Fourteen hundred years before the birth of Christ, Moses foretold of Jesus and His purpose which was foreordained before time began.
Prior to entering the Promised Land, God revealed to Moses the future great Prophet.
“I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth…And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.” Deuteronomy 18:18-19
Then when Jesus walked on the earth and while addressing the Jews He confirmed the authenticity of the message God gave to Moses which he had passed on to the Israelites fourteen hundred years earlier.
Jesus acknowledged that the pious Jews believed and trusted in Moses.
“For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me.” John 5:46
Jesus not only confirmed that Moses spoke of Him, He also confirmed the immutability of the law given to Moses.
Recall the story of the rich young ruler who inquired of Jesus what he must do to have eternal life.
Jesus told him that he must keep the commandments. The young man asked Him which ones he needed to obey.
“Jesus said to him, ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 19:18-19
Jesus listed those that affected mans’ relationship to one another. Instead of listing the 10th commandment relative to coveting, He summarized interpersonal relationships by stating such commandments could be fulfilled by loving one’s fellowman. His statement in no way implies that coveting was no longer a requirement of the law.
Fulfilling the interpersonal relationships by loving one’s neighbor was introduced at the time the law was given.
“You shall not hate your brother in your heart…You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge…but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD.” Leviticus 19:17-18
Jesus would then summarize the Ten Commandments into two categories, i.e. those relating to one’s relationship with God and those relating to one’s relationship to his neighbor.
“Jesus said to him (a Pharisee), ‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Both summary commandments were given to Moses at the time the law was originally given.
In another confrontation with the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, Jesus told another story about a rich man and a beggar.
Recall that the rich man lived ‘sumptuously’ while the beggar, full of sores, was laid at the rich man’s gate waiting for crumbs from the rich man’s table.
Both died. While suffering in Hades the rich man as a last resort asked Abraham to send someone to warn his brothers of the torment in Hades. Abraham’s response:
“…If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” Luke 16:31
The law given through Moses and the Prophets was immutable.
Then after Jesus’ death and resurrection while on the Road to Emmaus He revealed Himself to His fellow travelers.
“Then He said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!’ …And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” Luke 24:25, 27
Early in His earthly ministry, Jesus proclaimed His relationship to the Law of Moses.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets, I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” Matthew 5:17-18
Next we’ll examine the immutability of the law given to Moses relative to the church.
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