Week of September 1 - Day 2

Day 2 Read: 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. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 

Reflect: What did Jesus mean by saying He came to fulfill “the Law and the Prophets”? Read Hebrews 7:23–8:6 and Acts 2:22-36. What are some ways Jesus fulfilled “the Law and the Prophets”?

Consider: Jesus’ fulfillment would extend to the smallest Hebrew letter, the “jot” (lit., yôd), and even to the smallest stroke of a Hebrew letter, the “tittle.” In English a jot would correspond to the dot above the letter “i” (and look like an apostrophe), and a tittle would be seen in the difference between a “P” and an “R”. The small angled line that completes the “R” is like a tittle. These things are important because letters make up words and even a slight change in a letter might change the meaning of a word. Jesus said He would fulfill the Law by obeying it perfectly and would fulfill the prophets’ predictions of the Messiah and His kingdom.[1]

Respond: What does this passage teach about the motivation for being righteous (living in obedience to God)? To what extent is your motivation for doing right based on your relationship with Jesus? What else might it be based on?

[1] Louis A. Barbieri, Jr., “Matthew,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 30.