As Lord of the Kingdom and Rabbi of God, Jesus not only highlighted the Old Testament truth but broadened and intensified it to reflect the holiness his Kingdom required. While the audience had heard the standards of behavior set by the Law, Christ revealed the heart of what God desires in the commands. The Kingdom of God and its righteousness intensifies the Law and reveals a high standard that none can keep – without Christ’s forgiveness and the Holy Spirit, God’s gift to those who believe.
Christ concludes his discussion of the law by saying that we must be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. This statement should color everything else he says before. He is not establishing a new law. What he has given before is not a new set of commands to try to accomplish. Instead, he has clarified God’s true intent and heart. Only Jesus, God the Son, can truly meet God’s standard. And it is only in him, Sola Christus, in Christ alone, that we find reconciliation with God.
Thank you, Father, for sending us your Son to be our righteousness, and for your Holy Spirit who makes us like him.
From one point of view, worship in the Old Testament is an attitude of homage or adoration to God as a great king. It could be expressed in silence or by a simple gesture. It could be indicated by that gesture in association with praise or the offering of sacrifices. In the final analysis, it is the attitude of the heart that really matters. Such responses were made spontaneously, in recognition of some new disclosure of God’s character and will, or in the course of some regular pattern of ritual activity.
~ David G. Peterson, Engaging with God: A Biblical Theology of Worship. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992. pp. 72-73.
Let God Arise! Seasonal Focus
Jesus Fulfills the Law, Matthew 5.13-20
Peterson, Engaging with God