Matthew 5:17-20, Matthew 22:34–40, John 13:31-35
It is not a minor thing for Jesus to affirm the Law and the Prophets. It is an essential fact to understand. Jesus in no way denied being a Jew, nor did he say being a Jew is bad. Over the course of history, it was bad theology that led people to think that Jews were worse than others. They weren’t, and aren’t.
In fact, if we do not recognize the Jewishness of Jesus, we deny him in many ways. For him to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament, he had to be Jewish. This is incredibly important to understand as the Old Testament is critically important to understand Jesus, salvation, God, and the New Testament.
In many respects, the Law and the Prophets never pass away, they become something far greater. Through their fulfillment, we are able to go beyond their immediate and earthly meaning and find something far deeper and greater…the depths of God’s love.
Love is supposed to be the motivator, whether it is our relationship with God, or with other people. When other emotions are a significant portion of our relationships, we should recognize that that is not God’s intent. Emotions such as fear, desire to control, hatred, animosity, sadness. These are not the emotions that are healthy for our relationships, especially if they are the primary emotion we feel.
This is also the case in our relationship with God, yet many people (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) are taught that we are to fear God. Not the “He is God, the all-powerful, Creator-of-the-Universe” fear; the abject fear of someone who is afraid of another in such a way that loving is not possible.
1) If a person’s primary relating emotion is not love, how would they understand Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross?
2) Many people state and even believe that their primary motivation and behavior toward others is love. How does one validate or invalidate that?
3) How do you move a person more toward love, and away from other emotions?
4) What emotions (other than love) do you struggle with the most?