Jesus then switches gears and he is quoted as saying that he did not come to abolish the Law but rather to fulfill it (v17) God gave the nation of Israel the Law so that they could help people love God and love each other. Over time, these laws were being misquoted and misapplied much the same way that they are today! When Jesus talked about a “new way” to understand God’s Law, he really is trying to get the people to go back to the original purposes of the Law. Today we need to do the same.
The Law can easily be divided into three parts: ceremonial law, civil law and moral law. The ceremonial law dictated how God was to be worshipped. The nation of Israel was to worship God in anticipation of the coming of Christ. Still today we worship a Holy and Just God. The civil law applied to how we are to treat others. How are we doing with that one today? Do we really love our neighbor as we are told we are to do? The final part is the moral law. The Ten Commandments make up a big part of this category. These laws are a direct command from God and are to be obeyed strictly. This moral law still applies today.
Some of the people who first heard this “sermon” were experts in the Law but they missed the central point of God’s law which was simple: love God above everything else and love thy neighbor as yourself! Today those two things have stood the test of time. Now, go and do the same! Amen