Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Matthew 5:17-20 "The Fulfillment"

Read Matthew 5:17-20.

I don't understand how anyone could believe that Jesus came to earth to abolish the law. He is clearly the fulfillment of the law. However, hindsight is 20/20. And the Pharisees and Sadducee were doing everything possible to try to discredit Him. What I love is that everything was laid out before time and will continue to follow God's plan till it is all done. I can't seem to make one plan in my day without it getting interrupted or detoured. But God has everything under control. And we have a choice -- to follow His plan through His law and faith in His Son or to follow the ways of the Pharisees, living for self promotion and under empty legalism. Jesus calls us to live the law, not crawl under it.

But how often do I do the very same thing as the Pharisees by relegating Jesus to a list of do's and don'ts and not living out the grace and mercy he provides within the law. As Paul says we must keep our bodies under control, but we also must live out the Fruits of the Spirit, mercy toward our neighbors and the poor, and compassion on the lost.

We can't change the law or the prophets. Everything He commanded to be happening now and in the future will take place. But we can live in the love, grace and faith of our Lord Jesus Christ and teach others to do the same. If I do not, I will not see the kingdom of heaven. Those are consequences I do not wish to face.

Further Thoughts:
  1. Paul speaks extensively regarding the law, Jews, Gentiles, and righteousness by faith in Romans. Read Romans 2:17 - 6:23 for further teaching.
  2. What was the purpose for the law and how is Jesus the fulfillment of it?
  3. Sometimes people want to use grace to cover the fact that they are not following the law. What are the consequences of that kind of thinking according to this passage?
  4. What are some of the ways that following the law today could be done in just empty obedience? (i.e. Attending church on Sundays but living however you want the rest of the week.)

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