A devotional thought from Juan Sanchez for “Jesus: The Faithful Teacher”
Contrary to the assumption that Jesus came to set aside the Law, He declared that He came to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). There are various, specific ways in which Jesus fulfills the Law. Jesus’ point, however, is that the Law and the Prophets testified about Him. In other words, the entire Old Testament is about Jesus; therefore, we must read and study the Old Testament through the lens of Jesus’ life and ministry.
In this week’s lesson, we learn that that’s exactly how Jesus read and understood the Old Testament. We see how Jesus rightly interpreted the Law in light of Himself as its fulfillment. Since He is the One to whom the Old Testament points and through whom it must be understood, Jesus exposed the true meaning and intention of the Law (vv. 21-48).
Having established the Law’s demand for perfect obedience (v. 48) and exposing the fact that we fail to meet this standard, the Bible announces the good news that Jesus meets the demands of the Law for perfect obedience and for death to transgressors in His own life and death (Gal. 3:10-12).
When we try to approach the Law in our own strength and power, we revert to legalism. When we misunderstand the grace of God in Christ’s fulfilling of the Law on our behalf, we live in lawlessness. However, when we understand God’s grace and trust in Christ’s work on our behalf that provides forgiveness of sin, then we will delight in our Lord’s commands.
Pause and Reflect
• How has your understanding of the Law and your relation to the Law changed?
• How does Christ’s obedience now permit us to delight in the Law rather than despair because of its demands?