Of Judaism & Islam
Soul Snack 221/12 ... Of Judaism & Islam
There is no such thing as legislated love. Love can no more be enforced than faith can be robbed. The heart's thoughts, desires and movements are bound by free-will alone. The human body can be imprisoned and the human spirit may be broken, but the heart is only ever contained by what it chooses. The human heart can no more be contained by external forces than love can be compressed.
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?” 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.” (Matt 22: 34-40)
Surely Jesus indicates that the law was designed to show how to live well and lovingly with each other, but this failed. Jesus now teaches the rule of love can do what the rule of law could not - that is teaching all to act out of love at all times.
In fact copying Christ has replaced legislating love to earth's relational economy. No amount of legislation will ever ensure that man treats either God or each other well.
The intention of the law (to treat each other well) will always remain because Jesus completes it. He has not abolished its intentions; Jesus has actually provided the mechanism for law to work upon the red love splashed Cross!
Both ancient and contemporary Judaism with Islam still typify a legislated love, hence there is none! Both these un-Christian faiths honor the Biblical Books of the Law, pouring over the Pentateuch and multiplying man's traditions; yet law does not love any more than ritual can save. Gaze at the nightly news and reflect upon the human carnage that is still the Middle East, reflect on the failure of law to secure good-will towards all men.
To read the Old Testament absent of the New Testament is a groom standing at the altar without His bride. The ring is in his hand, he is dressed in all male finery but he is still lonely and still without love.
The Pentateuch without the Passion becomes poison in the hands of men.
It is not necessary to learn the law of God when you have grasped the meaning of - love the Lord your God and love your neighbour as yourself.
Today's Soul Snippet:
"Religion makes you blind but Jesus makes you see." ~ Jefferson Bethke