unholy (Matthew 15:1-20, Mark 7:1-23). In other words, since heaven and earth continue to exist, the law remains unchanged and will continue to be in effect. He had strong words for any who claimed to worship Him and failed to obey God’s commandments, both in the letter and the spirit. different meanings at the time of Jesus:1,2. Jesus was educated in the synagogue in Jerusalem from the age of twelve. This wasn’t a matter of wanting to adhere to the purest interpretation of justice according to the law. The law was always about love and by explaining more about that, Jesus magnified the law. Download our free booklet Change Your Life! the Old Testament? He spent seven years in the navy and 25 years in the computer industry. His disciples should not even harbor hateful attitudes and demeaning thoughts about another person (Matthew 5:21-22). Luke 12:15, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, Galatians 5:19-21, James 1:27, 2:15-16, 1 John and agricultural life of ancient Israel (Exodus 12:14-16, Leviticus 1:10-13, The scribes and Pharisees were known for obeying the letter of the law. Jesus continued, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (verse 19). Does the Bible forbid eating pork and shellfish? That is to say, one is not subject to the law of Christ until one has obeyed the gospel of Christ. People complained about paying taxes even in Jesus’ time. "Not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, All rights reserved. In about the year 49 A.D., Peter, Paul, Barnabas, James and other Christian leaders — John 8:5. 2 Corinthians 3:1-18, Galatians 2:15-20). any work on the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14, Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6, Luke 6:1-11, 13:10-17, Later Jesus explained that love can be expressed in two great commandments—love toward God and love toward your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-39). the Scripture would endure until the end of time. Love Doesn't Get Better Than This. He asserted that not even something as small as an accent mark in the written law would be changed until heaven and earth pass away (verse 18)—and that is a long time! Jack Hendren and his wife, Mary, met at Hanover College in southern Indiana and have been married over 50 years. Instead of doing away with or replacing God’s laws, Jesus affirmed the law, stated His commitment to it and built His sermon on that foundation. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Then, in a society that assumed that the scribes and the Pharisees were the epitome of law keeping, Jesus made the even more surprising claim, “Unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (verse 20). He had strong words for any who claimed to worship Him and failed to obey God’s commandments, both in the letter and the spirit.What is clear about Jesus’ teaching is the intensity He gave to loving God. The command to “love your neighbor as yourself” goes all the way back to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 19:18). His actions and other teachings. How Should a Christian Deal With the Coronavirus Pandemic? So in the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus said that He fulfilled the law (Matthew 5:17), what did He mean? Christians still look to the Old Testament scripture for moral and spiritual ethical laws in You are My friends if you do whatever I command you” (John 15:13-14). So first, here is Jesus speaking specifically on the topic of Old Testament teachings: The Law Stands “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. and intentions) rather than just technical observance of the letter of the law Through His teachings and actions, Jesus He affirmed and expanded Now remain in … Jesus made reference to the Law and Prophets as a unit, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill,” (Matt. It is frequently pointed out that the term "the Law" could have many different meanings at the time of Jesus:1,2 1. The moral and ethical teachings of Jesus and His apostles As Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. [] 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their exampleFor they don’t practice what they teach. It is not surprising, then, that when asked about divorce and remarriage, Jesus took his listeners all the way back to the beginning, reminding them that God created humanity as male and female (Gen. 1:27) and stipulated that the man, upon marriage, was to leave his father and mother and to be united to his wife (Gen. 2:24) in a one-flesh union before God that … All will be fulfilled Jesus said, "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to … the time of Moses. Jesus goes on to show, by means of a series of five “antitheses” (“You have heard it said . Paul said that having knowledge of the commandments brings an awareness of what sin is (Romans 7:7). But, the treatment of slaves by Romans and by Greek masters *was* known, and that is the slavery that Jesus refers to. moral teachings that form the basis of Christian morality (Exodus 20:1-17, They feel that Jesus kept the law for us so that we don’t have to do it. However, Jesus and His disciples did not observe the strict scribal rules against doing Many of the laws were specific for the worship system  Never miss a post! The disciples surely wondered how this could be and what Jesus meant in these teachings about the law. but to fulfill them. It is also pointed out that Jesus, Himself, is the fulfillment of the Law The Bible doesn’t leave any doubt about what these men were attempting to do. directed the Gentile Christians to abstain from certain things that were particularly it represents the most recent and most perfect revelation from God (Hebrews 8:13, Christ said, “If you want to enter into [eternal] life, keep the commandments.” He made sure everyone knew He meant the 10 Commandments by naming several of them in this passage of Scripture (Matthew 19:16-19). If you see heaven and earth are still existing, then the law is … people (Luke 1:72, Acts 3:25, Romans 9:4-5, 11:26-29, Galatians 3:17). 2:16). 5:17, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill.” Yes: Eph. 2Bruce Barton, ed., Life Application Bible Study Notes, Tyndale House Didn’t Jesus give a “new commandment”? Everyone who desires to have a relationship with Jesus Christ must practice what He taught. It is frequently pointed out that the term "the Law" could have many Sign up to receive the week's latest articles, blog posts and updates. In a 2012 article for Slate online, Will Oremus asked a provocative question: Was Jesus a homophobe?1The article was occasioned by a story about a gay teenager in Ohio who was suing his high school after school officials prohibited him from wearing a T-shirt that said, “Jesus Is Not a Homophobe.”Oremus was less concerned about the legal issues of the story than he was about the accuracy of the statement on the shirt. By saying this, Jesus magnified the law against adultery—a lingering, lustful thought breaks the commandment as much as the actual act does. Jesus frequently criticized the scribal The ceremonial laws including "clean" and "unclean" lists, sacrifices, dietary restrictions, ritual I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17). 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-42, 43-48, 7:1-5, 15:18-19, 25:37-40, Mark 7:21-23, 12:28-31, It is not a binding legal regime today. relax their moral standards. Since all have sinned, the only way any of us can be righteous at all is to have our sins paid for by Jesus Christ. no food can defile a person; it is bad attitudes and actions that can make a person Christ taught Law not Gospel. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Jesus fulfulled the law in that way because in the few days leading up to his death, on the passover, he was questioned the most severely by the Jews. According to one set, especially prominent in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Jesus admonished his followers to observe the law unwaveringly (Matthew 5:17–48). upon those principles, but He said obedience must be from the heart (attitudes Christ did not simply do away with the law, he ended or fulfilled it. Thus, Jesus summarized the 10 Commandments under two great summary laws: love God and love your neighbor. (Matthew 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-42, 43-44, etc.). According to another set, he did not adhere strictly to the law himself and even transgressed current opinions about some aspects of it, especially the Sabbath (e.g., Mark … offensive to their Jewish brethren - food sacrificed to idols, blood, meat of strangled Jesus was not in any way negating the Law; He was showing us the reason for the Law. Jesus and the woman taken in adultery (often called Pericope Adulterae for short) is a passage found in the Gospel of John 7:53–8:11, that has been the subject of much scholarly discussion.. Not One Jot or Tittle Shall Pass Away As we saw, Jesus did not mention the Sabbath or the Ten Commandments in Matthew 5:17-19. The Apostle Peter said in 1 Pet 2:13-17, "Then be obedient to every law of man for the Lord's sake…honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor him who rules." Like life in “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Jesus did not restrict that he had come to fulfill to the Mosaic Law code. However, God has not revoked His original covenant with Israel and the Jewish Jesus made it a point that He didn’t come to do away with the Law and that includes the tithing principle. Some teach that Jesus, in his ministry, interpreted the Law of Moses to the Jews and did not preach the gospel. “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. The common explanation is that Jesus Christ’s obedience is credited to all who accept Him as their Savior. He said he also came to fulfill the prophetic writings. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). The Roman Empire, which had conquered Israel, imposed a heavy financial burden to pay for its army, road system, courts, temples to the Roman gods, and for the emperor’s personal wealth. 10:4)  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross ended forever the need for The Pharisees challenged Jesus: In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. That would be consistent with 23:6-9, Leviticus 19:9-10, 19:18, Deuteronomy 6:5). 11:1-23, 15:19-20, 19:19, 19:27-28, 27:30-32, Deuteronomy 25:5-6). Neither did they perform the ritual hand washings before This page is also available in: हिन्दी (Hindi) Many Christians believe somehow that God’s grace canceled His Law, and therefore, we don’t have to keep the Ten Commandments anymore. washings, etc. Throughout His ministry Jesus taught the importance of God’s commandments. Repentance means understanding that we have done wrong and that we are truly sorry for having broken God’s laws. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” And many still wonder today. eating (Matthew 15:1-2). He brought forward the teaching of the Old Testament to love Him “with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5). Understanding the commandments and obeying them is the basis for a relationship with Christ. When Jesus was asked if it was lawful to give tribute to Caesar, he answered, "Give … The New Covenant guidance (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, Now what do You say? But in every case Jesus defends himself. Jesus Criticizes the Religious Leaders. What has happened to all the commandments and ordinances in 23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. In his second epistle he summarized it this way: “And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another” (2 John 1:5). The ceremonial laws including "clean" and "unclean" lists, … The Law Print subscriptions available in U.S., Canada and Europe, Article URL: https://lifehopeandtruth.com/change/christian-conversion/the-sermon-on-the-mount/jesus-and-the-law/. (Of course, there is another aspect to this. 14:1-6, John 5:1-18). The apostle John also talked about this new commandment, but he said it was not really new (1 John 2:7-10). guidance of the Holy Spirit, that nothing was required of the Gentile converts except faith in Christ; Each person needs to repent of sin and follow the words of Jesus Christ. But Jesus set the example and taught that we must also obey the spirit of the law. call for even greater self-discipline than those of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:21-22, He met the law's requirements by obeying it perfectly in thought and deed, both in the letter and in the intent of the heart. reading, this seems to say that all the Old Testament rules and rituals must Publishers, Inc., 1991. However, the council After His death and resurrection, Jesus’ apostles also taught the necessity of keeping the commandments. met in Jerusalem to settle the issue (Acts 15:1-29). (, Saturday (seventh day) Sabbath observance (. It begins with repentance and accepting Christ as Savior. If, however, the law of Moses is still binding today on men as it was before Christ came, then it was not fulfilled and Jesus failed at what he came to do. He does not say, "The Torah is no longer valid." What did Jesus really say about the law? animals and sexual immorality (Acts 15:29). This righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. struggling to survive. Unfortunately, many people think He did destroy the law. He preached in the synagogue. of Moses was given to the Israelites when they were still a band of ex-slaves They claim that by accepting Jesus Christ as Savior a Christian is freed from any obligation to obey God’s law. Let’s consider the verses: No: Matt. (Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 20:10-14, 21:18-21, 22:23-24). But Jesus and His disciples did not observe many of those rules and rituals, so it could not mean that. disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. See “What Is Justification?”). For example, in magnifying the Seventh Commandment Jesus stated, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28, emphasis added throughout). Confusion begins when some conclude that demonstrating love  somehow replaces keeping God’s law. And what does the Sermon on the Mount tell us about Jesus and the law? still be observed. Therefore, Jesus may have been specifically teaching that the moral and In order to say that Jesus had the Sabbath in mind, we would be forced to say that he was commanding Christians to follow all the laws of the Law and Prophets, or the Old Testament. Finally, he saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the Law by predicting God's rejection of Israel while including Gentiles (Matthew 21:33-46); by proving he understood meanings in the Law the leaders missed (22:23-33); by assuming authority over all its human leaders (Matthew 23:1-39); and by overwhelming its limited authority by stressing His own universal authority (Matthew 28:18-20). does not condemn the Jews, nor does it in any way justify persecution of Jews. have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them However, freedom from the Old Testament Law is not a license for Christians to Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord …’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23). But when there seems to be a conflict between Old Jesus is the substance of the shadows, the antitype of the types, and the very epitome of all the moral enunciations of the law. How do His comments about God’s law relate to a new commandment? Jesus did not abolish the moral and ethical laws that had been in effect from Used by permission. These people apparently fail to understand that God’s law is a law of love. . laws (Matthew 23:23, Mark 7:11-13) and some aspects of the civil law (John they were not bound by the Law of Moses. Jesus explained that love can be expressed in two great commandments—love toward God and love toward your neighbor (Matthew 22:36-39). those times, many were harsh and cruel compared to the teachings of Jesus With these words, Jesus honored the Law as God's Holy Word and declared the Law to be perfect, non-negotiable, and a true prediction of God's work in the future. But there are also many He revealed its spiritual purpose and intent. Jesus made one statement about the Law that often causes confusion: Christians have struggled to understand exactly what Jesus meant. 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