Law and Fulfillment Facts for 9-13 Year Olds

Categories: Sermon on the Mount

  • Jesus continues, “Do not think that I have come to destroy the law and the prophets.”
  • The “law and the prophets” refers to their scriptures.
  • This is what Jesus studies. It is his Bible, his personal library.
  • His statement is like saying, “It’s totally unthinkable that I have come to destroy the Bible.”
  • The law has been given by God, Himself, and is, therefore, perfect and not subject to reform.
  • But clearly it has crossed someone’s mind or he wouldn’t need to be discussing it now.
  • Yet, there will be times in Jesus’ ministry when his activities will appear to be in direct opposition to the Jewish understanding of Mosaic law.
  • The scribes and Pharisees will become very hostile, seeing his teachings as being very dangerous to their Jewish way of life.
  • The intent of Jesus’ statement, then, is to anticipate those fears and put them to rest regardless of whether they come before or after the fact.
  • When Jesus says, “I came,” or “I have come,” he is claiming a sense of mission.
  • He has been sent by God.
  • He is not here to destroy the Holy Scriptures.
  • He didn’t “come to destroy, but to fulfill them,” to fill up full; to fill up completely, to be obedient with meaning, to bring it to its intended meaning.
  • He is saying the law is valid. True, it has been interpreted to stress the acts.
  • But he fills it up with meaning. He is saying, “Put it inside, internalize it.” He is saying character is important. How you express and live the law is what matters.
  • It is the letter-spirit argument. The letter isn't enough.
  • Then in 5:18 he says, “For truly I tell you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
  • As long as there is a heaven and earth, the law will be there.
  • It will be around as long as it’s needed.
  • The metaphor of “jot and tittle” refers to the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the tiniest stroke of a pen.
  • It is saying that nothing will be removed from it, not even the smallest detail. It is all there for our protection, and it is all valid.
  • Observing the law isn’t enough; it must be taught to others.
  • Jesus is bringing in a new and higher sense of righteousness.
  • It’s not the quantity of observance, but the quality of it.
  • This is another way of saying that obedience to the law needs to be inner, not outer; living the law is not a show for others, but a reflection of what we already are.
  • This is what is required in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Although this has a causal ring to it—do this and you will get this—these words must be remembered in light of the gifts of the beatitudes.
  • These words are addressed to those who have already been given the kingdom—“for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Being in the kingdom and righteousness—following Jesus’ teachings—go together.
  • Strict adherence to the law does not guarantee godliness. Godliness means we act godly.