Main point summary
I came to fulfill the law [FOR YOU], because its whole goal was to drive you to ME!! Until all is accomplished the Law remains your tutor and slave driver, therefore whoever doesn't keep it or tries to get around it by saying parts of it are not required will be called least, in fact unless you keep it perfectly, even better than the people you see as the BEST law keepers, then you won't even get INTO the kingdom! I came to fulfill the law so that ALL who are IN ME are credited with my perfect fulfillment of it!
“Do not think that I came to abolish the a Law or the Prophets;
Do not think that I came to do away with the law or the Prophets [Basically all of the OT]
I did not come to abolish
But KNOW that I did not come to do away with it,
but to fulfill.
but I came to FULFILL the law [obey it completely unlike ANY OTHER PERSON EVERY and fulfill its intended purpose which was to send you to ME!!!]
For truly I say to you, a until heaven and earth pass away,
Because until heaven and earth pass away, [some commentators say this is not referring to time, but a Jewish saying meaning IT ABSOLUTELY WON'T HAPPEN....UNTIL all is accomplished]
not 1 the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law
none of the law will pass away,
until all is accomplished.
UNTIL ALL is accomplished [This could be Jesus on the cross "It is finished" after perfectly obeying God FOR US, or it could be when Christ returns? If it's the former, then this solves lots of issues with this text.]
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments,
THEREFORE, If a person annuls/cancels on of the least of these commandments,
and teaches 1 others to do the same,
and teachers others to do the same [UNTIL ALL IS ACCOMPLISHED],
shall be called least a in the kingdom of heaven;
THEN they shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven [what does this mean?]
but whoever 2 keeps
BUT, if a person keeps the commandments
and teaches them,
and teaches them to others,
he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
THEN they shall be called great in teh kingdom of heaven.
“For I say to you that unless your a righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees,
Because, UNLESS your righteousness surpasses the people that know and keep the letter of the law best,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.
THEN you will NOT EVEN GET INTO THE KINGDOM!!!
I came to FULFILL the law, not abolish it!
None of the Law will pass away until ALL is accomplished and heaven and earth pass away!
Therefore, if you keep the law and teach others to do so you shall be great in the kingdom!
FOR unless you are more righteous than the people who know and keep the law the best, you will not even get into heaven!
So context, he's talking to Jews and is about to teach them His Father's intent of the law. Notice that he's about to say, YOU'VE HEARD IT SAID (quoting directly from the law!!!) BUT I SAY... The inference is that you've misunderstood the intent and goal and degree of obedience the law actually requires. When you arc this passage, the MAIN POINT of the passage is I HAVE COME TO FULFILL THE LAW!!! This word fulfill is primarily used to indicate fulfilling prophecy or fulfilling a promise. When you look at Romans 10:4, "For Christ is the GOAL of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes", you see this explained. The primary goal of the law was not to give us a playbook to live by, but RATHER to point us and drive us to JESUS for HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS and PERFECT OBEDIENCE to be given to us! If we want righteousness, we don't go to the Law to get it, we go to where the law SENDS US! We go to Jesus to get it! He then gives the REASONS why He came to fulfill the law: 1. The perfect fulfillment of it will never go away. The same degree of fulfillment of the Mosaic law that I'm doing is what is required of every Jew (Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the Law...For all who have sinned WITHOUT the LAW will also perish WITHOUT THE LAW, but all who have sinned UNDER THE LAW will be judged BY THE LAW..Romans passages) The perfect obedience to the law written on ALL men's hearts will be how gentiles will be judged. Therefore, don't attempt to remove law, but keep it [perfectly]. 2. Unless your righteousness exceeds the most righteous people (in your Jewish eyes) on the planet (I infer PERFECTION to the same degree that Jesus was fulfilling it), YOU CAN'T EVEN GET INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD!!! If you look at the very last verse of Matthew 5, it says THEREFORE, you must be PERFECT (if you stopped reading there you might say, "well this word is used for maturity and not absolute perfection", BUT that's not the end of the sentence. The next clause is, "AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT!!!!!!". So the dialog would go like this: 1) I have come to complete/accomplish what the law's goal was for you! 2) Because you must be more righteous than the best law keepers around 3) Because the degree of purity and obedience God actually requires is complete purity of thought, will, emotions, and desires 4) Therefore you must be PERFECT just like YHWY is perfect!!! 1) Hence, why I came to fulfill/accomplish the goal of the Law so that all who are in me ARE PERFECT!!! I believe what this is saying is that Jesus was the only and final champion that actually FULFILLED the law completely and perfectly. We who believe in Him will be CREDITED with His righteousness and we who are IN CHRIST have put on HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS. In Him WE HAVE KEPT THE LAW perfectly. The law's usefulness/goal was to foreshadow and drive us to Jesus for our righteousness. When Jesus FINISHED his race, lived his perfectly obedient life, and died His perfect death, the law had fulfilled it's usefulness for all who would turn to Jesus. The old covenant became OBSOLETE, we died to the law and now that our husband is here, we are joined to HIM, SO THAT we might bear fruit for God! So, the main point of this passage is JESUS CAME TO FULFILL THE LAW (Mosaic or General) on our behalf so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). If he didn't come to do this, there would be no hope since the requirement of perfect obedience (perfect character) will never go away!