The Law of the Lord is Perfect

 

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Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10
Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

 

People often say that the Law is in the first five books of the Bible—the Torah—and the Law is the Law of Moses.

True.

In part.

The Law of God is in every chapter of the Bible and a portion of it did come to us through Moses. Actually a large portion: Leviticus, Number, and Deuteronomy.

Moving to Psalm 19, we see: The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about GodTLB The Law.

Today’s reading from Luke contains the passage from Isaiah 61:1-2. This is the Isaiah version:

The Spirit of Adonai Elohim is upon me,
because Adonai has anointed me
to announce good news to the poor.
He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted;
to proclaim freedom to the captives,
to let out into light those bound in the dark;
to proclaim the year of the favor of Adonai
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn
CJB

It is important to understand that these words are all the Law of God.

In the synagogue, the scripture readings were set for the year. Jesus arrived on the very Saturday that Isaiah 61:1-2 was to be read. Usually, the leader of the synagogue would have been the reader—rabbis were not yet the leaders—but when an important personage came to visit, he was asked to do the reading and comment on it as well. That is how Jesus came to read the important passage about himself.

Everyone stood for the reading of scripture—as is still done in synagogue—because all Israel stood when Ezra read the Torah, as described in today’s text from Nehemiah. But it was also custom for the congregation to remain standing while the reader commented on the text while seated.

The reading from Luke for next week continues the story, but it is important to note that when Jesus said, This text is being fulfilled today even as you listenNJB the people were pleased. He made a veiled claim to be the Messiah, and they had no problem with that. As we will read next week, the trouble was over something else.

For Paul, there was on longer any question about the Messiah; Jesus is the Messiah. Paul, in his image of the body of Christ, placed Jesus at the head. The rest of us make up parts of his body. A person who is a skin cell on the little toe of the left foot, is part of the body of the Messiah, and as such, is part of the Law of God. The Messiah is the Word of God and the Word of God is the Law. It is our role as the body of Christ to live the Law of God, the God of Justice and Love.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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