Saturday, June 9, 2012

Two Laws

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." (Matthew 22:34-40 KJV)

A hundred years before Jesus, Rabbi Hillel said the same thing. Hillel was asked if he could teach the Law while standing on one foot, so he raised one foot and said, "Love God with all your heart, mind and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself. The rest is commentary.

The Law was written similar to the way law codes are written now: there are really two laws:
1. Love God
2. Love Neighbor

Beneath those laws are 10 sub-sections:
A. No idols
B. Do not murder, etc.

And beneath those are specific laws intended as examples of what love God & neighbor look like (Col 2:16-17).

Jesus "fulfilled" the Law, which is not the same as ended just as "inspired" does not mean God dictated the Bible to human secretaries who transcribed it inerrantly.  The two laws will never end until love ends (1 Cor 13:8) - but what love means changes as culture changes so that it might not be necessary to get our neighbors ox out of a ditch (Ex 23:4-5), but he might need us to help pull his car out.

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