how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Did you consider the possibility that both Jesus and Paul were speaking to or about Jews, who heard the Law and didn’t obey it? If Israel had repented following the judgment of AD 70, no doubt the Law would have stayed in force for God’s people. But that didn’t happen, and the people of God became an overwhelmingly Gentile, non-Law-based movement. That’s how I see it, anyway.