Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fresh Studies in Matthew: Matthew 5:17


“I have not come to abolish the law.”  Humm, interesting that he had to say that in the first place, unless some had misinterpreted Jeremiah and other prophets to say the law would go away in the future kingdom.  “But to fulfill it.” The doctrine the modern church does not want to talk about.  He fulfills the law by living it perfectly and by being the perfect legal sacrifice. 
I never saw the connection between “unless your righteousness exceeds .  . “ and “you have heard it said, ”in the rest of the chapter.  Jesus is early on setting up the choice between the industry of the temple and Pharisees and scribes and him.  The people had “heard it said” but did not have the ability to see it or read the books with the interpretations. 
The second half of Matthew 5 is a series of six “you have heard it said.”  This is in contrast to the immediate reference to the Pharisees and what they teach rather than the real basis of the law.  Plus, his audience may be people who are no so much as illiterate as unlettered.  They are working people who didn’t have time to be in the intellectual class, were not born into it.  So they have depended n “oral preaching” rather than being able to study themselves.  This is sadly too prevalent today, despite the variety of tools we have.  Getting real people to study the real Bible on their own, like people did 100 years ago, is a passion for me.  The Bible is not for the intellectuals, but for everyone.

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