Trained By The Law To Live A Holy Life

Trained By The Law To Live A Holy Life

June 02, 2024

Readings: Deuteronomy 5:6-21
2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Mark 2:23-28

2nd Sunday of Ordinary Time 2024

There are times that when we read the Scriptures, they seem to be contrary to what we know. We may sometimes even think that the Law is too strict so that we look at it negatively. In reality, the Law is a training ground to prepare us and give us the ability to cope with life’s situations. The Law is like a tutor. Before creation, God had already planned what He was going to do. For instance, the Sabbath. We may only see the “don’ts” but truth be told, there is meaning behind it. The Law was setting a course in our lives. It was a training tool.

One of the things that God told the Children of Israel when they were led out of Egypt was, “Do not forget the Sabbath.” There should always be a dependence upon God. In Egypt, the Israelites had no time to rest. They were working all the time. God wants us to depend on Him and to trust Him. The Sabbath is not a day, it’s a principle of life. It’s a time for us to pause and reflect. A time to evaluate and take stock of ourselves. Scripture says, “train up a child in the way that he should go, so that when he grows, he will not depart from it.” Religion is not the church. Christianity is more than attending church or reading your bible. It should be a lifestyle. The Law was preparing Israel to receive Christ. But they rejected Christ, and so Christ reached out to the Gentiles.

The Law is not about rules and regulations. It is about principles. Romans 7:12 “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.” Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in.” Matthew 25:40 And the King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ The Sabbath is not a rule. It is a principle to teach us to depend upon God, to trust Him. The Sabbath was meant for man and not man for the Sabbath. We should bear one another’s burdens and care for each other. Galatians 2:16 “know that a man is not justified by works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have believed in Christ Jesus, that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.”

There’s a story about a fourth Wise Man and his name was Artaban. It tells us that like the other Magi, he sees signs in the heavens proclaiming that a King has been born among the Jews. Like them, he sets out to see the newborn ruler, carrying treasures to give as gifts to the child – a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl of great price. However, he stops along the way to help a dying man, which makes him late to meet with the caravan of the other three wise men. Because he missed the caravan, and he can’t cross the desert with only a horse, he is forced to sell one of his treasures in order to buy the camels and supplies necessary for the trip. He then commences his journey but arrives in Bethlehem too late to see the child, whose parents have fled to Egypt. He saves the life of a child at the price of another of his treasures. He then travels to Egypt and to many other countries, searching for Jesus for many years and performing acts of charity along the way. After 33 years, Artaban is still a pilgrim, and a seeker after light. Artaban arrives in Jerusalem just in time for the crucifixion of Jesus. He spends his last treasure, the pearl, to ransom a young woman from being sold into slavery. He is then struck in the head by a falling roof tile and is about to die, having failed in his quest to find Jesus, but having done much good through charitable works. A voice tells him “Verily I say unto thee, Inasmuch as thou hast done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)He dies in a calm radiance of wonder and joy. He never got to see Christ face to face, but he was doing the will of God.

We have set our lives according to laws and rules but sometimes these have to be set aside for us to do something for the greater good, and to meet the needs of others. We have to think of other people’s welfare. For when we help someone who is in need, we are doing this unto God. God is the source of our lives. He will supply all our needs. He desires that we apply the true Sabbath in our lives.


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