December 28 – Luke 2:21-24. Bound to the Law.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

December 28 – Luke 2:21-24. Bound to the Law.

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. 

When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 

In Matthew 5:17, Jesus says, ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

The only problem for many of us is that we miss the fine details of Jesus’ ministry and paint it with such broad strokes that we don’t see how God fulfilled the Law through Jesus.  We only see a great divide between His interpretation of the Law and humanity’s method of wielding God’s law.

Joseph and Mary were responsible to care for the Son of God.  They obeyed the angel when naming the child and then followed the letter of the Law when it came to presenting the child and purifying themselves.

The Law that the Lord had given to Moses and to the Israelites was the guiding light for them as they strove to maintain a relationship with God throughout the centuries.  Even though it had become a duty rather than a joy, obedience to God’s Law was still necessary – especially when raising the Son of God.

With a flick of the finger, the child could have set all that aside, but God’s commitment to humanity and to His chosen people was so great when He bound Himself to the limits of being human, He also bound Himself to His own law.  He never set Himself above it.