Summary: Since the Bible is all about Jesus, we must read it, know it, and strive to obey it.
A Messiah Who Fulfills
Text: Matt. 5:17-20
1. Illustration: Old Testament scholar Christopher Wright states in his book Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, "I find myself aware that in reading the Hebrew Scriptures I am handling something that gives me a closer link with Jesus than any archaeological artifact could do...Above all, this is where he found the shape of his own identity and the goal of his own mission. In short, the deeper you go into understanding the Old Testament, the closer you come to the heart of Jesus...For it saddens me that so many Christians in these days love Jesus, but know so little about who he thought he was and what he had come to do" (Wright, Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament, ix).
2. If someone were to ask you, "What is the Bible all about?" the answer is very simple. It is all about Jesus! From beginning to end; from cover to cover; both Old and New Testaments are all about Jesus.
a. All Scripture points to Jesus.
b. Because it points to Jesus, it must be obeyed.
c. Because it must be obeyed, it is authoritative.
3. Read Matt. 5:17-20
Proposition: Since the Bible is all about Jesus, we must read it, know it, and strive to obey it.
Transition: Above all, we must understand that...
I. All Scripture Points To Jesus (17)
A. Came to Accomplish
1. Jesus wants to make clear his purpose in coming to earth. He says, “Don’t misunderstand why I have come..."
a. The expression "do not misunderstand," suggests that Jesus is attempting to dispel a suspicion that he is attempting to set aside God’s former revelation with his announcement of the arrival of the kingdom of God. Such an attempt would be the ultimate mark of a heretic.
b. So Jesus makes clear at the beginning of his teaching ministry that the arrival of the kingdom does not do away with God’s prior revelation through the Law and the Prophets (Wilkins, NIV Application Commentary, New Testament: Matthew, 227).
c. It simply wouldn’t make sense for Jesus to do away with the Old Testament scriptures because they are all about him anyway.
2. He says, "I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets..."
a. The expression "the Law and the Prophets" is a way of referring to the entire Hebrew Scriptures (Wilkins, 228).
b. It includes the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses), the Historical books (such as 1-2 Samuel), the Poetic Books (like Psalms and Proverbs), and all the Prophets (from Isaiah to Malachi).
c. He says that he did not come to abolish them. The word abolish means "to cause to cease to exist - ’to cause to come to an end, to cause to become nothing, to put an end to (Louw and Nidda, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Symantic Domains).
d. Jesus coming and the arrival of the Kingdom does not negate the Old Testament.
3. On the contrary, Jesus says, "No, I came to accomplish their purpose."
a. Jesus didn’t come to do away with the Old Testament, but he came to accomplish the purpose for which they are written.
b. He came to make them complete and fulfilled.
c. He came to be the one that the Old Testament talked about.
d. He came to be the fulfillment of the promises of God.
e. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NLT)
For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our “Amen” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
f. Jesus does not contradict the law and the prophets, but neither does he merely reaffirm them. He fulfills them or brings them to their divinely intended goal because they point to him (Turner, Cornerstone Biblical Commentary: Matthew-Mark, 85).
B. Jesus and the Old Testament
1. Illustration: Again, I want to refer to Christopher Wright’s book Knowing Jesus Through the Old Testament. He asks the question, why does Matthew start his gospel with the genealogy of Jesus? Why didn’t he go straight to the wonderful story of the Magi? He says it’s "because, says Matthew, you won’t understand that story - the one I am about to tell you - unless you see it in the light of a much longer story which goes back for many centuries but leads up to the Jesus you want to know about (Wright, 1).
2. We need to understand that the Bible does not begin with Matthew.
a. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.
b. The Bible talks about Jesus from Genesis to Revelation.