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The Law is discussed practically everywhere you read in the Bible. The Law was a focal point for the Jewish people in the OT, and Jesus spoke of coming to fulfill the Law in the NT. All this Law talk can be confusing to readers of the Bible who don’t think of the Law as having anything to do with spirituality. It may help to understand how people in biblical times viewed the Law. They for whatever reason wanted their eulogy to read “they were a law abiding citizen.”

People during biblical times begin to focus on obeying the Law and offering sacrifices when messing up as the main way to please God. This never was God’s purpose for the Law. The Psalm speaks of God’s preference not for sacrifices or burnt offerings but a broken and contrite heart (51:16-17). Laws aren’t necessary in a perfect world. Who doesn’t know stealing is wrong. Laws simply are meant to protect against lawbreakers and rebels (I Tim. 1:9).

People in the Bible begin to look to the Law as ultimately judging their relationship with God. If I can just obey the Law I will be good enough in God’s eyes. But, the Law can’t legislate matters of the heart. The Law can tell us to not speed excessively by a car, but the law can’t tell us what to do when one is stranded in their car. The Law can tell us amends are necessary when wronged, but the Law can’t tell you to forgive that which can never be returned such as one’s reputation. The Law tells us what not to do, but am I a good lover if I just don’t beat my wife? The Law isn’t written to encourage you to love your partner unselfishly at all times.

Should our goal in life be simply to not mistreat people? That should be a given. A higher goal is to go the extra mile in relationships and not just do enough. People hurt and often need to be shown mercy. Treating others like you want to be treated means when you are suffering, you want your friends to not always respond alike. Jesus came to tell us that striving to be good just isn’t enough in a broken world.

Jesus came to assure us that God is no different than earthly loving parents who will always love their children even when they fail. Though failures bring on consequences, parents never want  their children to think it is too late to change no matter how many relapses. Jesus understood the Law has a purpose in a troubled world, but Jesus wanted us to know God loves us despite our failures, God forgives you, God desires to empower you to be the kind of person you deep down want to be, God seeks to influence you in going the extra mile by loving others like you want to be loved if in their circumstances.

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