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The Profession of Faith

149

justice.”

338

Jesus fulfills the Law to the point of taking upon himself

“the curse of the Law” incurred by those who do not “abide by the

things written in the book of the Law, and do them,” for his death

took place to redeem them “from the transgressions under the first

covenant.”

339

581

The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a

rabbi.

340

He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpreta-

tion of the Law.

341

Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the

Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs

but taught the people “as one who had authority, and not as their

scribes.”

342

In Jesus, the same Word of God, that had resounded onMount

Sinai to give the written Law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the

Mount of the Beatitudes.

343

Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it

by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way: “You have heard that

it was said to the men of old . . . . But I say to you. . . .”

344

With this same

divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees

that were “making void the word of God.”

345

582

Going even further, Jesus perfects the dietary law, so impor­

tant in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through

a divine interpretation: “Whatever goes into a man from outside cannot

defile him . . . (Thus he declared all foods clean.). What comes out of a

man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man,

come evil thoughts. . . .”

346

In presenting with divine authority the

definitive interpretation of the Law, Jesus found himself confronted by

certain teachers of the Law who did not accept his interpretation of the

Law, guaranteed though it was by the divine signs that accompanied

it.

347

This was the case especially with the sabbath laws, for he recalls

often with rabbinical arguments, that the sabbath rest is not violated by

serving God and neighbor,

348

which his own healings did.

II.

J

esus and

the

T

emple

583

Like the prophets before him Jesus expressed the deepest

respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that

Joseph and Mary presented him forty days after his birth.

349

At the

age of twelve he decided to remain in the Temple to remind his

338

Jer

31:33;

Isa

42:3, 6.

339

Gal

3:13; 3:10;

Heb

9:15.

340 Cf.

Jn

11:28; 3:2;

Mt

22:23-24, 34-36.

341 Cf.

Mt

12:5; 9:12;

Mk

2:23-27;

Lk

6:6-9;

Jn

7:22-23.

342

Mt

7:28-29.

343 Cf.

Mt

5:1.

344

Mt

5:33-34.

345

Mk

7:13; cf. 3:8.

346

Mk

7:18-21; cf.

Gal

3:24.

347 Cf.

Jn

5:36; 10:25, 37-38; 12:37.

348 Cf.

Num

28:9;

Mt

12:5;

Mk

2:25-27;

Lk

13:15-16; 14:3-4;

Jn

7:22-24.

349

Lk

2:22-39.

2054

368

548

2173

529

534