March 29, 2017
He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” Luke 10:26
This week fifth and eighth graders in Texas are taking the STAAR reading tests. The exams present a story followed by questions similar in essence to what Jesus asked a certain young lawyer about the law, “What is written? How do you read it?” The test then presents multiple answers from which the students are to select the correct one.
The lawyer answered correctly without a selection of options from Jesus: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus commended him for his answer, saying, “Do this and you will live”. In order to convince himself that he could keep the law, the lawyer sought to qualify his answer by asking, “Who is my neighbor?”
“How do you read the Law?” a. as what I must do to be saved b. as a reminder to try my best c. as God’s notice that I need a savior. When we understand that the Law demands purity in thought, word, and deed, we must conclude that c is the only correct answer. Can we, or do we, ever consistently love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves? If we are to pass the reading test about the law we must answer with a resounding “no”.
Thanks be to God that there was another reading test question about the Gospel! It leads us to understand that we do have a Savior. The apostle Philip approached an Ethiopian eunuch who was reading from Isaiah the prophet. He asked him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” (Acts 8:30) Philip explained how Jesus fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy by dying as the sacrifice that atones for our sins. In his perfect love, He met the requirements for our salvation. Therefore, God raised Him from the dead to show that punishment for sin is complete.
How do you read the Law? If you read the Law correctly, you can also read the Gospel correctly as well. The answer to all the reading questions is Christ.