New is Better, and explains the Old!
by David Virts
Scripture Text: Luke 16:15-17 Title: Old Testament Replaced?
Question of the Day: Has the Old Testament teachings been replaced with all things new?
The teachings of the Old Testament seem quite archaic and obsolete to us today because the times and customs of the peoples of Bible times have changed drastically—along with the sacrifices and rituals. The centerpiece of God’s program has shifted from Israel and all of the promises of God to them, and now the church is the main focus of how God is going to reach the world with the good news of the gospel. Many today teach that the Old Testament and what it teaches is old and obsolete and doesn’t apply to the church age today; but would Jesus agree with their ideas?
Jesus said in today’s text: “So Jesus turned to them and said, ‘You are the ones who try to make yourself look so good before others, but God knows your hearts. That which is highly esteemed, and of great value in man’s sight, is despicable in God’s sight. The Mosaic Law and the words of the prophets were highly valued until John the Baptist came to preach. Since that time the approaching kingdom of God has been proclaimed and everyone wants to make sure that they are prepared for it. You see, it would be easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one small part of God’s Law to fail.’”
The kingdom of God could not come here on earth until the King Himself was come, and how He is here and it is time to get on with it. Everyone wants to be part of “God’s kingdom”, but the ways to be part of it, and the varied ways people come up with to get into it, have sprung up and many false ideas have arisen. Jesus went on to give another of His powerful impact statements that summarizes what He was saying: “You see, it would be easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for one small part of God’s Law to fail.”
Jesus is indicating by this statement and His evaluation of “the kingdom of God” that everything that He was doing was simply building on what the Law and the prophets had already revealed—and this is 100% accurate! In another place Jesus made it clear that He didn’t come to “destroy the Law, but to fulfill the Law”. Many teach today that the church has replaced Israel, and that Israel has been kicked out of God’s plan because the Jews rejected God’s plan and God’s kingdom; but Jesus is telling us here that what was going to happen from now on was only building on the Law and the prophets because not one little thing that they taught or said would go unfulfilled. In Jesus’ time and even today much of the Scriptures have yet to be fulfilled; so, as the Jews of Jesus’ day waited for the unfolding of redemption, now we wait for the consummation of all that has happened from day #1 in history, and every minute detail will come to pass. So today we are building on what the Old Testament prophets and writer said and did!
Prayer: Yes, Lord, we pray with You:” Our Father in heaven, Your name is most holy; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth just like it is in heaven…” You have been unfolding Your plan and Your kingdom since day #1 of creation, and we all wait for the day when all things will be made new. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! Amen!