5:17-19; Too Slender of a Reed to Support Seventh-Day Sabbatarianism
We’ve all had the experience of putting together a jigsaw puzzle. At first there seem to be too many pieces. Then there are certain pieces that we cannot seem to find. Others just do not seem to fit anywhere in the puzzle. The complete picture cannot be clearly seen until one first sees how each piece of the puzzle connects to all the other pieces. I believe that Matthew 5:17-19 is in many ways like a jigsaw puzzle. If we only look at a few of the pieces of this puzzle and do not see how they connect with the other pieces we will come up with a distorted picture of what Christ meant. I have numbered seven different pieces to this puzzle. In Matthew 5:17-19 Jesus said,
(1) "Do not think that I came to abolish the (2) Law or the Prophets: (3) I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. (4) "For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, (5) not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, (6) until all is accomplished. (7) Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches other 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."
This paper will seek to explore whether or not Sabbatarians can legitimately use Matthew 5:17-19 in support of their Sabbatarian views. The Sabbatarians link pieces 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 of this puzzle to conclude the text to be saying the following. They believe that Christ is stating that His mission was not one that abolished the Law of God, and that not one letter or stroke shall pass from the Law while heaven and earth remain. Therefore, every letter of the Law is to remain unchanged as long as heaven and earth endure. They see the force of this argument in His statement that "…truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law…" [Matthew 5:18]
Therefore, since heaven and earth have not passed away Sabbatarians maintain that every letter of the Ten Commandments still stands and that God is calling all who are truly His people to keep them. Christ underscores this by stating that anyone who fails to keep, and teach others to keep, even the least of the Ten Commandments shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. Certainly, the Fourth Commandment that begins with the words, "Remember the seventh-day to keep it holy" would be considered one of the least of these commandments. In conclusion therefore, Sabbatarians maintain that Jesus Christ calls all who believe on Him to keep the seventh-day Sabbath of the fourth commandment.
Seventh-day Adventists focus on the fact that Christ said that He had not come to abolish the Law. However, they fail to note pieces 3 and 6 of the puzzle. In Piece 3 of the Puzzle Christ states that He has come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. Moreover, Piece 6 states that not one letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law until all is accomplished. It is only by failing to ask if Christ had fulfilled the Law and the Prophets that Seventh-day Adventists are able to conclude that every jot and tittle of the Law is still in force. It logically follows that every part of the Law, including the seventh-day Sabbath, would still be in effect if Christ has not yet fulfilled all that the Law and the Prophets said concerning Him. In that case, Christ would still be calling all of His disciples to keep even the least of the commandments. [Matthew 5:19].
This line of argument of the Seventh-day Adventists creates several problems. First, it must assume that Christ has not fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. This would seem to demand that Christ had somehow failed to complete the mission that He had stated for Himself in Matthew 5:17, and that He misspoke when He declared on the cross "It is finished." [John 19:30] Secondly, Christ stressed that not the least commandment would fail or even a single letter would be removed from the Law "until all is accomplished." He had much more in mind than the keeping of the Ten Commandments. The whole Law, with its temple worship and animal sacrifice would still need to be continued if all had not been accomplished. Then also circumcision must still be performed on the eight day on all who would be part of the Covenant. Christ could not be the High Priest of the New Covenant since He came from the tribe of Judah and according to the Law only someone born of the tribe of Levi could be High Priest. Hebrews 7:18 explicitly states that before Christ can become our High Priest there must first be a setting aside of the former commandment. Christ cannot bring in the New Covenant without making the first covenant obsolete. "But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear." [Hebrews 8:13].
Let us now look at each piece of the puzzle the and then see what whole picture emerges. In the first two pieces of the puzzle Jesus says, (1) "Do not think that I came to abolish (2) the Law or the Prophets:" The phrase Law and the Prophets are used seven times in the New Testament. See Appendix One. The way they are used in the New Testament indicates that Law refers to the five books of Moses (Genesis-Deuteronomy) and the Prophets refer to all of the Old Testament prophets. When Christ recites the Golden Rule in Matthew 7:12 He indicates that this rule summarizes all that the Law and Prophets had to say. Therefore neither the Law nor the Prophets can refer to a select portion of either but is rather a reference to the entire Mosaic Law and all of the sayings of the Prophets from Genesis to Malachi.
Clearly if Jesus had come to abolish the Law and Prophets rather than to fulfill them, it would mean that they never had a valid purpose. This would imply that both the Law's moral commands and the Law's temple services with their animal sacrifices neither revealed God’s moral will nor pointed forward to any future Messiah who really would be the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. [John 1:29]. Then all the prophecies concerning the coming Messiah would be false and without fulfillment. The Law then, never would be the revealed will of the Creator God of the Universe had entered into a Covenant with Israel His people nor would He have ever spoken through the mouth of His Prophets.
In the Third Piece of the Puzzle, Jesus Christ affirms that He had not come to abolish but to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. See Appendix Two for texts that state the Christ fulfilled the Law and the Prophets. By affirming that the Law and the Prophets really did need to be fulfilled, Jesus was proclaiming that the Creator God of the Universe had really redeemed Israel from Egypt and had made a Covenant and Law with them. Christ’s statement also affirmed that God had truly spoken through the Prophets of a coming Messiah who would bear the iniquity of us all [Isaiah 53:6]. Not only had the Prophets truly spoken of a coming Messiah but Jesus claimed to truly be that long expected Messiah when He stated that He would fulfill all that the Law and the Prophets had proclaimed. After His resurrection, He told His disciples, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must by fulfilled. [Luke 24:44] Christ’s words in Luke 24 confirmed that He in fact had fulfilled all that the Law and the Prophet had said concerning Him.
When only Pieces Four and Five of the puzzle are viewed in isolation does it seems that not the smallest letter or stroke has passed away from the Law. Since heaven and earth still exist, then neither the smallest letter nor stroke has passed away from the Law. However, the fourth and fifth pieces to the puzzle must not be viewed in isolation. In the third piece of the puzzle, Jesus said that He had come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. Furthermore, the Sixth Piece completes the thought begun in the fourth and fifth pieces. (4) "for truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, (5) not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, (6) until all is accomplished. Clearly, the idea of "until all is accomplished" finds a parallel in Christ’s statement that He had come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets.
The new convenant
Christ here affirmed that it was important that every part of the Mosaic Law remain in effect until the New Covenant was ushered in. At the beginning of Christ’s public ministry, He had proclaimed that the Kingdom of God had come. However, it was only at the Last Supper that Christ introduced the New Covenant, which was based on His shed blood. During His earthly ministry Jesus repeatedly sought to conceal His true identify. Christ demanded that the demons not reveal who He was. When Peter revealed that he believed Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus warned His disciples to tell no one that He was the Christ [Matthew 16:20]. He did this because His time had not yet come. [John 7:6] When Christ cried it is finished on the cross and the veil in the temple was torn in two then the New Covenant was at the point of being ushered in.
However even after Christ’s resurrection He bade His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit should be poured out with power upon them. [Act 1:8] On the Day of Pentecost as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon the believers thousands of Jews beheld this glorious event. Peter in his preaching explained the significance of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit when he said, "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore, having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this, which you both see and hear... Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus whom you crucified." [Acts 2:32-33,36] The fact that Christ had been received at the right hand of the Father indicated that His work of salvation was now complete. After offering one sacrifice for sin, He sat down because His work for our salvation was finished. The outpouring of the Holy Spirit therefore marked the beginning of the Church and the full ushering in of the New Covenant.
Christ told His disciples that He had many things to tell them but that they could not bear them now. It was only when the Spirit of Truth should come that His disciples would be guided into all truth. [John 16:12-13] Only then could the words of Hebrew 8:13 be true, "When He said, "A new covenant, "He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear."
Why, in Piece Seven, does Christ caution against annulling even one of the least of these commandments? It would be easy to conclude from a surface reading of Christ’s words that He meant for all the commandments of the Law to be both taught and kept. The difficulty with this understanding is that, as we have already seen, the Law in Piece Two refers to the entire Law of Moses. This interpretation would mean that the Old Covenant in its entirety would still be in effect. As has been already noted if this were the case Jesus would not have been qualified to our High Priest because He was not of the tribe of Levi.
The reason for Christ’s admonition here was that while the Old Covenant remained in effect it was important that His disciples and followers continue to keep all of it. Just as Christ keep repeating that His hour had not yet come, so likewise the time of the establishing of the New Covenant was not yet. Great damage would have occurred in the unfolding of Christ public ministry if His disciples had prematurely forsaken parts of the Old Covenant that would later be fulfilled in Christ. As an example it was important that repentant sinner continue to offer lamb sacrifices for their sins. The shadow had to continue in full effect until the reality had fully come.
Therefore, since Christ has fulfilled the Law and the Prophets it is clear that believers in the New Covenant are no longer called to keep every jot and tittle of the Mosaic Law. Nevertheless, how are New Covenant believers to relate to the Sabbath commandment? It is striking that the New Testament only uses the concept of shadow and reality twice. In Hebrews 10:1 it speaks of "...the Law as being only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never by the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near." In contrast it states of Christ, "...but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God... For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." [Hebrews 10:12,14] Clearly once Christ made one sacrifice for sins with His own shed blood there was no longer any need to continue to shed the blood of goats and bulls. Reality swept away the shadow.
Likewise in Colossians 2:16-17 Festival, new moon and Sabbaths are declared to be "...a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ." Again, Christ the reality has swept away the shadow. It would be just as wrong to judge someone who rests totally in Christ for his salvation because he does not keep the external seventh-day as it would be to judge someone who trusts in the blood of Christ to cleanse him from his sins but who does not practice the animal sacrifice that the Law required.
- Daniel Seven-Nine: Does it Support Seventh Day Adventism
- Should Christians Worship on Saturday or Sunday? "The Lord's Day": An Analysis of the Meaning of the Phrase in Revelation 1:10
- Is the Sabbath a Creation Ordinance?
- A Review of Judging the Sabbath by Ron du Preez
- The Shut-door and the Sanctuary: Historical and Theological Problems
Matthew 7:12 Therefore whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them: for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John.
Luke 16:16-17 The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one is forcing his way into it. V. 17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail.
Luke 16:29-31 "But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them." (30) "But he said, ‘ No, Father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent!’ (31) "But he said to him, if they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.’"
Luke 24:44 Now He said to the, These are My words which I spoke to you while I was stile with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. V. 45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures
Acts. 13:15 And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets the synagogue officials sent to them saying, "Brethren, if you have any word to exhortation for the people, say it."
Acts. 24:14 "But this I admit to you, that according to the Way which they call a sect I do serve the God of our fathers, believing, everything that is in accordance with the Law, and that is written in the Prophets:
Acts 28:23 And when they had set a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in large numbers and he was explaining to them by solemnly testifying about the kingdom of God, and trying to persuade them concerning Jesus, from both the Law of Moses and from the Prophets, from morning until evening.
Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, V. 23 " Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and They shall call His name Immanuel:" which translated means, "God with us." Quoted Is 7:14
Matthew 2:5 And they said to him, In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet, V. 6 ‘And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah: are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a Ruler, who will Shepherd My people Israel. quoted Mic. 5:2
Matthew 2: 14 And he arose and took the Child and His mother by night, and departed for Egypt;
V. 15 and was there until the death of Herod: that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might be fulfilled saying, "Out of Egypt did I call My Son." Quoted Hosea 11:1
Matthew 2: 17 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying, Quoted Jeremiah 31:15
Matthew 2:23And came and resided in a city called Nazareth; that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled "He shall;; be called a Nazarene"
Matthew 4: 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, quoted Is 9:1-2
Matthew 8:17 In order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled saying, He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases." quoted Is. 53:4
Matthew 11:13 "For all the prophets and the Law prophesied until John. V. 14. "And if you care to accept it he himself is Elijah, who was to come."
Matthew 12: 17-18 In order that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, might be fulfilled, saying, V. 18. "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen: My Beloved in whom My Soul is well pleased; I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall proclaim justice to the Gentiles. V. 19 He will not quarrel, nor cry out: nor will any one hear His voice in the streets. V. 20 A battered reed He will not break of and a smoldering wick He will not put out, until, He leads justice to victory. V. 21 and in His name the Gentiles will hope." quoted Isaiah 42:1-4
Matthew 13:13-15 Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, not do they understand. V. 14. and in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, You will deep on hearing, but will not understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; V.14 For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; least they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn again, and I should heal them". Quoted Is 6:9-10
Matthew 21:4-5 Now this took place that what was spoken through the prophet might be fulfilled, saying, V. 5 Say to the daughter of Zion Behold your King is coming to you gentle, and mounted upon a donkey, even upon a colt, the foal, of a beast of burden". Quoted Is. 62:11 Zechariah 9:9
Matthew 26:31 Then Jesus said to them " you will all fall away because of Me this night, for it is written, I will strike down the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered. quoted Zechariah 13:7
Matthew 26:55-56 At that time Jesus said to the multitudes, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest Me as though I were a robber? Every day I used to sit in the temple teaching and you did not seize Me. "But all this has taken place that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled." then all the disciples left Him and fled.
Matthew 27: 3-4, 7-10 Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, V. 4 saying, " I have sinned by betraying innocent blood>" But they said, "What is that to us? see to that yourself!" V. 9 Then that which was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying " And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of the one whose price had been set by the sons of Israel; V. 10. and they gave them for the Potter’s Field, as the Lord directed me." (Zechariah 11:12-13)
Matthew 27:35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots; quoted Psalm 22:18 KJV That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
Mark 1:14-15 And after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, V. 15. and saying, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent and believe in the gospel."
Mark 14:49 "Every day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize Me, but this has happened that the Scriptures might be fulfilled."
Mark 15 :37-38 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. V. 38. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. see also Matthew 27: 51 and Luke 23:4
Luke 4:16-18 And He come to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. V. 17 And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him, And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, V. 18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord." (quoted Is 61:1-2) V. 20 And He closed the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed upon Him. V. 21. And He began to say to them., "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
Luke 16:16 "The Law and Prophets were proclaimed until John; since then the gospel of the kingdom of God is preached, and every one is forcing his way into it. v. 17 "But is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail."
Luke 18:31-33 "And He took the twelve aside and said to them, ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished, (32) ‘For He will be delivered up to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, (33) and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again."
Luke 21:21-24 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains and let those who are in the midst of the city depart, and let not those who are in the country enter the city; V. 22 because these are days of vengeance, in order that all things which are written may be fulfilled. V. 23 Woe to those who are with child and to those who nurse babes in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land, and wrath to this people, V. 24 and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations: and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Luke 22: 37 " For I tell you, that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was classed among Criminal’, for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment." (Isaiah 53:12)
Luke 24:44 Now He said to them, "These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
John 5: 39-40, 45-47 You search the scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of Me: V. 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me, that you may have life. V. 45. Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father: the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. V. 46 For is you believed Moses, you would believe Me: for he wrote of Me. V. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how ill you believe My words?"
John 19:28 "After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, I am thirst." v. 29 A jar of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop, and brought it up to His mouth. V. 30 "When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished! And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit."
Psalm 69:21 "They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."
Acts 2: 27 " Because Thou wilt not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow Thy Holy One to undergo decay. Thou hast made known to Me the ways of life: Thou wilt make Me full of Gladness with They Presence." (Quoted from Psalms 16:8-11) V. 30 "And so, because he (David) was a prophet, and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants upon his throne, V. 31. he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. V. 32. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses.
Acts. 3: 18 "But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ should suffer, He has thus fulfilled."
Acts 4:11 He is the Stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the very cornerstone. Quoted Psalms 118:22
Acts 8:32-35 Now the passage of scripture which he was reading was this: He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so He does not open His mouth. V. 33 In humiliation His judgment was taken away; who shall relate His generation? For His life is removed from the earth." V. 34. And the eunuch answered Philip and said, "Please tell me of whom does the prophet say this? of himself, or of someone else?" V. 35. And Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this scripture he preached Jesus to him. Quoted Isaiah 53:7-8
Acts 13:27-35 For those who live in Jerusalem, and their rulers, recognizing neither Him not the utterances of the prophets which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled these by condemning Him. V. 28 And though they found no ground for putting Him to death, they asked Pilate that He be executed. V. 29 And when they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. V. 30 But God raised Him from the dead; V. 31 and for many days He appeared to those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, the very ones who are now His witnesses to the people. V. 32 And we preach to you the good news of the promise made to the fathers, V. 33. That God has fulfilled this promise to our children in that He raised up Jesus, as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art My Son; today I have begotten Thee. (Quoted Psalm 2:7) V. 34. And as for the fact that He raised Him up from the dead, no more to return to decay, He has spoken in this way: I will Give you the Holy and sure blessing of David. (Quoted Is 55:3) V. 35 Therefore He also says in another Psalm, Thou wilt not allow They Holy One to undergo decay." Quoted Psalms 116:10
Transcribed from a tape of a speech given by Desmond Ford on the Sabbath.
Think not I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets. I come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. Truly I say to you til heaven and earth pass away not a jot or tittle will pass from the law until all is accomplished. A iota or a jot was the Yoda the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. The title is the littlest fraction at the end of the letter that distinguished it from another letter. Don’t think I have come to get rid of it I have come to establish it. Now a friend of mine has written a book called The Sabbath in Crisis in which he said this only means that Jesus fulfilled the Passover and Jesus fulfilled the sacrifices and Jesus fulfilled all the ceremonies. No dear friends, that is not it at all for He goes on to explain. Remember a text with out a context is a pretext. Let's look at the context. Verse 19 whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments. Some versions has breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. He who does them and keeps them shall be called great.
So what does it mean in V. 17 when it contrasts abolish and fulfill. V. 19 tells us to abolish means to break and teach men so. To fulfill means to do them and teach men so. It is very dangerous to teach men to violate anything that the Divine Voice spoke unless the same Divine Voice has revoked it. No Law ceases to be binding unless the same power the same authenticity revokes it as created it originally. So Jesus said don’t think I have come to abolish it. Then he explains it. Whoever breaks it and teaches men so, that’s abolishing it. I came to fulfill. Then He explains that v. 19. Whoever does them and teaches them. But you say Law a broad term. He may just be talking about something else in the Decalogue. No He isn’t. You see the whole Bible is meant to make us good. We are not good. We’re selfish. We’re self centered. We’re born rebels. The only thing we want is our own way in every thing all the time. The Bible is meant to make us good. And the Torah the Pentatude was called such because it is an elaboration of how to come into harmony with the will of God.
We know that Christ in this passage has His eye on the Law within the Law. He has it on the decalogue because He proceeds to quote it. Please notice v. 21. You have heard that it was said you shall not kill. Then He give the depth of that commandment. Which by the way is in the Old Testament. Leviticus 19:18. You have they neighbor as thyself. You shall not hate your enemy. You see his ox or ass going astray you return it to him. Your enemy hunger feed him. If he is thirsty give him drink. It is not a new Law. He is contrasting the commandments as taught by the Pharisees. In this chapter it says remember your shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. That is not Old Testament. That is what the Pharisees taught. When He talks about divorce He’s thinking about says how the Pharisees say your can divorce for any reason. So He is not contrasting Him self with the Old. Testament. He is always deepening the truths that are clearly set forth in the Old Testament that have been pass by. He says don’t think I have come to abolish it.
We are what we think.
- 10/25/2016 07:07 AM
3 Books to Deepen Your Delight in Jesus
I have a new book coming out in early 2017 titled God among Sages: Why Jesus Is Not Just Another Religious Leader (Baker Books). In this new volume, I compare Jesus with Buddha, Krishna, Confucius, and Muhammad. In preparation for writing my new book, I read close to 100 books about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ and about…
- 10/18/2016 07:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on St. Basil
Not many people are known as so-and-so â€śthe Great.â€ť But St. Basil the Great was one of the finest thinkers, writers, and preachers in Christian church history. What did this man believe, and what did he ultimately contribute to historic Christianity? Hereâ€™s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of St. Basil the Greatâ€”and why he still matters today.…
- 10/11/2016 07:00 AM
Should We Read Print Books or E-books?
Is it better to read paper books or electronic books? E-books have their benefits: They are convenient, especially when traveling, and they are often significantly less expensive than physical books. They are also becoming more like physical books as developers continue to improve the technology. Also, I think all reading is good, so I donâ€™t oppose the reading of…
- 10/04/2016 07:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Tertullian
Though he died almost 18 centuries ago, Tertullian is often quoted today in theological and apologetics circles. But what did this man believe and what did he ultimately contribute to historic Christianity? Hereâ€™s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of Tertullianâ€”and why he still matters today. Who Was Tertullian? Tertullian (c. 160â€“220) was a North African church father…
- 09/27/2016 10:00 AM
Reflections on Social Media: Is Digital Networking a Good Phenomenon? Part 2
It seems a safe assumption that all new technologiesâ€”from cell phones to social mediaâ€”present its users with both positive and negative possibilities. The challenge resides in learningÂ how to manage the technology so one maximizes the positives and minimizes the negatives. How can we do thisÂ for the emerging and enormously popular phenomenon known as social media? In this second article (see…
- 09/20/2016 07:00 AM
Reflections on Social Media: Is Digital Networking a Good Phenomenon? Part 1
In July 2016, the Facebook Messenger app marked the amazing milestone of having 1Â billion daily active users.1Â And Twitter now claims 313 million monthly active users.2Â There are also numerous other social networking sites that are extremely popular,Â including YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram, etc.3 Since social media doesnâ€™t look like it’s going away anytime soon, I have decided to write a couple…
- 09/13/2016 01:31 PM
Lessons About Evil: Reflections on the Movie Anthropoid
Reinhard Heydrich (1904â€“1942) was a Nazi leader who impressed Adolf Hitler with his unbridled brutality. Historians consider Heydrich to be the central mastermind of the greatest state-sponsored crime in historyâ€”the Holocaust. As an evil genius, he planned the systematic extermination of 6Â million Jews and 5Â million other non-Jewish victims totaling a staggering 11Â million people. Heydrichâ€™s ruthless cruelty earned him such ominous…
- 09/06/2016 07:00 AM
A Review of Patterns of Evidence
In his film Patterns of Evidence: The Exodus, documentary filmmaker Timothy Mahoney recreates his search for the historical truth behind the Jewsâ€™ exodus from Egypt. I previewed this film at a theatrical release in February 2015. The documentary is now widely available for rent and purchase, and Iâ€™ve noticed that itâ€™s been getting some promotion within the Christian apologetics community…
audio/mpeg (1.7 MBytes)
- 08/30/2016 07:00 AM
Christian Thinkers 101: A Crash Course on Irenaeus
Irenaeus was one of the first Christians to defend the faith against Gnosticism, but what exactly did he believe and what else did he contribute to Christianity? Hereâ€™s your crash course on the life and accomplishments of Irenaeusâ€”and why he still matters today. Who Was Irenaeus? Irenaeus (c. 130â€“202) was a Greek thinker who was born in Asia Minor to…
- 08/23/2016 07:00 AM
The Image of God Gives All Human Life Value
Lethal acts of terrorism, controversial police shootings, and attacks upon law enforcement officers have left many unsettled in America. These horrific public killings cause many to wonder whose lives really matter in life. So do all human lives have value? And, if so, on what basis do they carry worth? Without debating the controversial social and political issues involved, I…
Last updated January 1, 2005