If you love Me, keep My commandments (John 14:15, NKJV).
Though many leaders in Israel highly exalted the law, some misunderstood its purpose, believing that they could obtain righteousness by obeying the law. As Paul was to write:
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God (Rom. 10:3).
This is why Jesus often questioned, and even disapproved of, the traditions of the religious elders (Mark 7:1-13). And their misunderstanding was why they criticized and confronted Him about His views of the law.
It is important to understand that, although Jesus criticized the openly legalistic practices of the Pharisees, He exalted the Ten Commandments, clearly affirming the perpetuity of the Decalogue and explaining its meaning and purpose. Christ Himself said that He had come to fulfill the law (Matt. 5:17). In many ways, His death was the ultimate revelation of the continued validity of God’s law.
This week we will analyze Jesus’ teachings in regard to the law and the impact His teachings should have in our lives.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, September 6.