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Summary: Jesus’ teaching on the Law of God served to make clear the true meaning of righteousness.

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The Meaning Of Righteousness Part 1

Jesus And The Law

Matthew 5:3-12 Jesus talked about the character of believers

Matthew 5:13-16 Jesus taught about the function of believers as salt and light in the world.

Matthew5:17-20 Jesus gives the foundation for the inner character qualities and the function of believers. That foundation is the Word of God. The Law of God.

The question that Jesus deals with here is a question of contemporary importance.

Here is the question: Is there an absolute basis for truth, for law, for morals, for right and wrong?

Matthew 5:17-

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

20“For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

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Jesus Taught That The Law Of God Remains Forever Authoritative

According to Jesus, there is an absolute basis for truth and law and right and wrong and that is the law of God.

Notice that he in verse 17 he said, “do not think”. Jesus did not follow the traditions that the church leaders had set up so the thought was that he was disregarding the law.

“vs. 17 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

The religious leaders of Jesus’ day focused on the external aspects of religion. They talked about ceremonies, rituals and outward acts of religion, but Jesus focused on the heart.

Unable to keep the laws demands,they established traditions that were easier to obey, rituals that were complicated and involved BUT they were within the bounds of human accomplishment. Their rules and traditions were things that a man could do in his human strength and resource. They were tedious and dull and lifeless,burdensome, BUT do-able.

Most Jews in Jesus’ day had the idea that rabbinic instructions followed the proper interpretation of the Law of Moses.

Jesus disregarded these man made traditions causing some to have the mistaken idea that he was disregarding the law which of course was incorrect.

In this statement what Jesus does establish is that the Law of God is always valid,true and authoritative.

Notice what he said, “…the Law or the Prophets”. When Jesus used the term “law and the prophets” he meant everything in the Old Testament.


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