“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill." Matthew 5:17a
In Jesus’ day there was a lot of confusion and consternation about the Law among the Jews. They were asking questions like: “Does Jesus believe in the Law? Has He claimed to destroy it? Is He teaching some new way to God or some new way of pleasing God?”
Similarly, there seems to be a lot of confusion and consternation about the Law among Christians today. Some believe Jesus came to continue teaching the Law while others believe He came to abolish the Law and replace it with grace citing John 1:17 which says, “The Law was given by Moses, grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” But here in His Sermon on the Mount Jesus clearly states, “I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Jesus did not come to destroy the Law, but to free it from the way the Pharisees and Scribes had wrongly interpreted it. Spurgeon wrote, “To show that He never meant to abrogate the Law, our Lord Jesus has embodied all its commands in His own life. In His own person there was a nature which was perfectly conformed to the Law of God; and as His nature such was His life.”
The prophet Isaiah put it this way in Isaiah 42:21: “The Lord was pleased for His righteousness’ sake to magnify His law and make it glorious.” This is precisely what Jesus did for He was the only Man to ever keep the Law perfectly, therefore He magnified the Law in His life. In everything He said and did He brought glory to God. He alone could say, “Which of you could ever convict me of sin?”
This Sunday we begin a new section of the Sermon on the Mount that is certain to change your relationship to the Law. Together we will be opening up Matthew 5:17-20 in order to clear up any confusion about “Jesus, the Law and You”.
God bless you all and hope to see you there!