matthew 519Yashua stated clearly that he did not come to destroy the Law OR the prophets. Some Christians believe that Yashua’s appearance was some spiritual fulfillment of the Law, and somehow he replaced the Law and that it should no longer be observed. This could not be further from the truth. What the passage is really saying is that he came to fulfill the prophecies that were written about him in the Law AND the Prophets.  The Master makes this clear as he reminded his disciples after his resurrection (Luke 24:44) that “fulfill” meant prophetic fulfillment and not the elimination of the Law contained in the Torah. If his death meant the Mosaic law was abolished then it meant he came to destroy the law not fulfill it.  The word “fulfil” in the following verse, v18, confirms that v17 is, in fact, referring to prophecy fulfillment.

Matthew 5:17-18
17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, TILL ALL BE FULFILLED. (KJV)

Luke 24:44
44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that ALL things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. (KJV)

There are two conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the written law to pass. The first condition is that heaven and earth must first literally pass. He reiterates this point in Luke 16:17, stating that it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for the Mosaic law to pass, therefore the Law stands. The second condition requires that ALL prophecies concerning Yashua must be fulfilled before one jot or one tittle would pass from the Law. Yashua is obviously referring to the written law, since a jot or tittle refers to the small and minute Hebraic markings of the written law. Many mistakenly think that Yashua’s crucifixion was a fulfillment of all prophecy concerning the Messiah. The last chapter in the book of Zechariah has a whole chapter concerning the Messiah which has not been prophetically fulfilled yet. Since this has not been fulfilled, the second condition has not been met, therefore the Mosaic law still stands. There are, by the way, many other prophecies concerning him which haven’t been fulfilled. The Law cannot pass away until both conditions are met, and it is only after the Yashua’s thousand year reign in Revelation 20, do we find that both conditions are finally met.

Matthew 5:18
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (KJV)

Luke 16:17
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. (KJV)

Yashua continues in verse 19 and states that whoever violates the written law and statutes and teaches other to do so shall be called “least” in the kingdom of heaven. The person who obeys and teaches these sacred commandments will be called “great” in the kingdom of heaven. There are only TWO groups in the kingdom of heaven, those who obey God’s commandments and those who don’t obey God’s commandments. In the kingdom parables of Matthew 13, Yashua would consistently teach that there are two groups or classes of believers in the kingdom of heaven. He would call them wheat and tares, the righteous and the wicked or the good vessels and bad vessels; one group who would obey God’s commandments and another who wouldn’t (keep in mind here that the commandments Yashua is speaking of are the Mosaic laws, see Matthew 5:19). John in his first epistle calls those who do not obey God’s commandments, liars (1 John 2:4). Please keep in mind that he was writing to believers in the church. John states that those who obey the commandments are the ones who “know” God (1 John 2:3).

Matthew 5:19
19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

Obeys the Law are called… Does Not Obey the Law are called…
Great Least
Wheat Tares
Just Wicked
Good Vessels Bad Vessels
Know God Liars
Righteous Wicked

Lastly, in keeping with the context of the passage, Yashua explained that a person’s righteousness that is attained by obedience to the sacred commandments (Deuteronomy 6:25) must exceed that of the Pharisees and scribes. Righteousness is attained by keeping God’s commandments and teaching others to do the same.  Zacharias and Elisabeth were perfect examples of those who were deemed righteous and blameless for having walked in and kept God’s commandments. Righteousness is simply not imputed to believers by merely believing in Christ as Paul taught (Romans 4:5, 11). John warned believers not to be fooled, a person is deemed righteous when they practice righteousness (1 John 3:7) and is a requirement for a person to enter into the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:20). Yashua always directed believers to obey the Law his Father laid down and fearlessly rebuked the scribes and Pharisees for their transgression of the Law. See article on “Did Jesus condemn legalism?

Matthew 5:20
20 For I say unto you, That EXCEPT YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven. (KJV)

Deuteronomy 6:25
25 And it shall be OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS, if we observe to do all these commandments before the Lord our God, as he hath commanded us. (KJV)

1 John 3:7
7 Little children, LET NO MAN DECEIVE YOU: HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, even as he is righteous. (KJV)

Luke 1:5-6
5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.
6 And they were BOTH RIGHTEOUS before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord BLAMELESS.(KJV)

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