The assigned scriptures for this Sunday are familiar passages, though most of us probably don’t remember their location in the Bible; “The 10 Commandments” from Exodus 20; and Jesus chasing folks out of temple in John 2.
“The Big 10” have been used for many centuries as the framework for all our ethical responsibilities and behavior. We can still learn a great deal from these Biblical laws. However, there is a danger when we view the “The Big 10” as laws to be imposed on others. In 2003, the Chief Justice of the AL Supreme Court was removed from office because he insisted on imposing his view of the “Big 10” by placing a huge monument of them in the Supreme Court building and refused to remove it when ordered to do so.
What he and people like him fail or refuse to understand is that while laws, even “The Big 10” may alter people’s behavior; it doesn’t alter people’s heart.
While they are called “laws,” God’s purpose for giving “The Big 10” was to provide a relational tool for treating others with dignity, respect and honesty. That’s why when Jesus was asked “what is the greatest commandment,” He didn’t reference any of “The Big 10.” Rather, He spoke about “The Bigger 2;” “love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” Later, Jesus gave “The New 1”, “love one another as I have loved you. By this people will know you are My disciples.”
God is not expecting us to live out some laws on a monument; but to live the law of love originally given in “the Big 10” through that given through “The Bigger 2” and “The New 1.”
Join us at Covenant this Sunday. My sermon will be on “Relationships: The Big 10, The Bigger 2 and The New 1” based on Exodus 20:1-17 and John 2:13-17.