My Corner Online


Reading through the Gospels 55

Matthew 5:17-20



Jesus often challenged the interpretation of the law and the prophets. Jesus does not oppose or want to destroy the law given to the people through Moses or the instruction given through the prophets. Jesus did want to destroy the misuse and abuse of the law. Ultimately, Jesus came to fulfill the law. 


The definition of fulfill is to "bring to completion or reality" or "carry out as required."  No one can carry out the law and the instructions 100% except Jesus. Is 50% ever good enough?  Almost stop at a stop light? Buy half of grocery list? Pay half the bills?  Half healing?


 Jesus takes it one step further in that He fulfills the law for all people who believe in what He has done for them on the cross. We are never ever good enough.    It is impossible.  Only Jesus can fulfill the law. 


Only Jesus can fulfill the law for me. Jesus never intended for us to be bound by the Old Testament food laws or any other Old Testament law. In Acts 10:9-16 Peter has a rooftop vision regarding the unclean laws. We are freed from the old law, but we are bound by the new law of the New Testament: love.


Jesus said we need to be better than (righteousness exceeding) the Pharisees and scribes (teachers of the law) to be good enough to get into heaven.  Pharisees and scribes would never break the law (or at least how they interpreted it).  The only way to be better is through Jesus.


If Jesus did not destroy the law, then why are some the laws not applicable today?

For instance, ceremonial law of Israel's worship is not done today, although we do keep the Sabbath. Hebrews 8:13, "In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away." Going to college does not destroy kindergarten. Kindergarten is still there in our past. Some old laws are still there in our past, not destroyed, but obsolete, for now we move forward growing in a new covenant. It makes me think of some old governmental laws still in effect that were once necessary, but now seem silly because times have changed. The laws are still on the books, but no one follows them because they are obsolete. Have you ever seen a tag on pillows and mattresses with a law that it is not allowed to be ripped off? I remember the day I dared to finally rip one off and did not get put in jail or fined.  In Montana there is a law that seven or more Indians are considered a raiding or war party and you can shoot them. We no longer live in the days of the wild, wild west, so this law now sounds silly. Is the law still good? Sure, if we get transported back in time.

Copyright Cheryl Rutledge-Brennecke
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