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Neglecting the More Important Matters of the Law

There was a time within history where both parents played an vital role in raising children.  Before the establishment of formal education, the local church or temple instilled godly principles from the Old Testament to help shape character.  One of these passages serves as a check list of God’s expectations: seek justice, love kindness and walk humbly.  To avoid overwhelming young people, Micah’s brief summary highlights the more important aspects of God’s law.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

During an encounter with religious leaders, Jesus points out their hypocrisy.  At this point in the first century, Pharisees flaunted their faith, making sure people in their community heard about or witnessed their tithing to God.  Jesus was trying to tell these individuals in the verse below, “you’re missing the point.”  Giving back to God through a weekly or monthly offering is honorable.  Yet, faith is suppose to be a life style, not something you turn on and off.  Anyone who allows faith to become inactive neglects the more important matters of the law.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former,” Matthew 23:23.

When the concept of justice is applied to politics, there seems to be unequal justice under the law.  If you are liberal, progressive or possess a secular worldview, some offenses are overlooked.  Meanwhile, Christians, Jews and other religious leaders are held to a higher standard.  While everyone should attempt to be the best person you can, no one is able to escape sin.  Those who break man’s law face fines or even prison.  Others who trespass against you make justice more personal.  Perhaps, this may explain the inclusion of love kindness after justice.  Most people seek justice for the wrongs that you have endured in this life.  However, anytime love and forgiveness is not demonstrated to those who sin against you, the more important matters of God’s law is neglected.

by Jay Mankus



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