17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Matt 5:17-18 (NIV)

The Lord Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness. In an instance of great humility, when He was about to be baptized by the Baptist and John was seeking to deter Him because he did not consider himself worthy of the job, Jesus tells him the following and the Baptist at last acquiesces:

13 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" 15 Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. Matt 3:13-15 (NIV)

God made His own perfect Son “to be sin” that He might make the sinner into a saint. Paul states in 2 Corinthians the following Truth regarding our Savior:

21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Cor 5:21 (NIV)

Jesus had not come into the world He created to present a new system that rivaled the Law rather He came to fulfill the Law - perfectly. Flawless and fully obedient, the rule which Christ ushered in and established was in total agreement with the Old Testament Scriptures – He neither cancelled nor weakened the Law – rather He completed and transcended it. The Savior sent from heaven to save the souls of men, destroyed nothing of the dictates from God or of Moses and the prophets. He lived a perfect life that He might be the perfect - once and for all - Sacrifice for my sin and yours. He both saved and set forth an example for all who would believe in Him and live their lives through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers are to live supernatural lives propelled and guided by the Spirit. There is an eternal wisdom behind the values our Lord taught and lived. The heavenly city is being prepared for those who have taken their gaze off this world and shed their earthly ambitions to set their sights on heavenly ones. Undiscerning eyes who live only for what they see cannot comprehend this treasure.

“The Sermon on the Mount is not a set of rules and regulations – it is a picture of the life we will live when the Holy Spirit is having His unhindered way with us.” Oswald Chambers

“Nearness to Christ, intimacy with Him, assimilation to His character – these are the elements of a ministry of power.” Horatius Bonar

“All the Holy Spirit’s influences are heaven begun, glory in the seed and bud.” Matthew Henry

Furthermore, Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law extended to the smallest letter – the “jot” - as well as the least stoke of a pen – the “tittle”. The “jot” would correspond to our dot above the letter “i” and the “tittle” would be the difference between a P and an R – the small angled line completing the R is like a “tittle”. This is important because letters make up words and even a slight change of a letter in a word could change its meaning. The psalmist echoes this Truth in Psalm 119:

89 Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalms 119:89 (NIV)

160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal. Psalms 119:160 (NIV)

The Prophet Isaiah also rightly states God’s Word stands forever and Jesus repeats the same message later in Matthew as well:

8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NIV)

35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matt 24:35 (NIV)

“There is only one real inevitability: it is necessary that the Scripture be fulfilled.” Carl F. H. Henry

What I Glean

  • Jesus came to fulfill all righteousness in order for Him to be the perfect sacrifice for my sin and yours.
  • As a believer, I am to live a supernatural life, propelled and guided by the Holy Spirit.
  • God’s Word is righteous and eternal – standing firm in the heavens.