Summary: Old becomes new as Jesus explains how He is the fulfillment of the law and prophets...The CULMINATION of the law, APPRECIATION for the law, and INTERPRETATION of the law. [5 mistakes the Pharisees made]. Link included to free PowerPoint.
Think about it: All anyone had was their Old Testament, tho’ they didn’t call it that! God’s Word is under attack today, and we are called to defend it…all of it! And that’s just what Jesus did in our text.
We continue looking at the greatest sermon ever preached, by the greatest preacher Who ever lived. A great sermon has 3 elements:
1. Explanation—you explain the principles you want to get across. We all need to have the right principles in place in our lives. People who go wrong in practice invariably had the wrong principles behind it all. What you believe always affects how you behave.
2. Illustration—you paint a word picture to help open the eyes of the listeners. It’s like a window that shines the light of truth into people’s hearts.
3. Application—you make it relevant to the people listening. Jesus did this, because He knew our human nature, that we will listen to explanation and illustration, but we resist making personal application to ourselves. We may apply it to others, but we need someone else to help apply it to us! It’s during application that many preachers get into trouble. People don’t mind me explaining Biblical principles or illustrating them, but if I go applying it to them, personally, well, the nerve of that guy!
I’m thankful for a group that doesn’t mind having their toes stepped on, realizing it’s God and His Word applying pressure, not His man.
The kids sing, “I stand alone on the Word of God…” Actually, it’s needs to step on us!
Ill.—I heard about a black preacher, who had a very vocal congregation [of my dreams]! He preached to them, and they preached back to him [like saying ‘sic ‘em’ to a dog!] He used all 3 elements above to teach the principle of getting the church to grow. He illustrated church growth by the growth of a child:
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to crawl.”
And all the people responded: “let her crawl, preacher, let her crawl.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to walk.”
“let her walk, preacher, let her walk.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to run.”
“let her run, preacher, let her run.”
“If the church is gonna grow, she’ll have to learn to fly.”
“let her fly, preacher, let her fly.”
All was at a fevered pitch, so it was time to make his application. He said,
“If the church is ever gonna walk, run, and fly, it’s gonna take lots of money!”
And they all said together, “let her crawl, preacher, let her crawl!”
Well, in this great sermon of Jesus’, He’s already given us the explanation…the beatitudes: How we enter / express / enjoy the kingdom of God. After His explanation He gave 2 great illustrations, of salt and light. “Salt that penetrates and light that radiates”. Now Jesus moves to His application.
Now, since He’s preaching to Jewish people who have only the OT, He makes His application there. He knows that a good Jew will take what He’s preaching and lay it beside their OT scroll and see how it measures up.
v. 17 Here in this passage Jesus shows them 3 things:
The culmination of the law, appreciation for the law, and interpretation of the law.
We’ll just look at part this morning, and then finish up tonite.
I. Culmination of the OT
The OT is divided into the 2 parts Jesus mentioned in v. 17: The Law & The Prophets. Jesus is saying, what I say will be in harmonious agreement with the teachings of your OT. I won’t contradict it, diminish the importance of it, or destroy it. But then He goes a step further, and says, not only will I not destroy it, I’ve actually come to fulfill it! Jesus is saying, I am the very culmination of your OT!
Look ahead to 7:28-29. No wonder they were astonished at His authority…He was making a very major claim. And no wonder many of the Jewish leaders like the scribes and Pharisees wanted rid of Him. But they had a problem. In order to condemn Him, they would have to find fault in Him acc’d to their OT. But He’s claiming to be the very fulfillment of their OT.
How was Jesus the fulfillment of the OT? Well, the OT law can be divided into 3 parts: The moral law, the ceremonial law, and the civil [judicial] law.
The moral law is God’s holy demands for His people, such as the 10 commandments, the “thou shalt not’s”, which, by the way, are still in effect today.
The ceremonial law is the OT system of sacrifices, offerings and feasts. More on that in a minute.