How Jesus Fulfills All the Law (A Bible Study on Matthew 5:17-20)
Context: This is King Jesus’ Inaugural address. He starts with who belongs in the kingdom of God and builds on that to describe what those people are like on the outside (salt and light) and on the inside. Now, Jesus turns up the temperature – this is some of the hardest ethical teachings in world history.
WHAT DOES IT SAY?
“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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” – Jesus means not only everything already spoken in the OT law, but also what he is about to discuss.
Cf Galatians 3:24-26 24 So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. 26 So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…
“Until everything is accomplished” – cf Matthew 24:34: 34 Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened.
What’s the role of the OT in the lives of Jesus’ followers? We read ALL of Scripture through Jesus. He is the hermeneutical key – he is the one through whom we interpret the Bible through.
God is consistent. What God desires for flourishing in the OT is the same in the NT. Jesus is fully interpreting the law, not changing it.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR ME?
Read the OT! You will understand Jesus and your faith in new ways through it!
Jesus raises the bar on how precious humanity is.
Rev. Rachel Toone joined Montreat College in July 2018 as the Dean of Spiritual Formation. She holds a B.A. in Theology from Whitworth University, an MDiv. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and she is currently enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Trinity School for Ministry. Rev. Toone is an ordained teaching elder by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. When she is not working, Rev. Toone enjoys traveling, hiking, and reading old books.
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Nicole has spent twenty years serving the local church, first in student ministry (where she’s never lost her love of a great group game) and then leading start-ups of all kinds, from leadership development to capital campaigns. She now teaches and consults with churches and ministries to strengthen their stories and cut through confusion to discover the next right steps for success.