The butterfly often forgets


Someone made the point that “Pharisees” were keepers of the law. Their role was to protect the union of religious living and legal living. That the two were the same.  And that Jesus was, as a “teacher” a Pharisee, just another keeper of the law – the new “alpha male” of the law world (my interpretation).

I hadn’t seen “Jesus” like that before.

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“If your fellow disciple sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.  If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’  If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:15-20

I am a Jewish audience. The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven … Causing to Stumble … The Parable of the Wandering Sheep … Dealing With Sin in the Church … The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant … Divorce … The Little Children and Jesus …

“One witness is not enough to convict anyone accused of any crime or offense they may have committed.  A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.  If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time.  The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party.  You must purge the evil from among you.  The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.  Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Deuteronomy 19:15-21

Dealing With Sin in the Church becomes: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

No matter which way I look at the walkings and talkings of Jesus – it makes perfect sense every time.  “Even” as a lawyer he argues with humanity.  The law is a framework for treating each as sacred … “two or three witnesses” are “two or three in fellowship” – the “legal” is the “living” is the “loving”.

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The “church” is “disciples” is “the people” is “the law” is “the living” is “the loving” is “the church” (again).

That verse-offs, proof verses, “biblically correct”, “scripturally correct” (as used over and over again in this believing community) is STILL – all of it – just The Law!

That all believers are all “legalists” and cannot be anything other.   There are no “recovering legalists” or even “I am not a legalist at all” – that if I read the bible (and I do) I am reading “The Law”.

But just like “love” … like “ethics” … like “living” … even like “debating” …

The law is not just about winning and losing – not even about being “technically correct” – not about “working within the law” – not about “pushing (legal) boundaries” – not about the law being separate to living and loving … it is about living and loving.

As a Jewish audience I get that completely.  As a Jewish audience that makes perfect loving sense to me.  I am Chosen for a reason: My God is the best God.  My laws are the best laws.  My living is the best living.  My loving is the best loving.  And “best” IS summed up in “loving my God, myself and my neighbour”.

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That is universal (no matter your “god”).  Legally this fits.  Living this fits.  Loving this fits.  And something else that is universal …

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Now how can I can get an edge … Where are the loopholes … How can I legally get more of what you don’t deserve to have … ?

Chosen or not …

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It’s always my choice to choose.

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3 thoughts on “The butterfly often forgets

  1. The law represents truth. The Bible is all about Mercy and Truth, and the proper mixture of the two. That is essential, yet often missing. In the body of Christ.

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