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“I am the Way and the Truth and the Life.”[1]  See that and tell it to all you know.  Jesus is the Way, not a way; the Truth, not a truth; and the Life, not a life.  He is not an example to follow; He is the reality to be in.  He is not a phenomenon you study and dissect; He is the reason you can study and learn anything, for without Him you cannot exist, and you exist because of Him and in Him.  Whether you believe that, recognise that, or acknowledge that is irrelevant.  It is like the time when people believed the world was flat, but their belief made no difference to the roundness of the Earth.

Thus, it is in Jesus that we can apply the law the Way it is meant to be applied, and know the Truth of the law as it is meant to be known, and to live Life according to the law of God the way it has always been intended.

The key difference between the way that Jesus applies the Law of God and the way any other man applies the Law of God is that Jesus applies it from the point of view of One who is sinless and has already fulfilled the law.  His sinlessness comes from His perfect obedience to God.  The perfection of that obedience means that Jesus cannot sin and has not sinned even when He became sin and broke the Levitical Law in order to fulfil the Father’s command.  He broke a lesser law to fulfil a greater law, just as the priest breaks the Sabbath in order to minister in the temple.

When Jesus taught about what was lawful or asked what was lawful, as He was asked, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”  He replied, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out?  How much more valuable is a man than a sheep!  Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”[2]  However, Jesus’ perspective is from the point of view of application of the law from a sinless, guiltless and blameless perspective.  Whereas our application of the law, any law, is from the perspective of one who is a sinner, guilty and blameable.  We apply the law as a deterrent against sin, and if sin or lawbreaking has occurred, we apply it as a punishment.  However, Jesus’ application of the law is in the context of fulfilment and salvation so that the intended outcome of unbroken law is manifested.

For Adam and through Adam, the first lawbreaker amongst men, we inherited the effects of broken law, punishments and curses, and we live in the world that is the result of broken law.  For Jesus and through Jesus, the first Law Fulfiller amongst men, we inherit the effects of unbroken law —obedience and blessings, and we live in His world that is the unbroken law applied successfully to the glory of God.

The wages of sin is death as it is often said, but before death, sin already pays us a deposit, which is called loss.  Before Adam died, he lost paradise.  Before we die, we lose relationship and righteousness with God, and in the process of dying, we start losing our youth, strength and so on.

However, the wages of obedience is life, and since it is life, the exact opposite of death, then all who obey the command or the law given to them by God cannot die but live.

In Adam’s case, had he obeyed, he would have succeeded in obeying the command, “You must… not die.”[3]  If only he applied the law given to him and busied himself eating and gorging on the fruits of all the other trees, then he would have had no time to even contemplate a morsel from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  You see, we are not told what the other trees are except for the Tree of Life.  However, it does not take much to realise that the fruits of those other trees would have been so enjoyable that it would produce in Adam the urge to live and not die so that he and Eve would be looking at the Tree of Life as more desirable for food and for the gaining of wisdom than the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, until there was no desire or need for the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

In Israel’s case, had they continued to observe and obey the law given to them, they would have become so blessed and continuously victorious over the nations around them that there would be no other gods to worship.  Not only that, their prosperity resulting from their blessings and rewards from the application of the law in obedience would attract the other nations to cast aside their idols and also worship God.  When you are blessed by God for your obedience, it is not just prosperity in your life, it is also power and strength that you receive, so that Israel would have been so strong militarily no nation would dare rise against it.  Listen to what Rahab of Jericho said to the spies, “When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in Heaven above and on the Earth below.”[4]  Unlike the state that Israel was in during the days of Hezekiah, militarily weakened, yet possessing a temple building with gold and treasures that the Babylonians dared attack. 

You see, application of the law from the point of view of a person who desires to fulfil the law and enjoys fulfilling the law, gives you such a life that due gains made because of life will so fulfil you that it makes the breaking of law unimaginable.  Indeed, if Eve had busied herself eating of every tree in the garden, the serpent’s words would hold no attraction for her.

As Jesus said, “I know that His command leads to eternal life.”[5]  When He said that, it was not just for our benefit but for His as well, so that it was a reminder to Him that the Father’s command to Him to lay down His life[6] would also lead Jesus to eternal life as well.  That is, He would know the Father even more than He knew Him before, and He would know Himself even more than He knew Himself before.  And since the whole measure of Jesus’ life is what He knows of God, then the more He knows of God, the more His measure.  So then, even death on the cross was the way of eternal life for Him.  As such, in the case for Jesus, since His perfect obedience could only lead to more life and not death, He had to apply the law that He had fulfilled in obedience to the command He had been given in order that His life was laid down so that He who cannot die would suffer the death necessary to save us from ours.  Thus, in His obedience, He applied the law in such a way that it brought about the desired effect —punishment and even death on the cross.

Likewise now, if we learn the Way that is Jesus, the Truth that is Jesus and the Life that is Jesus, then we who are already condemned and destined for death because of the sin that lives in us and the war that wages between the law of sin in the members of our flesh and the law of our mind, should apply the fulfilment of the Law of God in obedience to the command He has given us, so that we who cannot but die will find a way of breaking the law to live.

Since as it is written:  Man is destined to die once,[7] then we should take that destiny to its ultimate level and die, not like common men because we have received the wages of sin, but rather, because we have received the wages of obedience, obedience to the command Listen to Him!  And so devote ourselves to the listening of Jesus, which includes practising and obeying all that He commanded us; that we are eaters of His flesh and drinkers of His blood as well as sinners in whom are found all other manners of disobedience to the Levitical Law.  But here is the genius of God’s plan:  Because we now break Levitical Law in the eating of Jesus’ flesh and the drinking of His blood in obedience to God’s command to listen to Him, we are cut off according to that law, but in God’s eyes, righteous because we obeyed His greatest decree and command, a decree and command that fulfils and exceeds the greatest commandment of the law.

When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” by an expert of the law (Levitical and Mosaic), 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 neighbour as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”[8]  However, these were not His greatest and highest decree and command, but it was what He received for Moses, Elijah, James, John and Peter to hear on the Mount of Transfiguration when He said of Jesus, This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him![9]  The two greatest commandments of the law, on which hangs the law and the prophets, are fulfilled when you so love God that you honour Jesus as His Son and listen to Him with all your heart, soul, might and mind.[10]  And you will have obeyed the second if you would love Jesus as if He is your own Son, with all your heart, soul, might and mind.  For then you have loved your Neighbour, He who has had mercy on you, as you would love yourself.  So the first commandment of the law is fulfilled when we treat Jesus as the Son of God whom He is, and the second is when we love Him as the Son of Man whom we make Him to be.

It is one thing to listen to Jesus as Mary listened to Jesus, the Son of God, and prepare Him for His burial.  Now it is time to learn to listen to Jesus as Mary the mother listened and prepare Him for glory.  For Mary the mother treasured all these things in her heart, when He went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them.[11]  For she remembered the words of the angel: “So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God.”[12]  Mary knew Jesus was born to be Someone great, just how great she did not know, but great enough that when the opportunity came for Jesus to display His glory, she took the initiative.  Again, she successfully applied the prophecy given to her by Gabriel, and when she thought Jesus was ready to display His glory at the wedding at Cana, she pointed out to Jesus, “They have no more wine.”[13]  A problem had arisen, a problem whereby Jesus could display His ability and receive glory, an opportunity for His ministry before men and God to take flight.  Even though Jesus replied, “Dear woman, why do you involve Me?  My time has not yet come,” Mary was so determined that her Son would be able to use this opportunity to display His glory that she boldly told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”[14] 

Mary the mother treated Jesus as her Son, whilst mindful that He is also somehow the Son of God, and like a mother, she wanted her Son to display His ability and glory, so when that opportunity arose, she took it.  Now you have been taught to listen to Him as Mary, sister of Martha, listened to her Lord, her Saviour and the Love of her life, to anticipate what He would need so that you might prepare His body for coronation as she prepared His for burial.  That is how we should treat Jesus, the beloved Son of God whom we are commanded to listen to.

But if we are to love God our Neighbour as we love ourselves, then it is time for you who are fathers, who love to listen to Jesus, to love Him as you would your only son, for when we do so, we make Him the Son of Man.  That is when the end will come, for by His own words He has told us, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky…  They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.”[15] 

You see, He was betrayed into the hands of sinners as the Son of Man and not as the Son of God, and He said to His enemies, “Yes, it is as you say, but I say to all of you:  In the future you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of Heaven.”[16]  So, how do we achieve that?  When we seek to help Him achieve His goals; that not only do we listen to Him, but we also do not listen to Him but to the Father’s heart in us to glorify Him.  Just as Mary the mother did not listen to Him when He said, “My time has not yet come,” but went ahead and told the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”  As His disciples, we have listened and heard enough to know we are to prepare His body, the church, for His coronation.  But now as ones who are His brothers, sisters and mothers, have we listened enough to know what needs to be done?  There are no strict rules as such, but a much higher rule, the rule of the four words, “But I tell you.”

For you see, who has ever thought of preparing this world and His church as a parent prepares an inheritance for a son, except God the Father?  And you who are fathers who do not give your sons a scorpion when they ask for bread, do you not wish to also leave behind an inheritance for them to ensure their prosperity?  Do you not prepare the riches necessary for their well being and education?  If you, though you are sinners, know how to do that for your sons and daughters, how much more does the Father in Heaven who alone is good, know to do that for His Son?  And if you are to love God as you love yourself, for He is the Neighbour who had mercy on you, then should you not also know and want to prepare a glorious inheritance for Jesus Christ as if He were your Son?  Would you not treat Him as you would your own son?  If you do, then you have done to God that which you would want done to your son, for which of you fathers, who when your sons are in distress and in need, would not appreciate a stranger’s helping hand? 

Which of you fathers, if your son had suffered injustice at the hands of your enemies, would not appreciate someone to stand up for him and bring him justice?  Which of you fathers, though you are wicked, would not wish for or want someone to stand up and testify for your sons and daughters when they are wrongly accused and slandered?  Which of you fathers, if you heard your son had been killed, would not wish that somehow someone might bring him back to live?

If you are such fathers and mothers who desire that for your son, then do unto God and His Son as you would have done unto yourself, as it was said by Jesus, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”[17]  If, as Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of My Father in Heaven is My brother and sister and mother,”[18] then what can be said of those who love Him as if He were their only Son and devote themselves to prepare a bright and rich future for Him as a good parent does?  Then what can be said of those who stand up for Him to see that He gets justice and quickly as brothers and sisters do for the brother they love dearly?  Then what can be said of those who spend their days labouring to ensure that when He arrives, He finds waiting for Him a world worthy to be His inheritance?

You see, the application of the Law and the Prophets does not really come as a set of do’s and don’ts and rules upon rules, but God has set out before you the examples by which you can choose to follow and not to follow so that the choice is yours to love or not to love.  For God is Love, and L/love never fails.  Anyone who does not love remains in death, as John wrote.[19]  But he who loves has passed from death to life.  If that is the case for those who love their brothers, then what is the case for those who love Jesus as their Brother and Son?  John wrote: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth.  But you are no longer children, so how should you love?  Is it not with action and truth to one another, seeing each other as one and ones who also so love your Brother and your Son that they too are slaving to ensure that He has a worthy inheritance?

How would you and should you have treated those servants who listened to the mother and obeyed the Lord by filling those jars and daring to present that foot washing water to the toast master?  How would God reward you, you who have not only listened to His Son, but treated His Son as if He was your own? 

And how should God reward you, you who not only would not listen to His Son, but slandered Him, ignored Him, lied about Him and killed Him, wishing that He would remain dead, never to return?   Consider and tremble in fear and repent while there is yet time.

But as for you who are elected by the Holy Spirit, your election is not because you are richer, brighter, better educated, holier, or more righteous than the next person, but rather, within you the Spirit of God still finds that image of God that is eternal, that likeness of God that was and is and always will be, the Image and Likeness of a Father and a Son, a mother and a daughter.  And not only that likeness, but the grace to love Jesus, His Son, as if He were your own, and the friendship to treat Jesus as if He were your own Brother.  That is why by His power, the Son of God is also birthed in you, that you may truly be sons of God in the fullness of the Stature of His Son, Christ in you, the hope of glory.  That is why it takes time, it takes effort, it takes perseverance, it takes patience, it takes love, so that you can mature, and being matured, you are no longer a child, not even a son, but are yourselves mothers and fathers.  And through that maturity, you see Jesus, the Son of Man, and you seek to prepare for Him a glorious inheritance as any mother or father who loves his or her son would want, wish and desire.

When you see it through the love of God, it is easy and the burden is light, and then there is no sacrifice too great.  Indeed, you have come to the end of the extra mile, for not only have you learnt to sacrifice as one commanded by decree, but sacrifice as one inspired by the greatest love of all, the love of a good Father to an obedient Son.  And you will learn to see those who are of the same heart and spirit, not as brothers or sisters, or fellow disciples or friends, but as fellow parents who wants the same thing for your beloved Son of Man.  So, let us prepare an inheritance worthy of the Son of Man that God Himself would be proud of for Jesus.

For Jesus is the Truth, the Way and the Life of knowing the Father’s heart.  Amen

[1] John 14:6

[2] Matthew 12:10-12

[3] Genesis 2:17

[4] Joshua 2:11

[5] John 12:50

[6] John 10:17-18

[7] Hebrews 9:26

[8] Matthew 22:36-40

[9] Matthew 17:5 NASB

[10] Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heat and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

[11] Luke 2:51

[12] Luke 1:35

[13] John 2:3

[14] John 2:4-5

[15] Matthew 24:30

[16] Matthew 26:64

[17] Matthew 7:12

[18] Matthew 12:50

[19] 1 John 3:14


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