Last Monday we continued our look at chapters five through seven in the book of Matthew, looking specifically at verses 5:17-20. In preparation for tonight (we’ll be looking at verses 3-16 of chapter 5), by way of review, I wanted to share this excellent paraphrase of the passage by R.T. France.
“Do not suppose that I came to undermine the authority of the OT scriptures, and in particular the law of Moses. I did not come to set them aside but to bring into reality that to which they pointed forward. I tell you truly: the law, down to its smallest details, is as permanent as heaven and earth and will never lose its significance; on the contrary, all that it points forward to will in fact become a reality (and is now doing so in my ministry). So anyone who treats even the most insignificant of the commandments of the law as of no value and teaches other people to belittle them is an unworthy representative of the new regime, while anyone who takes them seriously in word and deed will be a true member of God’s kingdom.
“But do not imagine that simply keeping all those rules will bring salvation. For I tell you truly: it is only those whose righteousness of life goes far beyond the old policy of literal rule keeping which the scribes and Pharisees represent who will prove to be God’s true people in this era of fulfillment.”
This sets us up nicely for tonight, and the weeks ahead. Jesus is calling us to some very deep, high things. See you tonight!