Keep in mind as you read this there is a point at the end 🙂 and that we are simply “grafted in” to an existing tree, and a graft still draws from the roots.
Jesus was a Rabbi. Consider for a moment that to be a Rabbi one not only has to understand the old Testament (Torah), but Rabbinical requirements are, that you must not only know the right answer, but that you must also know how and why this interpretation was reached. And the spiritual essence of each law. Jesus fully completed His “Rabbinical studies” (to be acceptable in the circles of His own people), which typically go from age 12 to early to mid 20’s. Jesus did not begin teaching until he was 30.
I say that to say this. Christ was a master of all these teachings to the point that he had attained a position of a high respected teacher, Rabbi, among his own people
Many times when people mention Jesus in the context of His relationship with His Jewish brothers and sisters, it is with the mindset that Jesus was scorned and mistreated. This was true in some areas but other synagogues sought him out and held him in high regard. (Mark 5:22 – 43 but 22 specifically). And he was accepted by the people as a great teacher.
He knew and understood and observed the Mitzvos (laws) of the old Testament (His baptism for example) and deviated only when a strong point needed to be made (i believe every action of His was purposeful)
As Gentiles we are primarily exempt from those laws (per the Old Testament). However as human beings (per the old testament) we are called to follow the 7 Noahide Laws ( more commonly known as the 10 commandments ). These Laws were given prior to the establishment of the Jewish Law (613 Mitzvos) found within the old testament.
These laws pertain to all mankind, and prior to the days of Christ were the path for these who were not Jewish to raw closer to God and His rightesousness.
(please bear with me i do have a point)
Now that Chriist has come (and I believe all Christians would agree) the 10 Commandments are still in effect; and continue to be the basic laws written on the hearts of all men as to what is write and wrong.
Many Christians are under the impression that for a Jew the Mitzvos (laws) are a group of laws that are burdensome, and make it unattainable to get to heaven, or that their purpose is to save through your works.
However the purpose of the Mitzvos are to have a constant reminder of God, and to always be striving, in every endeavor, to bend our personal will to His Holy one. As Christians we strive for this also. Consider this, if we had a rule for every action how much more personal it would become to bend to the will of God. From the way you dress to walking out the door each associated with, and as a task from God. The Mitzvos cause (or are purposed to cause) an awareness of God by giving you a solid rule to apply to each part of your life, to acknowledge God’s presence and role as our Lord and Master in all things small or large each moment of every day.
The core ‘issue’ Jesus had with following these laws was not the law itself, but weather or not each person had the correct motivation behind the action. As we all know maintaining awareness of God’s Will at all things (in speech or action) is one of the more difficult hurdles in Christian life. We can so easily get swept away.
These (Mitzvos) would in essence, bring your heart closed to God (if you observed with the mindset of pleasing God and following His commandments out of your personal Love for His Commandments)
So when they say it is by “works” that the Jewish People get to heaven, it is somewhat true, however not an adequate nor accurate description of the purpose or out come of the actions of following the laws in the Old Testament
So, weather or not you agree with the previous statements (And here is the point)
we were given (and I believe we all agree they still apply) the 10 commandments in the Old testament.
As non Jews but Followers of Christ Jesus we are exempt from the other laws (613 Mitzvos). Would we not benefit from a constant awareness of God also? A thought of Him before Every action?
What are our ‘laws’ as out lined for us in the New Testament? How many are there?
We hear teachings (or do teach as is your position) on concepts singly, and we know “love others as your self” is all encompassing, but there are other directions set for us within the New Testament.
What an interesting, and beautiful, study it would be to go through the New Testament and seek out and compile a list of,the injunctions of Jesus Christ.
And what a contrast (and magnification of the gift of grace we have been given) to see the move from law to grace. Many of the commandments Christ uttered were quite different in nature from those found in the Old Testament, focused more toward our spirit.
“Peace, be still.”
“Go and sin no more”
“My house shall be called a house of prayer” (Old Testament also)
“Arise and be not afraid” (Mathew 17:7)
These words are law spoken into existence by the Living word.
They are our daily directions.