top of page

This is Living Part 8: Don't Throw The Baby Out With The Bath Water

Updated: Jul 9


Jesus is presenting a TANGIBLE VISION OF A NEW REALITY! He does this by challenging conventional wisdom or the status quo at that time. The focus is the beginning of the main body of the sermon and a portion of scripture which is often misunderstood by the Church in general.

Message Notes 23/06/2024

Catch Up: YouTube  || Spotify  || iTunes


What is your relationship with rules like? The context within which the rules are being applied matters most. By and large, rules are put in place for a reason; to keep us safe and perhaps, so that peace & harmony prevail in society. Rules lose their usefulness when they appear like more of a punishment and not

just to bring correction. Maybe you fall on the other side of spectrum, like this World War 1 fighter pilot, who remarked that “rules are for the obeyance of fools, and the guidance of the wise” - Harry Day


The Fulfillment of the Law


17  “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 tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  19  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and


teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of

heaven.  20  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of

the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the

kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5: 17-20

Don’t Throw The Baby Out With The

Bathwater. This idiom is a warning not “to lose something good or valuable in your attempt to get rid of what is unwanted”

Jesus is speaking to Jewish people who are living under Roman occupation and oppression. The religious leaders of the time had also turned the laws into a confusing mass of rules which were difficult to keep pace with. It is into this story that Jesus is speaking about coming to fulfill the Law. From this passage of scripture, we see 3 main themes;

1. JESUS IS THE NEW MOSES

2. JESUS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHETS’ EXPECTATIONS

3. JESUS IS WISDOM PERSONIFIED


JESUS IS ‘NEW’ MOSES

17  “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.

The Law that Jesus is referring to is The Torah

Torah is a Hebrew word meaning “to instruct”.


It is the first 5 chapters of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & amp; Deuteronomy). In some instances, the Torah is also often referred to as

the Law of Moses. Moses was the one through whom God gave Israel the law.

In Old Testament times, the law was divided into 3 broad categories:

  1. CEREMONIAL LAWS These related specifically to the manner that the Israelites were to worship God. The ceremonial laws related to the proper way to offer sacrifices, perform rituals, and celebrate festivals.

  2. CIVIL LAWS These laws applied to daily living in Israel. They governed things such as marriage and divorce, sexual conduct and property rights etc…

  3. MORAL LAWS This is the direct command of God and reflected God’s holy, unchanging character. The Ten Commandments fall under the Moral Law and required strict obedience. Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 20).


The Torah contained over 600 laws (613 to be exact) and together with all the other extras the religious leaders had introduced, following the law had become very difficult.


Like Moses, Jesus has come to rescue not only all of Israel but all of humanity.


Jesus is a greater ‘Moses’ who views the scriptures as something that points forward, a set of texts that create momentum instead of holding the people back. He provides the resolution to which the Torah and the Prophets are pointing to.


JESUS IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPHETS’ EXPECTATIONS

18  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. - Matthew 5:18



The Prophets includes most of the rest of the Old Testament and includes the writings of people such as Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others were sent by God to deliver messages to Israel. They speak of one who is to come who will fulfill their prophecies.


JESUS IS WISDOM PERSONIFIED

19  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matthew 5:19-20


It is clear from this verse that Jesus realised that the commands were not easy to fulfil. One can also deduct that the society had ranked the commands in terms of lesser or greater. However Jesus sets the standard that in order to be called ‘great’ in the kingdom of heaven, we have to honour every command, irrespective of it’s ranking. Every command in the Torah was important.


Jesus then concludes by calling us to live a righteous life to enter the kingdom of heaven. We have learnt that righteousness comes from Dikaiosune


Dikaiosune (Greek) = Righteousness

Righteousness meaning living in right relationship with God, other people and all creation. We must live justly, honestly and faithfully according to God’s instructions.


Some of the practical ways of living this out:

  • Prayer & fasting

  • Giving generously to the poor

  • Forgiving others

  • Loving our enemies


To live this way is do right by God. Jesus claims that the Torah and the Prophets point to an even more radical behaviour change that is rooted in the transformation of our hearts.


Later in Matthew’s gospel, Jesus illustrates to us a way of living that fulfills the Torah and the Prophets.


34  Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.  35  One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:  36  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37  Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  38  This is the first and greatest commandment.  39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. 40  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” - Matthew 22: 34-39


Similar scriptures can also be found in some of Paul’s letters:


Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

- Romans 13:10


For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” - Galatians 5:14


Living God’s Way: Love God, Love People-empowered

11 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page