Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus And The Law

by | Oct 19, 2023 | Matthew, New Testament

I. Jesus’ Relationship To The Law Vs. 17, 18

A. Jesus Didn’t Come To Destroy The Law Or The Prophets V. 17a

1. Religious leaders wrongly thought Jesus opposed the Law. See Matthew 15:1-9
2. Jesus was not against the Law

a. He challenged the wrong interpretation of the Law
b. He never broke the Law, but kept it perfectly
c. Jesus kept the Law according to God’s intentions, not accord. to man’s misinterpretation

B. What Is The Law? V. 18

1. “The Law”- The Pentateuch; the 1st five books, written by Moses
2. “The Prophets”- Old Testament books that contain the words & actions of the prophets who spoke for God to the nation of Israel.
3. Basically- the Law and the Prophets speaks of the entire Old Testament
4.  Jot- iota-(ee-o’-tah)

a. the Hebrew letter `, the smallest of them all
b. …hence, equivalent to the minutest part

5. Tittle- “a little horn”

a. The smallest Hebrew mark used to differentiate one letter from another
b. …hence, equivalent to the minutest part

, ,

6. English equivalent: dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s. “Mind you p’s and q’s.”

C. How Did Jesus Fulfill The Law? V. 17b

1. Fulfill- to satisfy, finish a period or task, accomplish, expire, verify
2. Jesus fulfilled even the minutest part of the law & the prophets. (jots & tittles)
3. He has & will yet fulfill the minutest detail of prophecy
4. How Jesus fulfilled the Law

a. He fulfilled doctrinal teachings in that He brought full revelation. See Matthew 5:27, 28
b. He fulfilled the predictive prophecy in that He is the Promised One, showing the reality behind the predictive symbolic shadows

i. Old Testament Jews were required to bring animal sacrifices because of their sins.
ii. Jesus fulfilled that predictive typology
John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
iii. 1 Peter 1:18, 19 “…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold,…19but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.

c. He fulfilled the ethical precepts of the law in that He fully obeyed them and He reinterpreted them in their truth. See Matthew 12:9-14

II. The Christian And The Law V. 19

A. Wrong View Of The Law

1. A Christian wrongly thinks it is O.K. to live outside of the principles & of the Law
2. They wrongly think it is O.K. to minimize the purpose of the Law to others
3. That person is called least
4. To have a wrong view of the Law will result in lack of appreciation of Jesus for keeping it

B. Right View Of The Law

1. A Christian who seeks to obey the principles of the Law
2. They teach others to obey and value the principles of the Law
3. That person is called greatest
4. To have aright view of the Law results in great appreciation for Jesus in keeping it.

C. The Law And The Christian

1. David Guzik- The Law- the perfect expression of God’s ethical character & requirements.

a. We live according to His intentions and character.
b. We recognize the fulfillment of the Law is found in Christ, not us.

2. The Christian is not bound to Old Testament Laws regarding sacrifice.

We recognize the need for sacrifice, but Jesus has become our sacrifice for sin.
The Christian is not bound to Old Testament Laws regarding circumcision
We are identified not by the cutting of skin, but by the renewing of the heart.

III. How To Enter The Kingdom Of God V. 20

A. The Righteousness Of The Scribes & The Pharisees

1. They tithed even on the herbs from their gardens.
2. Fasting, religious observances.
3. The disciples asked, “Who then can be saved”?

B. How The Law Leads Us To Righteousness

1. Turn to Romans 7:12; 3:20
2. Galatians 3:24-26 Therefore the law was our tutor (guardian, schoolmaster) to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
3. The Law is good in that it tells people how to live, & reveals God’s standards for mankind.

a. But the Law is also “bad” in the sense that it shows us our failures.
b. As we realize our failures, we sense our need for a righteousness that does not come from obedience to the Law, but that is granted to us by faith.
c. The Law leads people to Jesus; it shows them their need for a Savior.

C. What Is The Righteousness That Saves?

1. Turn to Romans 3:21-24
2. “…being witnessed to by the Law & the Prophets…”
3. The Old Testament spoke predictively about the righteousness that God would give to man
4. A Christian’s righteousness exceeds the Pharisees’ righteousness not in degree, but in kind.
5. A Pharisee’s righteousness came by his own efforts, and was never perfect. (Isaiah 64:6)
6. A Christian’s righteousness comes not by his effort, but by faith in Christ, and his is an imputed righteousness. It is given to him, not earned by him. The righteousness of Christ.

Considering the incredible devotion to the law shown by the scribes and Pharisees, how can we ever hope to exceed their righteousness?

i. The Pharisees were so scrupulous in their keeping of the law that they would even tithe from the small spices obtained from their herb gardens (Matthew 23:23). The heart of this devotion to God is shown by modern day Orthodox Jews. In early 1992, tenants let three apartments in an Orthodox neighborhood in Israel burn to the ground while they asked a rabbi whether a telephone call to the fire department on the Sabbath violated Jewish law. Observant Jews are forbidden to use the phone on the Sabbath, because doing so would break an electrical current, which is considered a form of work. In the half-hour it took the rabbi to decide “yes,” the fire spread to two neighboring apartments.
ii. We can exceed their righteousness because our righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees in kind, not degree. Paul describes the two kinds of righteousness in Philippians 3:6-9: Concerning the righteousness which is in the law, [I was] blameless. But what things were gain to me, I have counted loss for Christ. But indeed, I count all things loss . . . that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.
iii. Though the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees was impressive to human observation, it could not prevail before God (Isaiah 64:6).
iv. So then, we are not made righteous by keeping the law. When we see what keeping the law really means, we are thankful that Jesus offers us a different kind of righteousness.

Here is the translation of German’s message:
“Hi Brother Gerson, God bless you:
Brother Gerson, I am German, I hope you remember me. I attended the Vizcaino conference. Brother I want to let you know that I feel spiritually uplifted after the seminary. Praise the Lord, my life is changing. I feel a stronger commitment to teach the Word of God, the sound doctrine. I am studying more my Bible, and I am going to start doing expository teaching. This Sunday we started Matthew. Brother, the book living water is beautiful, Please send me more books that you have. God Bless You, German Medina.”