The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 115

The Perean Ministry ~ Part 9

In our last post, we followed Yeshua as He left Yerushalayim to go to Perea. In this post, we continue to examine His Perean Ministry as He Continues to Teach in Parables.

The Law and the Kingdom of God

Some commentators regard verses 15 to18 as disconnected remarks by an editor – Yeshua’s response to the P’rushim reaction (v. 14) to His parable of the Dishonest Manager. Verses 15–18 are therefore all connected and connected with the following story (vv. 19–31); note especially that vv. 16 and 31 deal with the Torah and the Prophets. Thus, there is a cumulative effect to what Yeshua is saying, with v. 18 presenting a telling example of how the Torah cannot become void, more when the Kingdom of God, God’s active present rulership, is so near. [1]

14 The P’rushim heard all this, and since they were money lovers, they ridiculed him (literally, “they turned up their noses at Him.) 15 He said to them,You people make yourselves look righteous to others, but God knows your hearts; what people regard highly is an abomination before God! 16 Up to the time of Yochanan, there were the Torah and the Prophets. Since then, the Good News of the Kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is pushing to get in.

Up to the time of Yochanan the Immerser, the Torah and the Prophets were giving their prophetic and predictive witness to the coming of the Kingdom of God. The verse does not mean that the authority of the Torah and the Prophets ended when Yochanan appeared. But since then, in addition to their witness, the Good News of the Kingdom of God, which is now “near,” has been proclaimed directly, first by Yochanan (Mt 3:1–2) and now by Yeshua (Mt 4:17, Mk 1:15), with the result that everyone is pushing to get in.

17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter in the Torah to become void. 18 Every man who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and a man who marries a woman divorced by her husband commits adultery. [2]

See Mattityahu 19:3–9 on Yeshua’s position on divorce, but this pronouncement of Yeshua’s is not primarily a teaching on divorce. Instead, it demonstrates that the Torah and the Prophets continue to have authoritative force, as v. 17 has explicitly stated. The P’rushim are not to use their position of power to interpret Scripture in ways that contradict its intent.

In our next post, Yeshua Continues to Speak in Parables in Perea.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.

[2]  Luke 16:14-18.

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