patty kirk

patty kirk lying down, getting up, sitting at home, walking down the road doing deuteronomy 6:7

Saturday, March 9, 2013

jesus at barnes & noble

I just now read this passage of scripture aloud to my daughter Charlotte in which Jesus says, first off, that he has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not to abolish it.  

“I’ve actually been thinking a lot about that passage,” Charlotte interrupted before I got any further.
“Why’s that?”

“I thought it said Jesus says I didn’t come to break the commandments but to fulfill them. That’s what my professor of my C. S. Lewis class said about that place where the stone table breaks when Aslan dies.”

"Well, it goes on to say that whoever breaks even the least commandment and teaches others to do the same ‘will be called least in the kingdom of heaven’ but that those who do the commands ‘will be called great in the kingdom of heaven’” (Matthew 5:19 NIV).

“Here’s the part I don’t get, though,” I told her. Jesus finishes up by saying, ‘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’ (Matthew 5:20).What does he mean by that, do you think?”

“I don’t get whether Jesus thinks the Pharisees and teachers of the Law are in the first group of those who don’t follow all of scripture or those who do.”

We tossed that around a bit, getting nowhere. Are there two groups (lawdoers and lawbreakers, of which the former comprise the righteous) or are three groups (lawdoers, lawbreakers, and the righteous)?
Then my husband Kris joined us and the three of us fought about it a bit. We landed, hesitantly, on there being two groups: the lawdoers and the small lawbreakers, both of which will have a place in the kingdom, apparently. None, however, are righteous. In other words, whether or not you do all the law or just part of it will not determine whether or not you will enter the kingdom but merely your place in the kingdom once you’re there.

Of course, we know what does determine entrance into heaven, but Jesus doesn’t explain that quite yet. Or, only obliquely references it. In some very confusing statements about scripture adherence. I wonder if anyone at all got it.

1 comment:

  1. When I read that, I understand that if heaven is to be gained through righteous living (actions) then you had better be far more righteous than the most pious group known at that time. I suspect that to be more righteous than the Pharisees and teachers of the law would have been considered impossible to the listeners. The only person to "do" the commandments was Jesus - greatest in the kingdom. I will be one of the least and plenty happy to be there at all - and not on the basis of my actions.