Understandably, the Jews were suspicious of Jesus, whose ministry turned their laws upside down and who claimed to have authority directly from the Source. He was a radical force, to be sure, and if we view this with the understanding that only explosive revolutions have the power to overhaul old constructs, we can see that Jesus had to be met with suspicion and shock in order to usher in the new.
Still, Jesus reminds them: “I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.”
He came to fulfill the prophecies of the Messiah, prophecies known to every Jew. He came to condense and give spirit to the Ten Commandments, the law of Moses and Abraham. He came to fulfill the law that all things born into flesh must bodily die.
Saint Junipero Serra preaches about “the law”:
(Christ) Himself had no obligation to observe the law, yet He made Himself subject to it and observed it faithfully. God sent his Son, born under the law. “I did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.” Oh, what a circumstance this is! If we knew how to value this, how enthusiastically would we observe the law of God and live a holy life. Jesus Christ himself refers to this circumstance when He says, “Learn from me, and you will find rest for your souls.” Learn from me, learn from my example, and you will find that you are refreshed when you walk… The author of the Letter to the Hebrews encourages his readers with this example of Christ, as he says, Let us lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking [to Jesus] the pioneer of our faith.
Laws and rules are not always convenient. Some preserve order in society. Some are created from a religious perspective and may even have lost their meaning in the modern day. Jesus came to fulfil “the law” but routinely subverted the Jews’ Sabbath laws by performing miracles on those days.
Do you follow all rules unquestioningly?
When confronted with a law or a rule, in your Serra Club or in the Church, that you do not understand, are you able to find a trusted source who can explain to you why that rule is in place?
What might be the good that can come out of revisiting rules and viewing them with fresh eyes?