“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17 NABRE
Jesus is teaching His disciples in what has been called the “Sermon on the Mount.” Following the opening Jesus takes a look at the relationship between the message He is bringing and the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus speaks of the law and the prophets, a reference to the entire Hebrew Scriptures. He says he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. He is living to bring the realization of the Hebrew Scriptures anticipated. Christ is the anticipated future fulfillment of the Hebrew Scripture expectation, which the law and prophets implied. The fulfillment is through Jesus life, death and resurrection as well as how he lived fulfilling the law and prophets in one way or another. Jesus brings salvation and a life lived as a witness fulfilling what is hoped for. His entire living is a message for us to follow, fulfilling God’s promises in the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus sees the laws enduring validity and sees Himself and His teaching as being in continuity with Israel’s religious heritage. Jesus is the authoritative interpreter of the law and prophets, His understanding is perfect. He explains faithfulness to God which is the underlying purpose of the law. But at the same time following God’s underlying purpose sometimes demands a higher standard than what is expressed in the law.
As Paul preaches, we don’t need the law, if we follow Christ’s summarization of the commandments; to love God and love others. If we have love than all of the law is fulfilled. Jesus is applying an authoritative interpretation of the law and all must follow Christ’s interpretation.
Do you see the old support in the new? Do you follow Christ’s setting of the law?Jesus sees the laws enduring validity and sees Himself and His teaching as being in continuity with Israel’s religious heritage. Jesus is the authoritative interpreter of the law and prophets. Click To Tweet
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