Today’s passage: Matthew 5:17-20
- The “Law or the Prophets” are terms referring to the whole of the Old Testament.
- Jesus fulfilled the Law by keeping it perfectly. He was perfect in righteousness.
- Also, Jesus was the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets (The OT). Everything in the Old Testament comes to fruition in Him.
- The ioda and dot represent the smallest letter and a portion of a letter which changed the sound of the pronunciation in the Hebrew alphabet. Jesus was being very thorough to make a point.
- The word “exceeds”, in the sentence, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” refers to the idea of a river or stream that is overflowing. Picture the water coming up and flowing out from within the river bed.
- Contrast that picture with Jesus’ rebuke of the scribes and Pharisees from Matthew 23:27-28 – “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
Questions to consider:
- Why is it important to teach and learn from the Old Testament?
- How does Jesus’ promise to preserve the Word of God give us confidence today?
- Why is it so important that Jesus perfectly fulfilled the Law in His personal righteousness?
- How is it possible for us to exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? How does righteousness get in us in the first place in order to flow out in our lives?