Luke: Day 41

How a Lawyer Reads God’s LawLuke 10:25–29

The lawyer wanted to test Jesus with the question, “What shall I do to have eternal life?”

Jesus, as He typically does, turns the question back around on the lawyer, in order to expose his true spiritual condition. “What is your reading of the law? What does it say?” Jesus asked.

The lawyer quotes the very familiar “Shama” of Israel, found in Deuteronomy 6: “You shall love God… with all you have.” He then he adds an obscure verse from Leviticus, “…And love your neighbor as yourself.” He was certainly beaming in pride as Jesus affirmed his answer: “You have answered well.”

But the key thing about God’s law is not just hearing it, but doing it! So, Jesus adds, “Do this and you will live.”

This is when the trouble starts. The lawyer knew deep down he wasn’t loving God, nor his neighbor, perfectly, as the law required. So, as a lawyer is trained to do: he tries to warp, twist, stretch, and reinterpret the law! He wants to find a way to obey the letter of his own new law instead of the righteous spirit of God’s law.

So, the lawyer declares, “And who is my neighbor?” He was probably started thinking, “Let me define a neighbor as someone who is easy for me to love…”

But Jesus has a different standard for His Perfect Law: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word.” (John 14:23).

Are there Biblical teachings you tend to twist, soften, or reinterpret to make it easier to follow? What are the hardest teachings of Jesus for you to understand or obey?

How about starting with this one, the key idea in this passage: “Love your neighbor as yourself?”

Pray that you will keep Jesus’ word, simply out of love for Him!