17 Jul 2015
It’s something we’ve probably heard our parents say: “Eat everything on your plate.” The meat, the potatoes, the vegetables and fruits, and your glass of milk. Eat it all up. Even if you like some of it better than the rest, eat everything on your plate. It makes for a balanced diet.
And God says something similar: “When you roast the lamb, roast all of it—with the head and shanks and inner organs. Cook it all up and eat as much of it as you can.” Of course, the “lamb” here is an Old Testament preview of Jesus the Lamb of God.
And so, we can translate this to mean: “When you hear Jesus say, ‘Take this and eat of it; take this and drink from it’ he means all of it.” And by the “it,” we mean everything he has to offer: his forgiveness, his wisdom, his teachings, his example, his being, his very self. Eat it all up if you want a well-balanced diet of heavenly food.
Now, some of the Pharisees didn’t do that. They knew parts of God’s law, and chose to forget or ignore other parts. They were right to say that the disciples were violating the law on the Sabbath. But they were just as wrong when they overlooked the story of David and the further teachings in the law. There’s the “law,” and then there’s the fuller law.
And that’s what God wants from us. He says to us: “Eat it all up. Listen to everything that my Son tells you in word or example. Don’t love your neighbor just when it’s convenient; love your neighbor always. Don’t be so concerned with justice—even if there’s a legitimate cause to be concerned—don’t be so concerned with justice that you forget mercy.”
If we’re going to follow the law of God—we have to follow all of it. If we going to call ourselves “Christians,” then we need to listen to everything Christ has to say. In today’s world that’s increasingly polarized, people can be quite assertive in saying, “I’m a conservative. I’m a liberal. I’m an independent.” The problem is that God doesn’t operate under those categories.
If we’re going to follow the law of God, sometimes we’re going to look like a conservative. If we’re going to follow the example of Christ, sometimes we’re going to look like a liberal. And that’s because the fullness of what Christ is trying to give us by way of his example and teachings, and such, goes way beyond human political categories.
We hear the voice of God and the voice of our parents here: “Eat it all up. Take in everything the Lamb gives you. Even if you like some it better than the rest, eat everything on your plate. It makes for a balanced diet. It makes for true Christian living."
So, how’s your diet coming?