Shaped by a life of service to Christ’s Church, Fr. Christopher has dedicated himself to using all the tools God has placed at his disposal to spread the light of Orthodoxy across America. As Founding Father and host of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and the “Come Receive The Light” national Orthodox Christian radio program, he shepherds a dynamic and rapidly expanding ministry bringing joy, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ to millions of listeners on Internet and land-based radio around the world in more than 130 countries. Fr. Christopher lives in Brookline, MA and is the President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology.
Both Law and Gospel: We Need Both
Section 1 (Matthew 15:10-20)
1. In this section of chapter 15, we have a new law, a new set of Christian ethical principles. This law comes directly from Jesus, who gives a new Shema, a new “Hear, O Israel!”.
2. The radical nature of Jesus’ new law is evident when compared to the old law (Leviticus).
3. “It is not what goes into the mouth [food] that defiles the person; it is what comes up out of the mouth [speech] that defiles the person.“
4. Reversing the “outward/inward” principle. Our own hearts and thoughts condemn us.
Section 2 (Matthew 15:11-28)
1. In this section, we see the good news, the answer to our ethical problem, the solution to inner failure to live according to divine precepts.
2. What we say is critical once again. “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.”
3. “Then Jesus responded and said to her, “O woman, your faith is terrific; let it be done to your exactly as you want.”
Conclusion: In the first part of chapter 15, Jesus broke decisively with a whole section of Hebrew Scripture, laying down a new (very difficult) law. In the next section, he breaks with tradition again, opening up salvation and healing to all who call upon his name.
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