Most everyone is familiar with the ten commandments. Did you know Jesus also presented us with laws? Jesus explains the importance of the law in Matthew 5:17-20. Jesus focuses on the ten commandments, but adds more to the list so you get a clearer understanding what it all means for today”s times. Let’s take a look at what he has to say.
When Jesus entered the world, things changed. The prophets prior predicted His coming. Their message was fulfilled. The arrival of Jesus and His death and resurrection changed some of the laws of the Old Testament. The world had also changed. Many of the principals of the laws still applied, but they could not be followed specifically. The moral law was the ten commandments. Those laws were to also be used in Jesus’s time and in our times today. Those laws will not change. However, Jesus added more to the ten commandments. You can read the laws and their revisions in Matthew 5-7.
Do not think I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore, anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called the least in the kingdom of Heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven. – Jesus- Matthew 5:17-20
When we analyze this scripture, we can see that Jesus did not come on this Earth to get rid of laws or to abolish what prophets before Him had said. He entered to begin fulfilling what the prophets were told by God.
There are many prophets in the Old Testament including Isaiah and Ezekiel who foretold of this day long before it happened. Those who were able to tell us about future events provided us with warnings and expectations of times to come. Not all prophecy has been fulfilled yet. When we look at Revelation, we can clearly see many things are yet to happen. Jesus tells us here not one thing will be forgotten or missed. All is part of God’s plan.
We can also see that there are obvious ranks in Heaven. We cannot pick and choose what laws we are going to abide by. We must obey them all. We are judged in Heaven according to our deeds. We will be rewarded for our efforts. Your rewards are all dependent upon how you acted here on earth.
The Pharisees were the prominent men of that time. They were the religious and political leaders. They were experts at telling people what to do and how to act. They even tried to tell Jesus what to do. They refused to take His miracles as something good. The Pharisees had wonderful laws, but did not apply them in their own life. They were not willing to change their ways even when Jesus was right in front of them. God does not only judge our deeds, but also our hearts. The real allegiance we have comes from the heart and the Pharisees lacked that. They refused to believe Jesus was who He said He was. They thought they were above and beyond Him. Therefore, they could not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. We do not want to be like the Pharisees. We must believe in Jesus in order to be saved.
I will be making several posts that focus on the revisions of the laws Jesus presented to us. I encourage you to also read them on your own in Matthew 5-7.
Without the laws, we would have no morality in this world. Even today, we are trying to twist morality. The Pharisees of Jesus’s time are much like the politicians we have today. They stand upright and try to dictate to us what we should do. Yet, day after day, we hear about things they are doing wrong. They are a corrupt bunch of people.
It is unfortunate that we in the United States have felt the need to tear down ten commandments in federal and state buildings. It is not the statue that means anything. It is the principal behind that statue. When we do these things, we are letting God and the world know that those laws no longer apply to us. Jesus clearly warns us here that he opposes us picking and choosing how we behave.
Righteousness in God’s eyes does not mean just legal compliance. It is moral compliance as well. We must place focus on our attitudes and behaviors. God works in us, we cannot do things alone. These rules are harder than you think. We are faced with temptation to break them daily. We must also be God centered. It is not just about us, it is about what we do for God. Our goal should be to please God and not man. What man finds attractive today will change again tomorrow.
When you begin reading Matthew 5-7, Jesus took nothing out of the ten commandments, but added more to the code of conduct. There are certain ways he expects us to behave. At the end of the day, He is our creator and leader. He refers to Himself as the Heavenly Father because He expects things from us just like a father does on earth. When we break those rules, we are open for punishment.
Always pay attention to the red in your Bible. These are the most significant words of them all. These are the words that were directly spoken by Jesus. It is important we understand and know what He has said.
Are you interested in knowing more about Christ? Do you feel like He does not hear your voice? Are you crying out with no answer? Read my page specifically designed for getting to know Christ: It is important you know and grow with God.