“But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set’
I am rather overwhelmed by today’s reading. I find that the one thing God seems to hate most is people trying to be righteous by a moral conduct. The sad fact is that many confused Jesus with that moral conduct.
Here is an article which exemplifies this perfectly:
The apostle Peter also warns that those who have escaped the clutches of sin through a saving knowledge of Christ and then gets entangled with sin again are worse off than before.
“If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.
Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud” (2 Peter 2:20-22).
Dear friends, I want us to know that the above passage has nothing to do with “back sliding” or being entangled with sin. In order to appreciate that writings of Peter, it is necessary to realize the following:
a) That the Old Covenant had its last prophet in John the Baptist;
b) That the Old Covenant began to fade with Jesus fulfilling the Law by him dying on the Cross;
c) That the New Covenant took place at Jesus’ resurrection;
d) That the apostles did not know that the Old Covenant had begun to fade away until the emergence of Paul when Jesus showed him the grace gospel (see Galatians 1) and Peter being shown the dream to eat un-koshered animals and the meeting with Cornelius;
e) That the apostles formally declared the Old Covenant has ended in the council of Jerusalem in Acts 15;
f) That the Old Covenant finally ended when the Temple was burned down and the sacrifices of bulls and goats came to an end in AD 70;
g) That from the time Jesus died to the destruction of the Temple, the Old Covenant was fading away (See Hebrews 7 and 8); and
h) Many of the epistles were in fact written at that time. Hence many at times, the apostles called this period “last days”. It is a reference of the last day of law of Moses, and not the coming of Christ.
As such most of the epistles were written to address a very important issue since most of the early Christians were predominant Jews and the Gentiles who had just came to Christ were wondering if they needed to keep the Law of Moses. Hence the enemy of the church was not the world but Jews who were trying to bring Christians (Jew or Gentile) who came out of the Law back to the Law.
That dear friends, is what it means by “a dog going back to its vomit” which is a quotation from Proverbs signifying a man going back to its folly. The only time Paul called someone a fool was to the Galatians in chapter 3 when he said to them, that they were justified by grace and yet now is attempting to be righteous by observing the law.
Notice Peter speaks about the sacred command. Not commands. It is easy to read the same as the 10 commandments. It is not. It is the command to believe in the name of Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins (1 John 3:23). One command.
So Peter calls these people who try to bring the Christians back under the Law “springs without water and mists driven by a storm.” Peter says of them “If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.”
Note what Peter had said that the way you escape the corruption of the world is by knowing Jesus. Then he said they are again entangled in it, they are worse off at the end. Notice the words “they are AGAIN entangled in it”. This means there were in it before. This is a reference to people who came out of the Law. They are making the same mistake.
Which brings us to our devotion, Jesus said ““But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set”, he said that right after Jesus healed a man on a Sabbath. They had set their hopes on Moses. “They” here refers to the Pharisees and the Jewish leaders. They were religious leaders of that day who had great confidence in the observance of the Law.
Jesus hates that.
Yet Jesus says he doesn’t accuse them, but Moses will because they set their hopes on the Law. Dear friends, God has entrusted all judgment onto Jesus and he doesn’t accuse anyone who believes in him for his righteousness, because he became our righteousness. For those of us who say that is not enough let us be careful. Moses is near.
Thought of the day.
You are no longer Law because you died with Christ, you are under Grace because you rose with him.