Happy Monday! Today we see that Jesus almost seems to change gears in the middle of His sermon. He now says “do not think that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets…” What I am about to write is my opinion, there is no proof, but there is a good reason for speculation. I imagine that Jesus, at this point is starting to get some pretty strange looks. The people surrounding Him that were listening to His words had never heard such things, in fact at the end of His sermon it states that the people were amazed because He “taught as one having authority” (Matt. 7:29). The people had heard the teachers of the day teaching by repeating what other rabbis had already taught. Jesus, in their mind, was teaching in a completely different context. The reason being is that the teachers of the day had perverted the Law and the Prophets and taught them in a way that added many things that weren’t there and leaving out things that were. There teachings were self serving in two different ways. Firstly, with the added traditions, they wrote laws that they could follow and therefore could seem to be righteous by following them. One example of this is the washing before eating. Jesus told them , if you remember: “you wash the outside of the cup while the inside is defiled.” Secondly they considered themselves above some of the laws due to their position (see Mark 7:11-12 in regards to Corban).
As I try to imagine myself there at that very time it seems like Jesus takes just a minute to explain that these are not new truths, nor are they replacement truths; they just simply had not been taught. Now the written word became flesh and the truth of the living Word of God was in their midst. This Living Word had been pointed to in every chapter of every book of the old testament. Jesus was the fulfillment of the law in each and every way. According to the book of Hebrews, the law was a shadow of the good things to come. The good thing to come was the living, breathing, saving Word of the living God. Jesus is Himself fulfilled the Law and the prophets.