Jesus affirms, fulfills, and replaces the Torah

Reading through Matthew we are reminded of how fundamental the Gospel Commands must be for every disciple. Jesus opens His preaching of the Gospel with his gospel commands in Matthew 5.3. In these gospel commands "successful" people of the Kingdom are defined (Matt. 5: 3-12). Then Jesus implies that matching up to these commands as His disciples is like being salty salt, and "lighty" light (Matt.5:13-16). Jesus emphasizes the importance of these defining statements by speaking about His relationship to the Law.  The Torah (law) was sure and none of it would pass away without being fulfilled.  Therefore the words of Jesus, the one who brings the Torah to fulfillment...His words are even more sure and whoever neglects the least of them will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt. 5:17-19).  Later in Matthew Jesus will state "the law and the Prophets prophesied until John".  He will also say, "heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away".  Here, in this preaching of the Gospel often called "The Sermon on the Mount," Jesus will say that the legitimacy (righteousness) of the disciples must exceed that of the Scribes and the Pharisees(Matt.5:20). The Scribes and the Pharisees were dedicated to the Torah but did not embrace the person of  Jesus and therefore did not enter the Kingdom nor embrace the King's  New Covenant teachings.  To understand the rest of the New Testament it will be very helpful to understand what is presented to every disciple in the opening 7 Chapters of Matthew.

Jesus affirms the authority of the Torah.
Jesus fulfills the meaning and purpose of the Torah.
Jesus and His word of the Kingdom replace the Torah as the binding "word of God" for the faithful.
With this acknowledgment we are prepared to hear the next set of passages in the Sermon on the Mount.

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