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Posts tagged ‘Prophets’

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

Matthew 5:17-20 – The Nazarene Rabbi’s Commentary on the Torah

MT5:17 “Do not think I came to destroy[1] the Torah[2] or the Prophets. I came not to destroy but to fulfill.[3] MT5:18 For I tell you this truth: Sooner would heaven and earth pass away before one iota or a single dot[4] passes from the Torah and not all of it be fulfilled. MT5:19 So, anyone who breaks the ‘least’ commandment[5] and so teaches men will be called ‘Least’ in the Heavenly Realm. But, anyone who obeys and teaches them[6] will be called Great in the Heavenly Realm. MT5:20 For I am telling you: If your ‘righteousness’[7] does not surpass the Scribes and Pharisees[8] you will not enter the Heavenly Realm

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[1] I came to destroy: Probably a charge waiting to be made by the Nazarene’s opposers, the religious hierarchy which prided itself on the preservation of Moses’ Law.

The phrase “I came” is the only intimation that the Nazarene was sent by God. Jesus confesses in John chs 5-8 that he speaks nothing of his own originality but rather those things taught to him by his Father. Here Christ comes from the Celestial Realm. He has the brilliance and vocabulary to say anything he wants. The Mountain Teachings are the first public sermon of the Nazarene.

[2] Torah: Or, the “law” referring mainly to that of Moses but including non-Biblical views expressed by the Ancients. Here begins possibly what the crowd and the Nazarene’s disciples wanted to know: where did Jesus stand on the subject of the Law? Virtually the rest of the sermon is a commentary on the law or Torah with a famous summation of it in Matthew 7:12.

[3] Fulfill: Various renderings: GDSP: enforce; KNX: bring them to perfection. First, the Nazarene as Christ ‘comes’ to set an example of how to follow the Law perfectly. Next, he fulfills all those elements of the Law which are “shadows” of realities (Hebrews 10:1). Paul writes, ‘Christ is the end of the Law.’ By Christ, the Nazarene Saint is ‘released from the Law.’ (Romans 7:1-5) Paul echoes the Nazarene later when he writes, ‘For all the Law is fulfilled in one statement: “You Shall Love Your Neighbor As Yourself.”’ (Galatians 5:14) Jesus words may be illustrated by a normal human contract with another: there is a difference between arbitrarily and unilaterally ‘destroying’ or breaking the contract and fulfilling your end of the agreement (Galatians 3:14).

The words “I came” are the only hint in the sermon which indicate his overall mission from God (John 4:25).

[4] Dot: The Greek word is IOTA. These words are best understood if one watches a skilled Jewish copyist painstakingly copying every ‘dot and tittle’ of the Hebrew manuscript. Such efforts (Romans 3:1) will not go unfulfilled until everything purposed by God in the Law and Prophets is realized.

[5] ‘Least’ commandment: The commandments have degrees. Here is described a person who not only violates one of these ‘least’ commands but also teaches others to do so. Such is verging on apostasy from the Law of Moses for which Paul was accused (Acts 21:21). As far as individuals are concerned there are degrees of “great” and “least” in the “kingdom.” This is something the disciples were aware of, for two of them got their mother to approach Jesus asking him to see to it that they sat at his right and left in the Kingdom. Note Matthew 11:11 where the ‘least’ in the Kingdom is still greater than John the Baptist. Can the Nazarene mean that a person who breaks even a small law and teaches others to do so will be in the “kingdom” of the heaven, that is, the Father’s Kingdom? Or, does he mean, in the Realm of Profession, the Kingdom/Church? (Matthew 13:41)

[6] Teaches them: It would appear that “teaching” is a prerequisite for being among the ‘great’ in the Realm of Profession (Hebrews 5:12).

[7] Righteousness: Is this a tongue in cheek sentence? This subject of “righteousness” is key to both Paul and John. Paul warns of self-righteousness or that righteousness of the Law; and, John writes of the true righteousness. “Righteousness” means the state of being “right” or correct in attitude, speech and action.

Deutsch: Christus im Hause des Pharisäers, Jac...

Jesus Christ in the house of the pharisees – Jacopo Tintoretto, Escorial (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

[8] Pharisees: Much the butt of Jesus’ censure and condemnation. Jesus never condemns righteousness itself, but that hypocritical self-righteousness which characterizes religious hierarchies of any kind.

 

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Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:1-12 Nazarene Mountain teachings: Blessed and legal commentaries

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:13-16 Salt and Light shining bright

Next: Nazarene Commentary Matthew 5:21-26 – 1. The Nazarene’s Commentary on Exodus 20:13

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Written down for God to bring us up to a virtuous life

“23  The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness— for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.” (Romans 4:23-24 NIV)“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NIV)

“16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV)

“19  And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:19-21 NIV)

“He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21 NIV)

“These are the commandments the LORD proclaimed in a loud voice to your whole assembly there on the mountain from out of the fire, the cloud and the deep darkness; and he added nothing more. Then he wrote them on two stone tablets and gave them to me.” (Deuteronomy 5:22 NIV)

“8 And you shall write very clearly all the words of this law on these stones you have set up.” 9 Then Moses and the priests, who are Levites, said to all Israel, “Be silent, O Israel, and listen! You have now become the people of the LORD your God. 10 Obey the LORD your God and follow his commands and decrees that I give you today.”” (Deuteronomy 27:8-10 NIV)

“2 “The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me; his word was on my tongue. 3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: ‘When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, 4 he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.’” (2 Samuel 23:2-4 NIV)

“”Is not my word like fire,” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:29 NIV)

“So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

“They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets. So the LORD Almighty was very angry.” (Zechariah 7:12 NIV)

“David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ {Psalm 110:1}” (Mark 12:36 NIV)

“and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—” (Acts 1:16 NIV)

“But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ {Or Messiah; also in verse 20} would suffer.” (Acts 3:18 NIV)

“The LORD used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for him.” (Hosea 12:13 NIV)

“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” (Psalms 119:50 NIV)

“For these commands are a lamp, this teaching is a light, and the corrections of discipline are the way to life,” (Proverbs 6:23 NIV)

“but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments.” (Exodus 20:6 NIV)

“The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and stay here, and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and commands I have written for their instruction.”” (Exodus 24:12 NIV)

“and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go,” (1 Kings 2:3 NIV)

“But your hearts must be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.”” (1 Kings 8:61 NIV)

“Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because when the ploughman ploughs and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest.” (1 Corinthians 9:10 NIV)

“These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11 NIV)

“because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father {Hebrew; Septuagint and he punishes} the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:12 NIV)

“He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.” (Titus 1:9 NIV)

“for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:10 NIV)

“If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,” (1 Timothy 6:3 NIV)

“What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13 NIV)

“This testimony is true. Therefore, rebuke them sharply, so that they will be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:13 NIV)

“And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,” (Hebrews 12:5 NIV)

“His disciples remembered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” {Psalm 69:9}” (John 2:17 NIV)

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit {Or Spirit} and they are life.” (John 6:63 NIV)

“23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25  “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 28  “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. 30 I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, 31 but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.” (John 14:23-31 NIV)

“Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me.” (John 7:16 NIV)

“For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” (John 12:49 NIV)

“10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12  I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. 15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be {Some early manuscripts and is} in you. 18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:10-18 NIV)

“They disagreed among themselves and began to leave after Paul had made this final statement: “The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:” (Acts 28:25 NIV)

“10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-17 NIV)

“But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8 NIV)

“The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit {Or Spirit} and they are life.” (John 6:63 NIV)

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)

“he is not to ‘honour his father’ {Some manuscripts father or his mother} with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” (Matthew 15:6 NIV)

“Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”” (Mark 7:13 NIV)

“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” (1 Peter 1:23 NIV)

“The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.” (Acts 11:1 NIV)

“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:13 NIV)

“According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15 NIV)

“He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” (James 1:18 NIV)

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Preceding:

Écrit pour Dieu de mettre à une vie vertueuse

Denn Gott aufgeschrieben, um bis zu einem tugendhaften Leben zu erwecken

Neergeskryf namens God om op te voed tot ‘n deugsame lewe

True God giving His Word for getting wisdom

Words to push and pull

Jehovah can make him stand

Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge

The holy spirit will bring back to your minds all the things told

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Additional reading:

  1. Eternal Word that tells everything
  2. Words to inspire and to give wisdom
  3. Coming to understanding from sayings written long ago
  4. Bible, God’s Word to edify (ERV)
  5. Bible, God speaking words profitable for doctrine, for reproof and for correction
  6. Bible, sword of the Spirit to come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man
  7. Bible, helmet of health, salvation and sword of the spirit
  8. Looking for wisdom not departing from God’s Word
  9. Bible, helmet of salvation, God’s Words put in the mouth of prophets for perfecting, to reprove and correct
  10. May reading the Bible provoke us into action to set our feet on the narrow way
  11. Feed Your Faith Daily
  12. We should use the Bible every day
  13. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  14. Incomplete without the mind of God+++

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