gty.org/Resources/Sermons/41-77

We return tonight to the fourteenth chapter of Mark, but I don't want you to turn to that right now. Instead, I want you to turn to the sixteenth chapter of Deuteronomy...the sixteenth chapter of Deuteronomy.

The book of Deuteronomy was basically a reflection of a brief period of time, about a month, in which Israel was on the brink of entering into the promised land after being delivered from Egypt. It's called the Second Law, that's what Deuteronomy means, because on the brink of entering into the promised land, God gave instruction to Moses to give to the people to prepare them as to how they would live when they entered into the land of Canaan, took over the land and became the nation that we know as the nation of Israel. There is all kinds of instruction in the book of Deuteronomy about their conduct, a reiteration of the law that God gave on Mount Sinai, a reiteration of many of the requirements for spiritual life and social life, how they were to live among the nations, how they were to conduct the feasts, the festivals, the Passover, all of that. And then there is tucked in to chapter 16 a very important portion in verses 18 to 20 where God lays out to the people of Israel the responsibility they have to function as a society in a just way.

Verse...well let's start at verse 18, verses 18 to 20. "You shall appoint for yourselves judges and officers in all your towns which the Lord your God is giving you according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment. You shall not distort justice, you shall not be partial, and you shall not take a bribe for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and perverts the words of the righteous. Justice, you shall pursue, that you may live and possess the land which the Lord your God is giving you."

Through the history of Israel, there was an effort to take this instruction seriously. Through the years, the Jews developed a very sophisticated system of jurisprudence, a system of justice. They were proud of it. You know, of course, the Jewish society of our Lord's time was fastidious about observance of the Law. That fastidiousness was basically led by the Pharisees and the scribes who made sure that people adhered to divine Law. The divine Law, not only in Scripture, but divine Law that had been passed down in tradition, but was nonetheless, they believed, from God. That is why our Lord said in the last week of His life, on the Wednesday in the Passion Week, "The scribes and Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses. Therefore all that they tell you do and observe."...

j vimeo.com/39666447

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