Maybe it seems that because the Bible was written so long ago, and since we understand so much more today, that we should rewrite it, to bring it in line with modern customs and attitudes. But not according to Jesus – and He knew what He was talking about when He said:
“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.”. (Matthew 5:18)
Jesus wasn’t being vague. Even the tiniest mark was important and would not be changed until the end of the age. You’ve heard how a comma can save lives: “Let’s eat, Grandma” is a lot different than “Let’s eat Grandma!”
By Jesus’ clear meaning, it is dangerous for us to assume we can overhaul the Bible’s teachings. When we changed the rules for sex, the consequences in divorce and children born to a single mother have been much greater than anyone would have predicted. Now the definition of marriage has been rewritten. Buckle up; get ready for a bumpy ride…
But, you may wonder, if Jesus meant what He said, why did He proclaim all foods okay to eat, why did He break the rules for the Sabbath and develop a reputation as a drunkard and glutton?
The answer has to do with what righteousness is. The religious leaders defined righteousness as a list of rules (over 600!) that one must not break. Jesus had a very different understanding of what righteousness is.
We’ll chew on that next time.