Luke 16:16-17 “The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”
The Lord Jesus Christ confronts us with an interesting juxtaposition of ideas in this statement that Luke reports just after the three well-known parables of the ‘lost’ things, and the intriguing parable of the ‘shrewd manager’.
In the ‘lost’ parables, Jesus makes it very clear that, apart from God’s seeking out love and grace, we are all in a helpless state of separation from our Creator with whom we were designed to have a relationship of meaningful, familial fellowship – the One to whom we belong. The other parable helps us to see that we ought to be more concerned about our serious predicament than we naturally are, and we ought to be trying to do something about it, even though we can’t unless God’s mercy and grace intercede for us!
So Jesus shows us that the OT ‘Law and the Prophets’ are good at making us more aware of the problem, but are unable to help us do anything about it. In sharp contrast to this, the ‘good news (‘Gospel’) of the Kingdom of God’, which he has brought into this otherwise hopeless situation, is ‘just the ticket’ for otherwise desperate people who see how bad things are, and are longing for the Kingdom of God. He points out that the solution is not to be found in God’s overlooking the Law and the Prophets which condemn us mercilessly, but in the way of escape from the consequences of our sinfulness which he has come to provide in his substitutionary life of obedience, his death on a cross as payment for our sin, and his glorious resurrection.
– Bruce Christian