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The Kingdom vs the Law

Luke 16:14; Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things and were scoffing at Him.
Luke 16:15; And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God.
Luke 16:16; "The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
Luke 16:17; "But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.

The Pharisees... "who were lovers of money". You know, I don't think money is always a bad thing.
But the question is... "who do you love?". It seems there are many people who love money more than they love
Jesus. In Revelation Jesus talks about losing your first love. He should always be our first (highest) love.

When I read this... I wonder why it mentions money here. In the next verse Jesus says... "You are those who justify themselves.... in the sight of men". How does money apply to this?

I wonder sometimes, do some people wear money... sort of like a badge of approval? I have lots and lots of
money... so God "must" be blessing me. Since He is blessing me.... I "must" be a good person (Christian?)
All these fancy houses, expensive cars and designer clothes "must" mean God really likes me.

Maybe this even goes as far as.... all you poor people better get on the ball. The reason you are poor is
because God "must" have something against you.... Hmmmm.... really? I've flipped through some of the televangelist channels on the television.... is this any different from what some of them are saying today?
Maybe not the exact words.... but the message seems to be all about money.

Jesus goes on to say... "that which is highly esteemed.. (by you).. is detestable to God.

Up until the time of John the Baptist... the "Law" and the prophets were proclaimed. Even in the old testament
God would have rather had men repent.

Ezek 18:32; "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies," declares the Lord GOD. "Therefore, repent and live." ( see Luke 13:3-5; )

We know Jesus was a "kingdom" preacher. He talked about the kingdom of God more than almost any other subject. But it didn't begin with Jesus... it began with John the Baptist ... who came before Jesus... to prepare
"a way" for Jesus... who then had "to decrease"... so that Jesus could increase. ( John 3:30; )

John mentions the kingdom of heaven before Jesus does... ( Matt 3:2; )

But up until John (the Baptist) it was the law and the prophets.... and after the ministry of John began... the
gospel of the kingdom of God was preached. I find it very interesting that Jesus contrasts "the Law" with the "gospel of the kingdom of God". The law was of course the old testament. But the "gospel of the kingdom" was the teaching of the new testament.

Daniel 2:44; and Daniel 7:27; were the only two verses I could find in the old testament that talk about the kingdom of God. (they are mentioned in a "future" context... "in those days... God will")

In the Lord's prayer.. we often say... "your kingdom come..." I wonder if we ever stop and think about what that really means.

Jesus says "everyone is forcing his way into it". Now that could be an open ended phrase. I've heard many interpretations of it. This is similar to Matthew 11.

Matt 11:12; "From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force.
Matt 11:13; "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.

Again.... until John the Baptist... it was the law and the prophets. Now since John the Baptist... the kingdom of heaven.... and violent men take it by force.

What does that mean?

... to be continued ...