Nailed It!

  • By Pastor Boffey
  • on Thursday, February 26, 2015
Matthew 22:37-40 (37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. The words of the Lord Jesus Christ in today's text were in response to a lawyer tempting Him with a question, “...Master, which is the great commandment of the law?” (MAT 22:34-36). These two commandments accord with the two tables of the Ten Commandments (DEU 4:13) which set forth man's relating to God first (EXO 20:1-11) and man's relating to man second (EXO 20:12-17). A believer may only know that he loves the brethren if he loves God and keeps His commandments (1JO 5:2) and conversely “...he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1JO 4:20). The first occurrence in Scripture of any form of the word “love” is in GEN 22:2, where a beloved only son was commanded to be made a sacrifice; the last occurrence is in REV 22:15 which speaks of the condemning love of a lie. It was for the love of Satan's lie (GEN 3:3-5) that sin and death came upon all men (ROM 5:12) and the only remedy could be the beloved, only begotten Son made a sacrifice for us (MAT 3:17; JOH 3:16; 2CO 5:21; HEB 9:26). How curious are these brackets of “love” in our Bible (Genesis and Revelation): it is like a cryptic summary of God's salvation planned in view of man's fall into sin. The two great love commandments in our text today are described as those upon which hang all the law and the prophets (v. 40). The common element of both commandments is love. Love “ the fulfilling of the law” (ROM 13:10) and (as charity) “...the end of the commandment...” (1TI 1:5). Considering these two commandments by their commonality (love), the image set forth is like that of a nail from which hangs the law and the prophets, i.e., the entirety of the Old Testament suspended from a nail. The prophet Isaiah (who spoke so richly of the coming Messiah that Paul considered his prophecy the gospel, ROM 10:15-21) recorded: (Isaiah 22:20) And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: (Isaiah 22:21) And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. (Isaiah 22:22) And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. (Isaiah 22:23) And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house. (Isaiah 22:24) And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. This prophecy spoke of God's “...servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah...” (ISA 22:20-21) to whom the government of God's people would be committed. Eliakim was a historic person whose name means “God of raising.” As is sometimes the case with O.T. prophecies, there is a blended vision of present effect with a distant effect in Christ. REV 3:7 clearly uses ISA 22:22 of Christ: “...These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” Some of the prophecy of Eliakim (God of raising) applies to Christ “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death...” (ACT 2:24) to sit on David's throne (ACT 2:29-32), and as the key was to be upon Eliakim's shoulder, so with Christ “...the government shall be upon his shoulder....upon the throne of David...” (ISA 9:6-7). It is noteworthy how much of ISA 22:23-24 could apply to Christ. Jesus Christ is the epitome of the love of God (“...I love the Father...” [JOH 14:31]) and the love of man (“...having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” [JOH 13:1] c/w JOH 15:13; ROM 5:8-10). From the standpoint of perfect love (the commonality of the two great commandments), all the law and the prophets hang on Him. All the law and the prophets spoke of Him (JOH 1:45; JOH 5:39; ACT 28:23). Christ fulfilled the law and the prophets (MAT 5:17) by His flawless obedience of every precept and commandment of the law and by His satisfaction of every Messianic prophecy, including those which spoke of His sufferings (LUK 24:25-26; ACT 26:22-23). He is now fastened “ a nail in a sure place...for a glorious throne to his father's house” (ISA 22:23): in heaven on a heavenly throne over a heavenly kingdom which cannot be shaken or moved (HEB 12:27-28); He is “...the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (HEB 13:8). We may even consider that upon Him has been hanged “...all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons” (ISA 22:24). All the offspring and issue, the children which God gave Him (HEB 2:13) are many and varied “...vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (ROM 9:23). With this kind of love, and this level of security, believers can hang all their hopes on Him also.

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