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“Do not think that I came here to abolish the Law or the words of the prophets. I came to fulfill their purpose.” Matthew 5:17
Eyewitness: pp. 65-67,72
In Your Bible: Matthew 5:17-20; 7:12
Does it bother you when people don’t understand what you say? Even when you try hard to get your point across? It’s not a new problem.
Jesus was often misunderstood. His followers mistakenly thought he would do away with the Law of Moses and yet somehow fulfill what the prophets said. Jesus spoke to this lack of understanding.
The Scribes and Pharisees too are often misunderstood.
* They are profoundly right in dedicating their lives to obey God’s will–Jesus saw that
* They are profoundly right in seeking God’s will–Jesus saw that too
* They are profoundly wrong in writing hoards of man-made rules and regulations on how to obey God’s Law– this deeply distressed Jesus
Jesus said, a believer’s righteousness needs to surpass that of the Scribes and the Pharisees (Matthew 5:20). We often miss Jesus’ affirmation for these two spiritual groups. However, Jesus had no pleasure in what these leaders taught about the Law and obedience.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus comments on many misunderstandings the Scribes and Pharisees presented to the Jewish people. This collection of teachings contains fourteen “you have heard it said,…..but I tell you” phrases. Jesus wanted to describe the Father’s intent in the Law……not what the Jews were taught.
This lengthy teaching addressed critical topics such as keeping God’s commands, divorce, adultery, oaths, murder, giving, fasting, anxiety, and judging. We’d think that perhaps Jesus’ followers would have asked the question, “How can we possibly live this way……… this Kingdom Life?”
For centuries the Jews had been trying to follow the extensive guidelines of the Law. Now Jesus tells them all the instructions come together in what we call the Golden Rule. He said, “Do what you would have others do to you, for this is the intent of the Law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12. Notice, it’s actually a command.
Most of us know the first part of the Golden Rule by rote, but Jesus emphasized the second part must be understood as the foundation it stands upon. He made it so all mankind could grasp the simplicity in it. This fulfills the Law and the prophets. This is what God intended.
Application: Read Matthew chapters five through seven slowly. Here, Jesus shows God’s concept of Kingdom Life. Next, meditate on how the Golden Rule fulfills God’s intent.
Prayer: Father, lead me daily to see the intent of your Word with the help of the Holy Spirit.
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