The laws of Moses and the revelation of the prophets have prepared you for the arrival of the kingdom realm announced by John. And now when this wonderful news of the kingdom realm of God is preached, people’s hearts burn with extreme passion to press in and receive it. - Luke 16:16 TPT
Here’s another verse that came out of the box for me when I read it in this new translation (The Passion Translation.)
The context is Jesus parrying with the pharisees. It’s fitted snuggly between His teaching on the Lord’s requiring sole proprietorship of you life, and a rebuke for those who use divorce laws to commit adultery.
You may be more familiar with it in the NASB or something like it:
The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. - Luke 16:16 NASB
What I love about this new take is the idea of the Old Testament being preparation for the Gospel of Grace. The law and the revelation of the prophets was supposed to be getting us ready to receive grace.
The Law demonstrates to us how incapable we are of living up to God’s standard of righteousness on our own. As Paul says,
For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, - Romans 8:3 NASB
The law could not save us, but it could prepare us. We were like steak in a marinade. Stewing in the law was supposed to tenderize us for the grace that God had in store.
The prophets demonstrate both the law’s frustration with man and his inability to keep it, and God heart toward His people. Over and over in the prophets we read the Father’s heart to be our God, and for us to be His people. His desire to be a Father to us is stated over and over.
They shall be My people, and I will be their God; - Jeremiah 32:38 NASB
Those attentive to God’s Fatherly intentions were ready to receive with gladness the teachings of this Messiah who came to save. They were ready for baptism, ready for repentance, ready for regeneration.
But this was not universal. There were many who used the law to their advantage, instead of allowing it to tenderize them, to break off their pride and draw out the sweet juices of repentance. These refused the kind offer from the Lord to enter into relationship. They were content with their relationship to the law. They would wield the law, thinking it held no threat for themselves.
But they were so wrong.
As the Lord began to preach the Gospel, many set up fortifications against the incoming tide of grace. This grace would ruin the law leash by which they kept others under control. It would give the hearts of the people back to their Father and release them from the tyranny of these pretenders.
I’m so glad for this Gospel of grace. I’m so thankful for the freedom it offers. Freedom from the tyranny of the law. Freedom to truly connect with our Father. Freedom to be His children and live in relationship with Him.
See you again soon.