When Peter said, “From strangers,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are exempt.”
Who do governments govern and tax? The answer is: strangers. The government of my country, though it is ostensibly representative, has little to no knowledge of who I am and what my goals are and what is important to me. If they knew, it is unlikely that they would care much. I am, after all, a stranger to them.
Jesus notes that the sons of kings and rulers were exempted from taxes. Because they were the children of the rulers, they could be excused from any duty that was laid on the common folk. Where I am going with this thought is to the place where God, in Christ, adopts the believer as a son or daughter. We are no longer under the obligations incurred by being a subject of the King, but are now free as only a child of the King can be. A whole set of rules that once applied no longer does and a whole different set of guidelines an protocols and whatnot is in place. This, to me, just painted a very clear picture of the transition from Law to grace.
When I was under The Law, I was merely a subject living under the rule of the King. I was bound to the Law as every subject is. But, when I was adopted by the King, the obligation to obey the Law that governs the subjects was commuted to a freedom to obey the voice of my Father, Who is the King and the source of The Law. He could choose to tell me that certain parts of the Law do not apply to me. He can explain that some parts never did, but I thought that they did. Until I am adopted, I am bound to obey The Law in order to be at peace with the King. When I have been adopted, I am no longer subject to The Law as such, but instead seek to please my Father, Who has the power to make and to nullify The Law.
I feel like this entry if verbally chasing its tail, but the concept of going from obligation to obey to freedom to please is a bit heady and difficult to nail down. Suffice it to say that I am so very encouraged that I am free to please my Father rather than obliged to obey The Law; liberated from fealty and released into love.
Let me seek to love and please my Father in Heaven today.