In the 3rd week in our series studying Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, our reflection this week is based onMatthew 5:21-37and a text from the Hebrew Scriptures, Deuteronomy 30:15-20. Both of these texts reflect on the meaning and purpose of law. In biblical terms, the law is always a “gift to strengthen community by orienting us to the needs of our neighbor.” How do we understand the role of laws in our lives today, especially as the three branches of US government tussle daily on the front pages of the news over the creation, enforcement, and morality of our laws? With growing awareness and critical thinking about how we relate to laws today, a biblical understanding of law can help us ask good questions.
Between children and their parents, citizens and their government, people of faith and their God:
What confers authority?
Who benefits (and who suffers) in following the “letter of the law”?
When should and how authority be resisted?