As we went through the commandments, we found again and again our need of forgiveness. God’s standards are high and holy. When we measure ourselves against God’s standard, we find that we have missed the mark. We are sinners. The Israelites knew this as well, so they drew away and stood far off. If you have ever felt unworthy to draw near to God, this passage is for you. We sinners must draw near to God. But how?
The final commandment is unique. We can find that other ancient cultures echoed many of the precepts of the moral code God reveals here for Israel in the Ten Commandments. But the commandment not to covet is unique. It cannot be found anywhere else. Here the tenth command turns inward.
One of the great intellectual plagues of modernity and postmodernity is the idea that truth does not exist. Truth is relative, they say. In one respect, this is the natural conclusion of those who adopt hard materialism. And with God absent, there is no one being who sees everything as it really is. These are more than philosophical problems. These are spiritual problems. This morning we turn to the 9th commandment, You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
As I stand here, it’s hard to sense the great importance that this message could have for us as a church of Jesus Christ. Some of you have been or will be tempted to commit adultery in its various forms. The sick state of our present age, ranging from rampant divorce, atheism, pornography, homosexuality, and the transgender insanity, can be traced to the cold disregard for this one command of God. Yet this command remains as true today as it did 3400 years ago.
The sixth commandment seems like a strange, far-off thing to most of us. Few if any of us, have ever taken another man’s life. And yet, even here, with the sixth commandment, there is more here than meets the eye. May the Lord open to his holy demands this morning.
The 5th Commandment may be the one we have heard the most over the course of our lives. We were told it when we were children, even babies. But there is more here than a word about how little children should behave. Indeed, this fifth word is filled with significance.
The focus of this passage is on the Lord Jesus Christ. The disciples’ response is important. Their words of praise, echoing Psalm 118, is clearly given to us as a positive example. Jesus clearly thinks the praise is a good thing. One point of the story of the Triumphal Entry is that we should respond to these events the same way Jesus’ disciples did. Luke’s account of the triumphal entry suggests at least three distinct reasons for us to rejoice in Christ.