January 25

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

“I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their own people; I will put my words in the mouth of the prophet, who shall speak to them everything that I command.” vs. 18

When the Galileans encountered Jesus and heard his authoritative words some of them believed that he was the prophet spoken of in Deuteronomy, a man like Moses who would speak to them all that God commanded. They were wrong! Jesus did speak to them a Word from God, but he wasn’t a bit like Moses. As the gospel writer John put it, “The law indeed was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” Jesus did not give a new set of rules by which we could regulate our own behaviors and those of others. Instead he endowed his followers with a new Spirit, a Spirit of compassion and forgiveness, and invited them to simply love one another as they had been loved. It’s a freeing message, not one that binds or restricts anyone. Under the reign of Jesus we are liberated to live into the image of God, to be the very precious people that God has created us to be. Of course, it’s not easy to live freely, and sometimes like released prisoners we have a tough time finding our way–there’s a certain comfort in regulation. But once we experience the joy and peace that come through the Spirit, there’s no going back again. The free life in Christ is as good as life can be.

Thought for the Day: What is life like under the Law?

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