Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Jesus never had anything to say about . . . .

I hear it quite often these days.  An increasing number of people attempt to demonstrate that their support of gay marriage, homosexuality or some other hot social topic is somehow consistent with the teaching of Jesus. “Jesus never had anything to say about __________.”  Just fill in the blank and you now have God on your side.  It's called an argument from silence.

One can hardly take this line of reasoning/confusion seriously, no matter how many times it is repeated.  I can see that Jesus never spoke directly to a known homosexual or about the subject of homosexuality.  But He did say this:

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 I tell you the truth, 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 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same 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. Matthew 5:17–20

I could go on with a number of additional references that demonstrate this same thing: Jesus accepted everything that is found in the Hebrew Bible, what church people call the Old Testament, as in force and of value.  He Himself came to fulfill it not to get rid of it with an argument from silence.  From His perspective, everything in the Law would be accomplished before heaven and earth would pass away.

With that in mind, we can only conclude that whether Jesus ever spoke to some topics Himself or not, He would accept the teaching of the Old Testament on whatever it speaks to.  When those writings speak to a subject – any subject – they were authoritative for Jesus.  We cannot write off what is written in the Old Testament by the silence of Jesus on a subject when Jesus says that everything written in the Old Testament is still in force.

Even more important though, we cannot forget what we learn from the encounter on the road to Emmaus recorded in Luke 24.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he (Jesus) explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:27
So the Law and the Prophets were not an instruction book given to us by God on how we should live.  Jesus says they were about Him.  And that the Messiah would have to suffer before He could enter into His glory.

Read honestly, those writings make clear that no member of the human race ever has or will live up to God’s expectations.  We come to those expectations and fail, because we come as broken people.  Even if the standard were set low enough, it would be hard to jump over it with two broken legs and a broken back.

It’s not enough that we know “how” to live.  We need someone who can give life to us, and cover the cost of the life we have failed at.  Jesus is the one being in all of history who can do that.  Though He was without sin, He took on our broken human condition, and in that way He both took on our sin and paid the penalty for us, as well as gave us His life and perfect record.

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