The law had served a purpose.
“Wherefore the law was our [Jews’] schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” Galatians 3:24,25.
It is a little unfortunate that the Greek word ‘paidagogos’ is translated as ‘schoolmaster’, for it can give a misleading slant to the intended meaning. As William Barclay, an eminent scholar of Greek, comments in his book, “New Testament Words”,
“…it is a word the correct under-standing of which is essential, if Paul’s thought is to be understood. .. It was when (the child) went to school that the paidagogos really took over the management of the boy and retained it till the boy was eighteen. The paidagogos was not in our sense of the word a teacher at all. His duty was to accompany the boy to school each day and to see that he got there safely; to carry the boy’s books and his lyre; to watch his conduct in school; to see to his conduct in the street; to train the boy in morals, in manners and in deportment. He must see that the boy walked modestly with downcast head in the streets; he must see that he gave place to older people and was becomingly silent in their presence; he must teach him to be well-mannered at the table and to wear his clothes with grace. He had to teach him all the Greek meant by eukosmia, good manners, good deportment, pleasantness of life.” pp 206,207
So Paul’s Greek readers would know exactly what Paul was alluding to in his comparison of the Mosaic law covenant with the figure of a paidagogos. Hence the complete aptness of its purpose “to bring us to Christ” (Galatians 3:24).
The law was there to keep them on the path, and to ensure that they got to their Teacher (Messiah) safely. And so we see that when the Teacher came, he reinforced those same principles that had been guidelines in their past. The Sermon on the Mount reinforced all those parts of the Mosaic law covenant, and extended the lessons in keeping with the preparation for the new and better covenant that would be established following his sacrificial death. They were merely shadows of that better thing to come. But unless one has light, one can miss recognising shadows. Jesus came as that light, to make the shadows obvious. However if we maintain our walk in darkness, then we will be blind to even the existence of shadows. Jesus fulfilled the things written about him in the Law, in the Prophets and in the Psalms (Luke 24:44).
Fulfilment of the Law.
The Law was fulfilled in Jesus, and he made no attempt to replace its principles, but, as already mentioned, extended nine of them:
- Ephesians 4:6; 1 John 5:21; Matthew 4:10
- 1 Corinthians 10:14; Romans 1:25
- James 5:12; Matthew 5:34,35
- abolished: Romans 14:5; Colossians 2:16,17; Hebrews 8:13
- Ephesians 6:1; Colossians 3:20
- 1 John 3:15; Matthew 5:21,22; Romans 13:9
- Hebrews 13:4; Matthew 5:27,28; 1 Corinthians 6:9,10
- Romans 2:21; Ephesians 4:28
- Colossians 3:9; Ephesians 4:25; 2 Timothy 3:3; 1 Timothy 3:8-11
- Ephesians 5:3; Colossians 3:5
Jesus said that,
“the first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29,30
Yet this greatest, and first, of commandments was not one of the Ten Command-ments. Jesus said that it was greater than the Ten Commandments, because it incorporated the essence of all that God and Jesus demand of us. And Jesus added a second commandment (also notably not one of the Ten):
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandments greater than these.”
No! Not even any of the Ten. In actual fact these two commandments are part of the so-called ‘ceremonial law’ (Deuteronomy 6:4; Leviticus 19:18), supposedly “done away”! Yet Jesus claimed the two ‘ceremonial laws’ to be greater than the Ten, a situation that must include the fourth commandment relating to the sabbath.
- 1. The first Sabbath
- 2. Covernant with Israel, Resting, A New Experience
- 3. The Covernant, Correct Context, Was the Sabbath Shifted?
- 4. Why Change the Day, A Fading Law
- 5. Holy Days, Cermonial and Moral Law
- 6. Keeping the Sabbath, Giving up the Law
- 7. A Pedegogue, Fulfilment of the Law
- 8. Freedom in Christ, Paul and the Sabbath, Sunday as the Sabbath?