The Weekend Word
Christ Came to Fulfill the Law
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
- Matthew has spent great time to show Jesus as the fulfillment.
- What is the difference between abolishing the Law vs Fulfillment?
- The contract is kept.
- Jesus could have declared bankruptcy for all of us or he could work off our debt.
- Same with Prophets and Prophecies – Jesus is the fulfillment
- Jesus IS the New Temple – Jesus IS the Promised Land – Jesus IS all the Ark of the Covenant.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
- Nothing just goes away – Jesus makes it go away
- Accomplished – When? How? – By Whom?
- How about this – At the Crucifixion and Resurrection
- At THIS time Heaven & Earth passed away and God began the New Creation.
- Tricky verse because it could mean the Law is still upon us.
- We should be observing “No cooking a goat in its mother’s milk.
- Modern day version – no cheese burgers!
- What is he saying about the law?
- God’s eternal will or the written law = Torah?
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
- Are there different levels of heaven?
- Are there different levels of Christians in heaven?
- A heavenly cast system?
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
- If you are going to do it by your “own righteousness” – then you had better be darn good at it.
- Those of us “in Christ” have gained Christ’s righteousness – therefore we have exceeded the righteousness of the Scribes and the Pharisees
Anger – In this section it is like Jesus is saying “you think you have kept the commandments? Not even close.
21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’
- When Jesus says “You have heard that it was said to those of old” – who said that? Where would they have heard that?
- Is that just a general how the law was read?
- Today we would quote chapter and verse – “in Exodus 1:1 it says…”
- 2nd part of verse – this is just “do the crime you must do the time.”
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
- People – Individuals – You & Me – we read the Law in a way that excuses ourselves – in a way that allows us to squirm out.
- Jesus closes the loopholes.
- It’s not just taking life- destroying life, but the command is to preserve life in the way it was originally meant to be.
- Don’t make your brother’s life miserable.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
- Reconciliation vs Problem Solving
- We all understand problem solving = I just won’t deal with that person again!! Problem solved.
- What does Jesus require?
25 Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison.
26 Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny.
- Settle up – make amends. Make peace quickly with all.
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
- Does this show the oral tradition of scripture knowledge – that very few people actually read the Bible?
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
- What is the real nature of our sin?
- Guys might say “well, if she did not dress that way, I wouldn’t look.”
- But this is not so – we could put our women in Burkas and we men would be trying to figure out / imagine what was under the Burka.
- That is the way we are wired
29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell.
- There you go – a solution to avoid sin.
- Is Jesus playing with words or is he serious?
- If you want to get to heaven on your own you had better start getting rid of body parts
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.
- Again, this may be hyperbole; Jesus may be trying to show how pervasive sin is in our lives and how helpless we are to correct it…
- Or, maybe not.
Divorce – we will see divorce in more detail in ch 19
31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’
32 But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
- What is the “But I say…” Can Jesus override or add to the Law?
- This is so important because of the destructive nature of divorce on the family – that there is a double whammy.
- What was the status of divorced women – shame, no work, dependence on society?
- But there is forgiveness.