top of page

It’s the Law! March 3,2024

Exodus 20:1-20, John 2:13-25, Lent 3B

Theme:  The Law



How many times have we heard that shouted!  We’ve heard it in courtrooms. We’ve heard it in the council chambers and senate halls.  We’ve heard it on the streets and even at dinner tables.

Sometimes, it seems there is never a law which applies to a certain injustice, or lawyers find a loophole which allows injustice. 

We are shocked!   “How could such a thing go unpunished!?”

We say this, but law libraries are full of law books with laws for and against thousands, perhaps millions of different infringements of justice.  There are the laws themselves, then there are recordings of court rulings which set precedence.  It’s an unending maze of entanglement!

I am reminded of walking through an ornate park -- a maze of beautiful flowers and manicured lawns.  There were signs everywhere with a simple law written.  “DO NOT WALK ON THE GRASS!”  Yet there were places where paths were worn by people cutting across the lawn.  I came upon a construction project where workers were putting in a new sidewalk.  In conversation with them, one exclaimed, “It seems like every time we pave a place where people are walking across the grass, they find another place as a short cut.  Pretty soon this whole place will be paved!”

Sometimes our laws are like that park and their sidewalks.  Whenever a law is written, it seems like someone finds a ‘shortcut’ which allows another injustice.

In this Sunday’s texts, first we find the Exodus version of what is famously called The Ten Commandments.  According to the author of the second book of the Torah, God gave these laws to Moses while he was there praying. The laws were fashioned by God on stone tablets.   But that is not the end of it.  Deuteronomy, Numbers and Leviticus are full of regulations written interpreting the first ten laws in even more detail.

Then in the New Testament reading, we find Jesus in the Temple nine hundred years later.  He finds money changing tables.  The Roman coins containing Caeser’s likeness were not acceptable for purchasing sacrificial animals.  These coins had to be exchanged for Temple coins.  The changers were charging excessive exchange fees.  While watching the process Jesus discovers the injustice of what they were doing.  These charges resulted in the poor not being able to purchase the animals and other ingredients for required sacrifices.  This angered Jesus to the point he wrecks the tables set up by money changers.  The money changers claim that they are simply following the Levitical law.

A simple ten laws are convoluted into a monstrous confusion of addendums which circumvent God’s intentions.

Jesus is recorded in Mark 12:29-32 quoting in part from Deuteronomy 6:4-9 his interpretation of what all those laws boil down to.   He says, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Join us this Sunday at First Christian Church Warrensburg, Missouri in one of our services as we pray for proper justice.


bottom of page