Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
8) Matthew 5 - Jesus fulfilling the Law (Part 2)
Matthew 5:17 - 20b
Till all things be accomplished - until God's purpose for giving them had been fulfilled. Since God's purpose is
fulfilled in Jesus and His Church, some of the details may yet be in the process of completion clear down to the end
of time. Certainly, God's judgment against sinners who reject Jesus is one of these.
But after He had accomplished all things that were written in the Law and prophets that required fulfillment (Luke
24:25-27, Luke 24:44-48, Acts 3:18 and 22-26, Acts 13:17-40, Acts 26:22), Jesus, whose very Spirit inspired their
writings (1 Peter 1:10-11, 1 Peter 3:18-20) could do with them as He chose.
Feel the impact of these specific, revealing texts (Acts 13:38-39, Acts 15:10, Acts 15:28, Romans 3:19-23, Romans
6:7 and 14, Romans 7:4 and 6, Romans 8:1-4, Romans 10:3-4, 2 Corinthians 3:1-14, Galatians 2:16-21, Galatians
3:10-11, Galatians 3:21 and 24-25, Galatians 5:1-4, Galatians 5:18, Galatians 6:15, Ephesians 2:14-15, Colossians
2:14-16, hebrews 7:12, Hebrews 7:18-19, Hebrews 8:1-12, Hebrews 9:15-17); Having fulfilled the Law perfectly,
Jesus abolished it.
What does the Law accomplish that makes it so important to Jesus?
1) In the work which it accomplished in preparation for Jesus' coming:
a) The Law preserved law and order for a time until God's purposes for the Jewish people could reach fruition.
It was intended to provide an outward control of their conduct, even if it could not convert their lawless
hearts (1 Timothy 1:8-11, Galatians 3:19 and 23-25, Jeremiah 24:7, Jeremiah 31:33, Jeremiah 34:40).
b) The Law and the prophets, whose works explained God's true intent in the Law, identify the Savior and His
c) The Law furnished a vocabulary and a thought framework (Acts 3:17-25, Acts 8:35, Acts 10:43, Acts
13:16-41) for Jesus' revelation of God and His salvation.
2) In the function it continues to carry out:
a) The Law condemns sin by showing the heinous nature of rebellion against God and the dire need of
salvation on some other basis than law (Romans 5:20, Romans 7:7-14, Galatians 3:10, James 2:10)
b) The Law, by its inability to give life and righteousness, demands a different arrangement of a new covenant
(Hebrews 7:19, Hebrews 8:7, Hebrews 10:1-4, Galatians 3:21). It shows for all ages the incapacity of law, as
a principle of giving right-standing with God, to make men right.
c) The Law, not having been abrogated for those who reject Jesus' cross, provides the standard of
condemnation (Romans 12:15, Galatians 5:3-4, James 2:8-13, Acts 13:39).
Matthew 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break. Jesus does not refer so much to that open disobedience or
defiance of God's rule as to all the compromising and evasion of the force of God's commands by those who
profess to serve God. There are many ways to "loose or untie" one from his obligation to the Law.
This is the same attitude toward God's will that keeps a person from rendering whole-hearted allegiance and service
to God and satisfies himself with external piety that passes for purity.
One of these least commandments. Who said that some commands are less important than others? The
Pharisees? Jesus? If so, what did they mean? The Pharisees were experts at this sort of dodging moral
responsibility by demoting commands so that they might be ignored as trivial offences, while giving top priority to
clearly secondary issues (See Matthew 15:1-20, Matthew 23:16-23). In this case, Jesus may be admitting their
terminology while condemning their use of it. If so, He accuses them of encouraging people to presume that little
disobedience to God is unimportant, or that violation of less important commands was only a trivial matter.
He shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. The kingdom does not refer to that kingdom of glory where the
saints will see the Father's face, but that kingdom about which Jesus has already taught much in Galilee (Matthew
4:17 and 23) and would yet explain more clearly (Matthew 11:11-14, Matthew 13:1-52, Matthew 16:18-19, Matthew
16:28) which found its immediate and practical application in the Church.
In essence He is saying, if you act this way now, before the kingdom comes, your habits of disobedience will not
easily be laid aside and will carry over with you into the kingdom when it becomes a reality.
He encourages that heart which eagerly does anything God says and joyfully urges others to follow suit, to seek
true greatness by continuing to obey (1 Corinthians 11:1, Phillipians 4:9).
Matthew 5:20 "Unless you are better men than the orthodox theologians demand, you will not make it into my
Why bring the Pharisees into the argument? They made a valuable point of reference, since, in the eyes of the
people and especially in their own sight, they were the very models of righteousness. As such, they represented
the strictest type of Judaism. Not only that, but they also picture for us the strictest legal interpreters of the highest
moral law known to man. What was their righteousness?
1) Ostentatious piety and frequent hypocrisy.
2) Punctilious regard for ceremonial law.
3) Frequent, monstrous neglect of moral law.
4) Consequent harshness in judging others.
5) Contempt for the masses of the people; partisan zeal; pride (John 7:48-49).
6) Convenient evasions and distinctions used to satisfy the conscience in matters of duty.
7) Miserable failure in attaining the righteousness which God expects in those who would enter His kingdom