You Can’t Hang on the Law

Daily Reading: (Matthew 22:37-39):

“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

What prompted Jesus’ reply? We learn in Matthew 22:34 that “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together to tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

So, to begin with we have to back it up even further and see how Jesus silenced the Sadducees and why that might have embolden the Pharisees to ask Jesus a question as well?

It all starts in Matthew 22:23: “That same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a question.” We are presented with a hypothetical from the Sadducees, in an attempt to try and argue their belief system of why there can be no such thing as the Resurrection.

Because they don’t believe in the Resurrection (Matthew 22:23)they use a hypothetical situation of a woman having seven different husbands to show how messy it might be in the Resurrection, “whose wife will she be?”

It is important to notice that if there was no Resurrection, death would still have victory over us and we would all remain dead as a result of our sins, so what would the point of this argument even be (Matthew 22:23)? We’d all be in our graves.

So, Jesus says not only is the Resurrection real but….

At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).

What you might not know is that not only did the Sadducees not believe in the Resurrection they also didn’t believe in angels (Matthew 22:30).

“But about the resurrection of the dead—have you not read what God said to you, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

Did you catch that? God is referred to by both Sadducees and Pharisees as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob”. All three of those men are dead, yet God is the “God of the living”, so they must have been resurrected to life (Matthew 22:32).

So now the Pharisees have a question. “Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

This question (Matthew 22:35) was founded on the false opinion that there are relative rankings of importance among God’s commandments. All of God’s commands are important, but they all have the common denominator of love. The law of the land was the law of love. But think about this we don’t need all 613 of them for us to be shown up. Have you ever done these two perfectly all the time?

I think maybe the most important part of what Jesus said is actually the last part and that is the part that is often ignored: “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

The word “hang” (kremannymi) is the same word used for “one hanging upon a cross.”

You can’t hang on the Law. Some people try to. The only one who can hang on the Law must be blameless and pure. His name is Jesus. Jesus sums up the entirety of the law with 2 Commandments that we all went 0 for 2. We failed at following the Law. So, Jesus hung our law failings on Himself so that we might be given His life and truly live. 

Plus One

Plus One Devotional

Daily Reading: Matthew 22:1-4:

“Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.“ Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’”

The wedding of the King’s son is the place you want to be (Matthew 22:2).

“The gospel to me is simply irresistible.”- Blaise Pascal

The invitation to the wedding is irresistible.

Paul would write 1 Corinthians 1:18:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

Why might Jesus refer to the kingdom like a king’s son’s wedding. Because that is exactly what it will be. Matthew 9:15: And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. Or Ephesians 5:31-32: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”

Heaven is like a wedding party, the bride (the church) married to the bridegroom (Jesus).

John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. We will see the invitation first goes out to the Jews in Matthew 22:3 but then is extended to the Gentiles in Matthew 22:9. So, the invitation to the wedding is for any who will accept the offer of grace. However, some refused to come.

All you have to do is respond to the invitation to come to the bridegroom Jesus and the Kingdom of God/wedding feast will be your reality.

“But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes…”

The man without a wedding garment represents all who try to get into the wedding/heaven based on their own merits. Isaiah 64:6 tells us “all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.” Our good works are like Costco stretch pants- filthy rags, they will never be good enough to get us in. There is one attire that is required- the robe of righteousness. “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Galatians 3:27: “for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”

Isaiah 61:10 also says: “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”

We see it again in the story of the prodigal son -which were all of us separated from our heavenly Father by our sin before Christ redeemed us. Luke 11: 22: “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him.