From ‘Whole Bible Christianity’ chapter 7 The Second Sermon on the Mount

Matthew in chapters five, six and seven of his gospel account records for us the second Sermon on the Mount. Yeah, I said second because the first was at Mt. Sinai with Moses, who relayed it to Israel. The second is similar to the first; even identical. Since Jesus actually gave both sermons, we would expect they would sound alike, which they do. In fact, what we really have here is Jesus cutting through man’s false teachings about what He set down at Sinai. He repeats His message over and over and over and over in the Bible. Man’s interpretations or applications of the Law to that point were lacking, so Jesus corrected them.

In 5:17 He says He did not come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill. The word ‘abolish’ is clear – it means eliminate (or destroy, or change). As in ‘I did not come to eliminate the Law.’ It wouldn’t make very much sense for Jesus to say, “I did not come to abolish the Law, but to abolish it.” The word ‘fulfill,’ used as the opposite of ‘abolish,’ means to interpret correctly so that words are given their proper meaning. It’s clear in this context Jesus is saying He would not destroy the Law through wrong interpretation. So we can read this statement as, ‘I did not come to remove or destroy or change the Law, but to correctly interpret it so it would be put back on a firm foundation.’

The word ‘fulfill’ by itself also means to ‘fill up full,’ as in filling up the foundation forms of a house with cement. Jesus cements His intention by telling us that even the tiniest part of God’s Law will not change until heaven and earth pass away. Some try to make the phrase “until all is accomplished” to mean Jesus changed the Law through the resurrection. But heaven and earth certainly did not pass away at that time. Therefore the Law still stands, placed on firm foundation by the Giver and Interpreter. It is still absolutely applicable to everyone.

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