(Red-letter portions of the new Testament)
Matthew 5:17, 20 “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...For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus came to fulfill God’s Word, not merely recite it. Teachers of the law recite the law, but that doesn’t mean they carry out the full meaning of the law, the heart of the law, the spirit of the law.
Jesus said the religious people of his day promoted the letter of the law, but violated the spirit of the law.
”Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices--mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law--justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.” Matthew 23:23.
Jesus came to live out and teach the full meaning and purpose of God’s law, justice, mercy, faith, and love. That will not happen on human effort alone. That will not happen apart from Jesus living in us.
Jesus came to die for our sins, defeat death and give us life in Him forever. That was a mystery hidden from the beginning, but it has now been revealed. It is not by our efforts, but by His life in us.
Dr. Martin Luther King said that America needed to live out the full meaning of its creed, that all men are created equal. Jesus wants us to live out the full meaning of God’s Word, not just recite it.
Jesus wants us to stop merely reciting and glossing over His Word. He wants us to actually understand the full meaning of His words. He wants us to surrender to His love, and let Him live out His words, live out His life, in us.