The Covenant Laws and Instutions
Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him,” ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
“This is the first and great commandment. “And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ “On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
This was from a scene in the New Testament which leaves without a doubt what the audience then and today ought to understand concerning God’s purposes in instilling the laws and institutions. Jesus made it clear that the God’s mandate or covenantal conditions were to show His purposes and ways. This summation by the Lord Jesus Himself primarily guides people that God is to be loved and obeyed, and the main reason that the laws were initially provided and reinforced even during Jesus’ time.
In other words, all the laws in general as elucidated in the Scripture, and the ten commandments in particular point only to one thing: that these precisely define love. Love according to Jesus here can only be understood in the context of the laws. Loving God and one another can be easier explained when viewed this way. Romans 13:9-10 shows the mind of Paul and confirms to us ‘For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’
In the light of these commandments or laws, the audience then understands that God is holy and must accept it that these are the standards He meant us to keep. It further implies that God cannot be brought to our level and make Him to understand when we cannot obey or fulfill His covenantal laws. Every disobedience only reveals something about our fallibility and infinitely confirms God’s inerrant ways and wisdom. Whenever man abides by the ways of God, man comes closer to the likeness of the Holy God. There is no other way. God’s motivation has been from the start to instill His love for man. And this He did time and again, starting when Adam and Eve failed and fell into disobedience, and God unfolded His redemptive plan. When man failed to obey, God provided ways that man will be restored. Not only to satisfy His holy character but also to continue to share love to man whom he made and created in His image.
NewKing James Version of the Holy Bible (2000). Power Bible CD.