments so that faith is not only going through the actions, but an easily recognized part of our lives.
We should take a few moments to think about ways that we can enter more fully into God’s kingdom. Are we following God’s commandments because we have to? Or have we allowed God’s commandments to enter into our lives? God wants us all to obey his commandments and lead others to follow him; he wants us to be called greatest in his Kingdom!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus Christ, give us the passion to obey Your commandments and teach them to others. Help us to continually become the salt and the Light of the World so that our actions and deeds may become good examples that glorify the Name of our Lord.”
“Love God and do what you will,” said St Augustine. If we really loved God, if we really focused our eyes on Christ, our brother and Redeemer, then we would conform our lives to His. That is where the focus needs to be, not on us but on Him.