The Faithful Men and Women of Old
We have examined the typical representations of the Law Covenant, and we used that as a means of establishing a common ground with our brothers who look to the Jewish system of things as a model, in order to lead them to the New Covenant.
Paul also utilized this technique of using the traditions of others to establish common ground when he was speaking to the men in Athens:
“Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.’”
– Acts 17:22-23
The Law is indeed a “guardian until Christ came,” but once we are led to the Christ, we can leave the tutor behind. (Galatians 3:24-25)
“For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.”
– 1 Corinthians 13:9-10
Nevertheless, while we do not imitate their religious system, we should be careful not to look with disdain upon the children of Abraham because they have fallen on days of traditional barrenness. The forefathers offered themselves up to the persistent and passionate search for God, and they found him as no other whole race of men have ever known him since the times of Adam.
Our Father has not failed to mark the long and untiring struggle of Israel, ever since the days of Moses, to find God and to know God. For weary generations, the Jews have not ceased to toil, sweat, groan, travail, and endure the sufferings and experience the sorrows of a misunderstood and despised people, all in order that they might come a little nearer the discovery of the truth about God. And, notwithstanding all the falterings of Israel, they progressively, from Moses to the times of Amos and Hosea, did reveal increasingly to the whole world an ever clearer and more truthful picture of the eternal God. And so was the way prepared for the still greater revelation of the Father through Jesus in which we have all, including the Jews, been called to share.