January 1 Complete, Carry Out, Fill
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Matthew 5 ESV
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish (destroy, overthrow or dissolve) the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish (destroy, overthrow or dissolve) them but to fulfill them.
Fulfill = Complete, carry out to the full, fill
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, (does not say resurrection here)
Not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will NEVER enter the kingdom of heaven.’
Ouch! I want to go to Heaven. I know that all of my righteousness is but filthy rags. My righteousness must be in the person of Christ or I remain without hope. So how does a limited supply – that which is found in Christ, exceed a set limit? Is it positional meaning it comes from Christ or can it be impacted by conditions such as waiting in His presence?
So, these words do not square with “hippie Jesus” that goes for anything and everything under the guise of grace. He sounds, in fact, pretty serious here. It is a direct quote from Christ himself, leaving none to theologically outrank Him. It almost elevates the wound tight lives of the scribes and Pharisees but considering the whole context of scripture — that can’t be right either. How do we reconcile these words with contemporary society? Those not believing in the apostolic age where gifts are poured out after the resurrection will say this ceased – the need for filling. Pentecostals will shout out that we all need to be filled by the Holy Spirit. That is Biblical and experientially I’ve seen that take place. But how does the law get filled, completed with each commandment? This is a quandary, a fascinating subject, worthy of study.
Greek students will recognize the importance of the iota and dot. They are necessary and vital.
Mama’s and Papa’s may see the words “called great in the Kingdom” and desire that for their children. Many secretly desire that for themselves and would that be misguided or perfect?
What does this mind twister mean and how does it fit in with the very Jewish book of Matthew? How does it square with the content of scripture as a whole? The early church asked these same questions because the answers mattered to them. Some worshipped, others ran for their lives to avoid martyrdom. We see the words in red and know that they carry meaning for our lives. How do we fully obey Christ in this generation?
Comments? Thoughts? Challenges?
I pray this year will be filled with Scripture and Spirit = a sure plan for success. (See Psalm and Proverbs 1). My hope is this year our hearts and minds will be challenged to know God more and follow Him with all that is within US. I love Ravi Zacharias’ ministry name: “Let my people think”. Let us serve God with our whole bodies, our hearts, our strength, our souls and our minds in 2018. Renae
May you always be:
A MIND though which Christ thinks;
A HEART through which Christ loves;
A VOICE through which Christ speaks;
A HAND through which Christ helps. (Author unknown)