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Jesus Came to Fulfill the OT Law and Prophets

Matthew 5:17-20 WEB

Don't think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn't come to destroy, but to fulfill. For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The laws that God gave Moses were supposed to be ways to bring His chosen people closer to Him and to stay close to Him. Eventually, those laws for closeness were turned into rules that were incorrectly quoted and misused. Jesus wanted to bring the people back to the original purpose these laws were meant to be used for. 

Jesus wanted people who were hearing this message to teach other people the correct way to use these laws. The Pharisees, a group of religious leaders of Jesus' time, were teaching people the wrong usage of the laws and even created their own laws so they would appear to be pious. And so many false prophets of recent times have and are leading people down a path of destruction with wrong teaching, twisting God's Word to people who want to feel special, who have always felt "left out", giving them a sense of belonging. In return, the false prophets are worshipped as gods, making them feel superior to those they are leading and even have called themselves "sinning Messiah," "Father" as in the divine sense, etc. So, these lost lambs aren't learning God's true intentions for them. This is the kind of world Jesus was born into and one He was trying to save from wrong religious leadership. 

So, Jesus came to fulfill the law and the the prophets' visions of a coming Messiah who would save the world from sin. Fulfill, according to Bible scholars, meant that Jesus was both living the law according to its true and original purpose and, of course, was the Messiah that had been foretold hundreds of years earlier.

Prophets of Old Testament
Image courtesy of Alabaster Co via Unsplash

We, as Christ's followers, have a job of living and teaching as Jesus did. Jesus was called a blasphemer because He was healing people, teaching without "proper" education, telling people they were forgiven of their sins, etc. when, in fact, He was the only One teaching correctly, because He was God in the flesh and the Living Word. Read the words, study them, don't twist them. For those who are leading the lambs to the slaughter, there will be a price to pay. For those of you who are following a false prophet, leave as quickly as possible. Their "love" is false; they're holding you against your will. There's a reason they're paranoid (unreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful) of officials. Turn away from this person who considers themselves a deity and turn back to God. I pray for your safety and quick escape.

Consider the righteousness that Jesus talks about in this passage. This righteousness is about being what God expects of us and not self-righteousness like the Pharisees who were anything but righteous on the inside. We must have right motives. The righteousness Jesus is speaking of in this passage is about pleasing God with a pure and childlike heart and not simply looking like you are pleasing God when you have an audience while feeling a different way inside and acting a different way when people aren't watching. The Law wasn't made for us to judge others but for us to learn how to live to be close to God and to help others be close to God. So, listen to Jesus. Treat others the way He says we should. And for the lost, live in a way (not just outwardly) that God approves of so as to be a light to show others the true path to God through Jesus Christ.

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May God keep you in His loving care,

Patricia

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