The purpose of a law is to bring peace and order on earth. This purpose is very evident in our faith based on the scriptures particularly in the Pentateuch. Beyond the Law and commandments is to remain our relationship integral to God. Beginning from our ancestors, Abraham, Moses, and the prophets, until Jesus Christ and even today, God continues reaching His beloved people and reminding us to follow the example of His Son Jesus and the commandments He shared with us.
All the creation of God has its own laws to follow, to survive and to exist. Human beings, in addition to natural law, have the capacity to make their own law. This law is passing just as human life on earth. This law always needs to be updated or changed according to the situation of each group, religion and society. The other kind of law which is from the God is permanent because it is based on the commandment of love which is the ultimate law upon which all the law is founded.
Laws are not made for the benefit of one person but for the common good of all who are under its jurisdiction. It is in our nature as humans to observe such laws which are implemented in a place or group to which we belong. Humans are called to respect the law, like Jesus respected the laws that implemented by the Jews. Perhaps, Jesus’ intention in today’s gospel passage is to make clear his stand about the Law and so ease the fear of the religious leaders who believed that he will abolish the Law they received from God through Moses. Jesus remained faithful to the Law because it is founded on the commandment of love and came directly from the Father. He teaches the disciples the importance of relationship with others that reflects the relationship with God by observing the human law with the respect of the spirit of the law.
Jesus encourages us today, like his disciple in the gospel, to observe the Law not only according to letter and also according to the spirit. We must live the Law in our hearts not just memorize and observed it without love. Jesus knows the human tendency to be rigid and become insensitive toward others who have failed to follow the Law. Changing some laws in order to have a clear understanding about the Law for the good of the common people will be a great step for us to faithfully fulfill our mission to be part of the Kingdom of God. Jesus may have already considered this because of a lot of laws and commandments which the Jews added to the Ten Commandments Moses’ received from God. Rather than to help people have a deeper relationship with God, they suffer and live without dignity. If this is the way of implementing the law, without justification, mercy and understanding, this is not the teaching from Jesus Christ. We sometimes forget that the reason for the Law is not punish us but its purpose is to lead us in the Kingdom of God.
It is important for us who we can call ourselves Jesus’ disciples to live and observed both human law and Divine Law. We need the grace to fully observe and follow these laws so that we are able to respond to Jesus’ invitation to be in greater righteousness. For this reason, we need to be reminded that we are not only citizens of this world but we are the children of God who belong to His kingdom where love conquers all.