So the preacher said, “I just can’t do it.” What is that? Skipping over Matthew 5:17ff. So the semi-planned sermon schedule is not a tangled ball of string. However, if we in the process hear the Word of God, what does that matter?
I was reading, thinking and napping last night and somewhere in the process I noticed a couple of things in Matthew.
On the Fulfillment theme:
- Chapters 1-4 is arranged around ways that Jesus fulfilled the previous history and promise of Israel – each little account is centered on a scripture reference.
- the testing by the Tempter in chapter 4 has to do with a false path to fulfillment – “IF you really are the son of God, then fulfill your destiny by…” (free translation)
- In the Sermon on the Mount – chapter 5, Jesus said
- “I have not come to abolish but to full them” v. 17
- “not a dot will pass from the Law until all is accomplished” v. 18
- “…unless your righteousness exceeds that of the strives…” v. 20
- 6 examples of “you have heard it said, but I say to you” teachings that seem to expand or fulfill the meaning of various OT passages, mostly from the Ten Commandments.
- “you therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.” (the Greek word for “perfect” suggests completion or maturity.)
The fulfillment theme is not only a static thing, where Jesus checks all the boxes on his application for Messiah, but it also includes Jesus fulfilling in the sense of extending by his own authority, the full meaning and intent of the “Law”.
On Fatherhood of God:
- There are numerous Sonship references to Jesus:
- 1:1 – Son of David, Son of Abraham
- 1:21 – She will bear a son, and you shall call him Jesus
- 1:23 – “a virgin will conceive and bear a son…” Isaiah 7:14
- 2:15 – Out of Egypt I will call my son.” Hosea 11:1
- 3:17 – This is my Beloved Son…
- 4:3, 6, “If you are the Son of God…”
- There are numerous Fatherhood references to God
- Father in Heaven (9) 5:16, 5:45; 6:9, 1:14, 6:15, 6:26, 6:32, 7:11, 7:21
- Father is perfect (1) 5:48
- Father in Secret (4) 6:4, 6:6, 6:18 (2x)
How does all this come together? If the Sermon on the Mount is about discipleship, then we see that discipleship is about two relationships – one with the Word of God and one with our Heavenly Father.
I am glad it is only Wednesday. Sunday Commeth!