Fulfillment of the Old Testament

Matthew 5.17-20

Christ and the Old Testament
Matthew 5.17a

Jesus’ statement concerns the entire Old Testament.

Perhaps Jesus was already getting a reputation for interpreting the law differently than the Pharisees.

Jesus spoke with an authority that the scribes did not.

Matthew 5.17b

The attitude of Jesus to the Old Testament was not one of destruction and discontinuity but rather of a constructive, organic continuity.

The Old Testament contains predictive prophecy and the Law.

Predictive Prophecy looks forward to the days of the Messiah.
Mark 1.15; Luke 24.44-45

The Law: civil, ceremonial, and moral.
Colossians 2.16-17; Hebrews 10.2

Matthew 5.18

The Law will not pass away in this age; rather it comes to fullness, like a fully opened flower.

The Christian and the Law
Matthew 5.19
Jesus is referring to the commandments He’s about to teach.
cf. Matthew 16.18; Matthew 28.20

Matthew 5.20

Christian righteousness must exceed pharisaic righteousness in kind, not degree.

Philippians 3.4-9

Christian righteousness must be a righteousness of the heart. It is deeper than simply keeping a list of commandments.

This type of righteousness is evidence of new birth, and no one enters the kingdom without being born again
John 3.3-5

So What?

  1. Don’t throw out the Old Testament!  2 Timothy 2.16-17; Matthew 13.52

  2. Don’t try to live simply by the letter of the Law.

Jesus didn’t come just to teach us how to live righteously;
He came to make us righteous.
And righteous people live righteously.

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