If we are to “let the law lead us” as Jarrod suggests, we must begin by considering the way we relate to the Bible. The reality is plenty of other folks in Jesus’s day were taking the Bible just as seriously as he was; that wasn’t the issue. No Jesus’s issue with the religious leaders of his day, and his challenge in the Sermon on the Mount, revolved around the manner in which people were taking the scriptures seriously. The most important question for students of the scriptures, for people of the book that were gathering around Jesus was this: were they courageous enough to be honest about the agendas, fear, self-interest, and other concerns that colored the way they read the sacred words and then daring enough to try to set those things aside? That question continues to beg an answer from followers of Jesus to this day.
Richard Rohr briefly describes how these “distorted filters” cause problems for us when we engage the Bible.
So what would it mean to “let the law lead us?” Well, it begins with an admission that all of us bring a lot with us when we sit down to read the scriptures, so much so that it’s no unfair to ask whether we’re really interest in “letting the law lead us” or whether we’re really attempting to lead the law. Then it’s a matter of trying to pursue with everything we’ve got the spirit of the law, the heart of the scriptures, and praying that the Holy Spirit would guide us in that pursuit, that the scriptures and the Spirit in concert would shape us into righteous followers of Jesus.
To that end, this song is a helpful reminder of the spirit of the law and the heart of the scriptures, and a call to pursue it with all we’ve got.
Questions for Reflection
1. How have you understood “the law” at various points in your faith journey? How has your understanding remained the same? How has it changed?
2. Do you tend more toward being a “letter of the law” person or a “spirit of the law” person? What factors do you think have contributed to this tendency?
3. In what area of your life do you feel most faithful to the spirit of the law? Why do you think this is?
4. In what area of your life do you feel you struggle most to be faithful to the spirit of the law? Why do you think this is?
5. Are there any areas of your life you’ve made off limits, so that the law cannot lead you toward righteousness? If so, what are they? What would it take for you to open up these closed off areas?
The Good Life Playlist
If music speaks to your soul, make this playlist–comprised of songs that explore the various themes in the Sermon on the Mount–a part of the soundtrack of your life as we explore together The Good Life Jesus invites us to live.