The Good Guys, Right?

MARCH 8

MATTHEW 5:20_But I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees…

Scribes interpreted the Law and copied it into writings. If anyone knew the laws – from the greatest precept to the least – it was the Scribes. They were not politicians, but did possess great power and expected respect from their students in the synagogues. Because of their knowledge, they would most likely be the first to cringe if a jot or a tittle of the Law were violated.

The Pharisees, also learned in the Law, took more of a legal approach to the keeping of it. They were strong segregationists. They wanted no part of non-Jewish mixing.

These two sects were the primary religious leaders of Jesus’ day. Religious leaders are supposed to be the good guys, right?  If you can’t depend upon them to lead in the right direction, who can you depend upon?

There were some among the Pharisees who listened to and developed a heart for Jesus. But oh my goodness, what a sad place to be if you went to most of them for love, joy, or peace. They followed the letter of the Law rather than the spirit.

PRAYER

Lord Jesus, I want to live in the spirit of Your Law. Please show me when I am living more in the letter than the spirit.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ is true righteousness—He will help me gain that!

From the Letter to the Spirit

FEBRUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:18_pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Here is the point of Jesus’ principle, till all be fulfilled. Notice how Jesus took specific steps to emphasize His point. 

First, He began with the verily: [I solemnly declare, sacred, seriously and thoughtfully, emphatically, affirm]. He’s grabbing our attention right from the get-go.

Second, Jesus makes clear the time frame He is addressing, till heaven and earth pass away, as long as the world we live in lasts. 

Third, Jesus shows the inclusiveness of every part of the Law, jots and tittles [tiniest of strokes]. Even these will stand, last, and endure.

Had Jesus stopped with these three points we would all be living under the Law. The fulfillment takes us from the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. The Law, and the strictest keeping of it, can never equal the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. His death gave us new life. Jesus’ resurrection opened the door for eternity. 

If you are confused about fulfillment, and the judgment and mercy balance – stay tuned. In just a few more verses Jesus will take more specific steps to explain.

PRAYER

Saving Jesus, Please guide me with Your truth, step by step. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is the spirit of the Law—I should be too!

Minuteness Gives Emphasis

FEBRUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:18_one jot or one tittle shall in no wise…

Okay, so we have a couple of odd words in this verse. What in the world is a jot, or a tittle? 

A jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. A very tiny symbol. It looks rather similar to our comma.

A tittle is just a stroke used in the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish between the letters. In the Greek, it may have been considered as something like an accent mark.

The minuteness of these symbols is Jesus’ way of placing emphasis on the importance of the Law. Think about His emphasis. Even the tiniest strokes of a pen made in the writing of the laws will stand as long as the heaven and the earth.

The laws were written for instruction.

The coming of Jesus to the earth did not destroy the importance, or the power, of the Law. His earthly presence gave purpose to the Law as it gave purpose to all life as we know it. We have previously mentioned there are portions of the Law which Jesus’ earthly presence caused to become irrelevant.

Best of all, Jesus’ earthly presence gave purpose for a life yet to come, a new heaven and a new earth.  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, I don’t want to miss one jot or one tittle of Your teachings. I want to gain all the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge You offer me in this life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows what endures for eternity—My life!

From the Letter to the Spirit

FEBRUARY 26

MATTHEW 5:18_pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Here is the point of Jesus’ principle, till all be fulfilled. Notice how Jesus took specific steps to emphasize His point. 

First, He began with the verily: [I solemnly declare, sacred, seriously and thoughtfully, emphatically, affirm]. He’s grabbing our attention right from the get-go.

Second, Jesus makes clear the time frame He is addressing, till heaven and earth pass away, as long as the world we live in lasts. 

Third, Jesus shows the inclusiveness of every part of the Law, jots and tittles [tiniest of strokes]. Even these will stand, last, and endure.

Had Jesus stopped with these three points we would all be living under the Law. The fulfillment takes us from the letter of the Law to the spirit of the Law. The Law, and the strictest keeping of it, can never equal the sacrifice Christ made on the cross. His death gave us new life. Jesus’ resurrection opened the door for eternity. 

If you are confused about fulfillment, and the judgment and mercy balance – stay tuned. In just a few more verses Jesus will take more specific steps to explain.

PRAYER

Saving Jesus, Please guide me with Your truth, step by step. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen. 

Christ is the spirit of the Law—I should be too!

Minuteness Gives Emphasis

FEBRUARY 25

MATTHEW 5:18_one jot or one tittle shall in no wise…

Okay, so we have a couple of odd words in this verse. What in the world is a jot, or a tittle? 

A jot is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. A very tiny symbol. It looks rather similar to our comma.

A tittle is just a stroke used in the Hebrew alphabet to distinguish between the letters. In the Greek, it may have been considered as something like an accent mark.

The minuteness of these symbols is Jesus’ way of placing emphasis on the importance of the Law. Think about His emphasis. Even the tiniest strokes of a pen made in the writing of the laws will stand as long as the heaven and the earth.

The laws were written for instruction.

The coming of Jesus to the earth did not destroy the importance, or the power, of the Law. His earthly presence gave purpose to the Law as it gave purpose to all life as we know it. We have previously mentioned there are portions of the Law which Jesus’ earthly presence caused to become irrelevant.

Best of all, Jesus’ earthly presence gave purpose for a life yet to come, a new heaven and a new earth.  

PRAYER

Holy Jesus, I don’t want to miss one jot or one tittle of Your teachings. I want to gain all the wisdom, understanding, and knowledge You offer me in this life. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Christ knows what endures for eternity—My life!