Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)
Christ begins the second part of the Sermon on the Mount with a clear opening statement. He wanted to ensure everyone (including us today) he was not here to tear down anything that had been established by God. Instead he was here to fulfill the Law that God Almighty had established. This statement seems straightforward, but there is more to it when we look deeper at the key terms he used. Let's examine:
Destroy here means to annul, discard or deprive of force. Basically, Christ was letting us know that he wasn't here to remove the law or the prophets.
The law that Christ refers to is not specifically the first five books of the Bible as we normally think. Instead it is the system of morals taught throughout the Old Testament. This includes the fives books of Moses but it also every precept handed down throughout the ages. In essence, Christ is referring to God's Will for man as it is clearly and directly laid out from the beginning.
The prophets Christ mentions are not the messengers of God, but, rather, he refers to the message that the prophets brought. The messages the prophets delivered were a combination of corrective measures from God as well as promises from God to those who would correct their lives and stay true to the path God has set.
From these definitions, we get the clearer picture of what Christ was trying to convey. He did not come to nullify or discard any of the moral codes God had established as His will for mankind. Christ did not look to refute or pave over any of the promises or corrective measures God had given mankind along the way. Instead, Christ came to fulfill them both. What does that mean, though?
The term fulfill is defined as "to cause God's will to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises to receive fulfillment."
Christ came to set the record straight about the will of God and the morals He had set forth. As we'll see in this series, several of the morals God had given were being perverted, discarded and ignored during the time of Christ. Jesus came to curb those issues and get everyone on the right track. Further, Christ came to bring to reality all the promises the prophets had spoken on behalf of God.
The Mission Is Still On
Christ is still looking to fulfill His will in our lives today and He still wants to bring the promises He's made to us into reality. He promised us that when he said that the law and the prophets would not pass away until the end of time (v.18). If we dive into the Truth the next few weeks, we'll learn how to activate God's Will and promises for our lives. Christ is already doing it. Will we join Him?
Check back on our ACCESS Page tomorrow for an interesting challenge that will get us thinking about God's Will and Promise for our lives. Until then, God bless and tell us your thoughts.
Chris Farris is the author of The Way, a manual detailing how to implement the Beatitudes into your life. He review events and other media and offers other insights into writing and working for the Kingdom of God.