Week 34 Day 1
Finding God in the Mysteries of every day
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Matthew 5: 17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practises and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
This extremely loaded text could take years for anyone to really come to grips with. For the sake of brevity I would like to bring forward a few thoughts and leave the reader to decide for himself where they stand in relation to the old testament law. If indeed the law is still in force, then we are brought to the place here we must despair of ever keeping the law perfectly. If
“heaven and earth (must) disappear (before) the law is fulfilled”, then the crucifixion and resurrection do not necessarily represent the “accomplishment” of everything. Reading Jesus’ own words we understand that He is coming again, the prophecy of John in the Revelation also speaks of this fulfillment, so then we are left with the challenge of living by the law.
How then in the face of Paul’s words about the law being abolished for those who are in Christ See Galatians 2:16-22 and Hebrews the whole letter. He does not say the law is abolished, rather, I believe, that the heart of the law as Paul states is written on the hearts of those who have received Jesus. Paul writes that the law is for lawbreakers to know and understand that is the key to the whole thing. No one is made righteous by the law. The true absurdity here is that challenge at the end of the passage. The Pharisees were in that day the line of demarcation between the righteous and everyone else. Of course, they weren’t. In reality they were just as lost as everyone else. But, to have a righteousness that exceeded the perceived righteousness of those august figures was impossible. Simply put, without Jesus a life of righteousness is impossible.