Matthew 5

The Sermon on the Mount is the longest sermon by Jesus in the New Testament. It's also one of the most often quoted sections of the Bible. It's also one of the most misunderstood. Jesus states very clearly that he did not come to abolish the Law. Rather, he says, he came to fulfill the law. The regular expression for obeying the Law is "keep." But Jesus didn't say he came to "keep" the law. He says he came to "fulfill" the law. There is a significant different between the two.

The Pharisees know how to keep the law. They have rules for keeping the rules. They are the law experts. Jesus says we have to have a better righteousness than the Pharisees to enter the kingdom. The better righteousness that Jesus desires is not quantitatively larger than the pharisees--he wants a qualitatively greater righteousness.

Jesus goes on to show how Old Testament laws point to an internal character, a character that is truly embodied in Jesus himself. In this way, he came to fulfill the Law. The greater righteousness required by us is that we have the righteousness of Christ himself, not just that we obey specific rules.  We can only find this greater righteousness in relationship to Christ.  As you go about your day, remember that you are called to live as Christ, and thereby, full fill his law. 

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