Jesus and Law

File:Bloch-SermonOnTheMount.jpg“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” said Jesus. That is, everyone.

The Book of Daniel, which has some resemblance to Revelation, at 7.13 states “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.” There, the Son of Man may seem like a semi-divine Messiah. But at 8.17 the angel Gabriel explaining the vision addresses the prophet as “Son of Man”. And “Son of Man” is God’s preferred mode of address for Ezekiel, whose prophecies use the term 93 times. (Search engines are wonderful).

There is also Psalm 80:17, then the term appears 78 times in the Biblical Gospels.

In the Gospels, Jesus is clearly referring to himself, including in prophecies of his Coming in power. The use of the phrase is seen as a claim to God-head: we believe Jesus is the Christ because he said he was. Yet looking at the phrase itself, child of humanity, it means human being. I, too, am a human being. If Jesus or the Gospel-writers had meant “Me, but not you”, he could have used the phrase “Son of God”, or even “I”.

“The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath”- people are more important than rules, and people can decide whether or not to obey rules.

“The Son of Man has authority on Earth to forgive sins.” (Mt. 9:6.) That’s us, too.

“The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him.” (Mt 17:22-23.)

File:SaintSophia0.jpg“The Father has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” (Jn 5:27.)

How is Jesus with rules? He kicks the crutch away, because we do not need it, and because it is not strong enough to support us. Matthew 5:17-20:

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.’

I can feel righteous, if I obey the rules- or even if I don’t, since I have a fertile mind to find the excuses. Jesus wants not legalism, but Love in Relationship:

21 ‘You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, “You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.” 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, “Raca,” is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, “You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.’

2 thoughts on “Jesus and Law

  1. Love one another, look after each other, treat each other as we all deserve to be treated, don’t judge …. even those we don’t love easily, even those we don’t understand, even those who are different from us. seems so simple really. so hard to live up to. thanks for another thoughtful post. Beth

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