In EXTREMES OF INTERPRETATION: WHAT DID JESUS SAY?, we considered the controversy over The Sermon On The Mount (Matthew 5 – 7). Here Jesus provided us a wonderful ethical system — seemingly too wonderful. Since we cannot possibly do what Jesus said we must do, Jesus’ words leave many in a conundrum. What can we do? How should we react?
What we should not do is take The Sermon On The Mount out of context. In addition to The Sermon On The Mount, we must read the rest of the Bible. Matthew 5 – 7 does not stand alone.
In the following verses, Jesus tells why He came to us.
Matthew 5:17-20 Today’s New International Version (TNIV)
The Fulfillment of the Law
“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. 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. 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. 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.
What is the Law? What did the Prophets say? To learn that, we must read the Old Testament.
How Jesus fulfill the Law? How is Jesus fulfilling the word of Prophets? The New Testament tells us of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection; it tells us what we need to know of what is to come.
What does the Bible tell us? The Bible tells that if we love Jesus and obey His commands He will make us fit to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
When you read the Bible, will you see exactly what others see? No, we will each come away with our own interpretation. Of course, some will not interpret the Bible honestly. Yet even among those who give their heart to understanding God’s words, there will be differences. God made us all different, and He gives us different experiences. Therefore, we each apprehend the Bible in our own way. If we are wise, we will accept our differences as one of God’s gifts. Because each of us is different, we each have something to share.