The Lord has called us to be faithful obedient people, while we are failures in this, our one hope is Jesus Christ.
Luke 16:14-18 – Focus on verses 17 & 18
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
16 ‘The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
God’s Law presents a whole range of problems and joys to Christians. On the one hand, it is good to know what God says is right and what is wrong. We feel secure when we know what to do. It can save a lot of agonizing decisions. On the other hand, the downside can be devastating. We might know what we are supposed to do but the bigger problem is acting on it – and we don’t!! God’s Law will always stand as something that condemns us. When Jesus speaks as he does in our verses for today, we are left wondering how we can deal with that. We don’t show faithfulness. He quite clearly says to us that the law won’t change so we deserve to be eternally condemned.
Like all the teaching of the Bible, this must be understood in the light of the gospel. The law doesn’t change, we break it therefore our one hope can only be Jesus Christ our Lord. In fact, in Galatians 3:24 we read, “The law has been our teacher leading us to Christ, so that we might be justified through faith.” We find when led to the Lord Jesus Christ that all the requirements of the law are fulfilled by him for us. He has been perfectly obedient for us. The punishment we deserve for our failure to keep the commands has been poured out on him. It is the great transfer for believers. Our sin transferred onto Jesus and his obedience is transferred onto us. Praise God the law doesn’t change because all its benefits and none of its problems rest on us because of Jesus. We can then use the law as the guide for our behaviour as we express thanksgiving to our Lord; thanksgiving because we already have salvation!
The next thing that Jesus mentions here is an application of the law to a question of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Two important lessons lie in this. Firstly, as elsewhere in the Bible, the marriage relationship is used to illustrate the nature of the relationship of Christ and his Church; we need to consider this statement in that light as well. Jesus describes the relationship as one of faithfulness made unbreakable by the law. The implication is that he expects his people to remain loyal to him as he surely remains loyal to us. Secondly, and more literally, in the light of this, the Lord expects that faithfulness to be reflected in the marriages of his people. Where there is failure, and forgiveness is needed, it is found through Jesus Christ.
Head: Consider if you have a high esteem of God’s law even though it provides clear condemnation.
Heart: The deepest love for Jesus is appropriate because he has rescued us from utter condemnation.
Hands: How can you express thanks today for the loyalty of Jesus to you? What can you do in all your relationships today to reflect that you belong to Jesus?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess to you that I fail you by not keeping your commandments to me. I deserve to be condemned. Thank you that I have perfect hope in my Lord Jesus Christ who has done all things perfectly for me. Help me to trust in his faithfulness. In Jesus name. Amen.
A song to listen to: This is Love
Living Church – Creek Road