I would like
to attempt to answer a question that challenged me today.
Is it fair
to say that the main philosophy of Jesus the Christ is following the Spirit of
the Law as much as one follows the Letter of the Law?
That is, does Jesus want us not to merely observe what the Law says, but to also understand that it is the attitude with which we follow it that actually matters? Similar to how God told Samuel that whereas man looks on the outside, He - God - looks at the heart of man (1 Samuel 16:7)?
If that is do, has how then should it impact our day to day life? How can it also impact the way we respond to the other controversies that we confront each day?
I will start by looking at the Gospel according to Mark Chapter 12 where Jesus talks about the Greatest Commandment;
28One of the
teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given
them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most
Mark 12:29“The most important one,”answered
Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e]30Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[f]
31 The second
is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[g] There is no commandment greater
The response He receives
is worth noting -
32 “Well said,
teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there
is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all
your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as
yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 When Jesus
saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one
dared ask him any more questions.
The above is clarified further in Matthew 5 : 17, where Jesus Christ
expounds on his views about the law-
The Fulfilment of the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the
Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest
letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law
until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside
one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be
called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these
commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I
tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the
teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
So it seems that whereas Jesus the Christ knew the
Law and was happy to obey it, ( remember how he astounded the teachers of the
Law when he was only six years old (Luke Luke 2: 49), it seems to me that He
sought to clarify to His followers that the Spirit of the Law should be followed
with as much zest as the letter of the Law –
Thus, in Matthew 5:27 Jesus states;
'Ye have heard that it was said by them of old
Thou shalt not commit adultery:
Then he takes it a notch higher and says in Matthew
5 : 28 –
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her
hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (In essence we sin by
though and deed)
above point or emphasis is made by the Learned Apostle Paul which starts in 1 Corinthians 12:30 -
29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all
teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do
all speak in tongues[d]? Do all interpret? 31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.
Love Is Indispensable
And yet I
will show you the most excellent way...
which he expounds in 1 Corinthians 13:1, thus ...
If I speak in the
tongues[a] of men or of
angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.2 If I have the
gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have
a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my
body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have
love, I gain nothing.
In essence, however much we follow the Law or do
all these things that are prescribed in the Bible but forget the Spirit with
which we are to do them (do it in Love), we but deceive ourselves.
If the aforementioned is the true interpretation of
the Holy Scriptures, it therefore means that we ought to check our hearts first
and inquire as to whether we act out of love when we do the things we do or say
the things we say.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure,
whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good
report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think
on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
-((DRRZ: Musings at Meal Time: If Brains could Speak
Series No. 2))-
21 The word of the Lord came to me: 22
“Son of man, what is this proverb you have in the land of Israel: ‘The days go
by and every vision comes to nothing’?
23 Say to them, ‘This is what the
Sovereign Lord says:I am going to
put an end to this proverb, and they will no longer quote it in Israel.’ Say
to them, ‘The days are near when every vision will be fulfilled. 24 For there
will be no more false visions or flattering divinations among the people of
25 But I the Lord will speak what I will, and it shall be fulfilled
without delay. For in your days, you rebellious people, I will fulfill whatever
I say, declares the Sovereign Lord. ’”
26 The word of the Lord came to me: 27 “Son of man, the
Israelites are saying, ‘The vision he
sees is for many years from now, and he prophesies about the distant future.’
28 “Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign
Lord says: None of my words will be
delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign
Did the outgoing Prosecutor of the ICC, Louis Moreno-Ocampo, discredit the office of the Prosecutor (again) when he sent a congratulatory letter to Guillaume Soro who led the Forces Nouvelles (FN) that helped oust indicted former President Laurent Gbagbo from power? ( The Forces Nouvelles (FN) are also alleged to have committed serious crimes against humanity during the country's turbulent civil strife). See analysis by Kevin Jon Heller on Opinio Juris here.