Christians thoughts on Matthew 5:18-19?

Matthew 5:18-19

NIV

18 I tell you the truth, 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.

19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same 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.

Contemporary English Version:

18 Heaven and earth may disappear. But I promise you that not even a period or comma will ever disappear from the Law. Everything written in it must happen.

19 If you reject even the least important command in the Law and teach others to do the same, you will be the least important person in the kingdom of heaven. But if you obey and teach others its commands, you will have an important place in the kingdom.

It is not a matter of mistranslation to my knowledge. Even if you say "what is to be accomplished" is when Jesus returns.. It still says, we must keep the laws until that time.

I am not a christian, but studying the faith as I am learning about world religions.

Update:

Umm.. you two are not going after the meat of my question.

*Jesus said* in matthew 5:18-19.. who is to say which of his words is more important or less important? Should they not all be equally important?

When he said it is finished, sure.. he was passing on.. life's work done in teaching. Yet, who are we to go against his teachings which he died for?

To me, it seems you christians are very good at cherry-picking your holy scripture to support any view you might have.

Tis no wonder as you have thousands of denominations.. people follow their own thoughts instead of their prophet.

11 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Until heaven and earth disappear"..... How can this mean all is accomplished at this point. Jesus finished what He came to earth to accomplish and it is finished, His work on the cross, but Jesus' own words here clearly states that the law is still active. The purpose for the law is the important factor.

    The law, according to the book of Romans, is to show the sinner his sin. When we are walking by God's Spirit, living the way He directs us, there is no need for a set of rules to live by. He leads us in His ways, following his laws which are now written in our hearts. But if we are living in disobedience to God's ways, the law still is effective to show us this.

    Edit: The answerer before me made an important point. Before you are too quick to criticize Christians for not keeping the law, you must understand that there is more than one type of law. Two important types is ceremonial and moral.

    An example of the ceremonial law is the sacrifices that was done in the temple. After Jesus died, there was no longer any need for sacrifices. He himself became our sacrifice Lamb.

    An example of the moral law would be the 10 commandments. This law shows us what God desires of us and is still effective today.

  • 4 years ago

    You can recognize a tree by its fruit. Bad trees bear bad fruit. Bad trees are cut down and tossed in the fire. Your comment does not line up with: Mat 7:18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Your passage from Ephesians is correct. You are not saved by works. However, you do good works naturally because you are saved. Works is not the deciding factor in where you spend eternity. For a Christian, it determines your rewards. 1 Cor 3:12-15 Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each ones work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each ones work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

  • 1 decade ago

    Jesus was not speaking of the ten (10) commandments or the 613 laws as given by Moses, Jesus was speaking of the laws given to us by the Father when we were created.

    The laws Jesus was speaking about are found in

    Matthew 22:36-40, these 2 commandments were the only commandments that Moses and the prophets were to tell to all the people of the earth. These are the two (2) commandments that Jesus spoke of when He said "not one jot, nor one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law"

    36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

    37 said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

    38 This is the first and great commandment.

    39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

    Jesus changed not only the "jots" and "tittles" of the laws given by Moses, Jesus changed also the words and entire meaning of the words as given by Moses and the prophets.

    Jesus was speaking of the laws and commandments that he gave within His Gospel, (Good News) in the sermon on the mount, that no man should break, that they should not even break the least of them, and if anyone broke the least law (commandment) He gave to us in the books of His Gospel, they would be the least in heaven.

    The least (lowest) level in heaven is hell.

    Matthew explains who John the Baptist truly was and why he (John the Baptist) would be the least in the kingdom of heaven, (Read Matthew 11:11).

    In Matthew 11:15 Jesus tells us that John the Baptist was Elias, (Elijah), but in John 1:19-23 John denies being Elijah, but recalls a life as Isaiah (Esaias)

    Moses took the promised land (Israel) by force, Jesus said, "and from the "Days" (not life) of the the Baptist, "heaven suffered violence and violence took it by "force"

    Was John the Baptist also the spirit of Moses "born again"?

    Is this why John the Baptist would be least in heaven, because as Moses broke the two (2) comments (laws) of God and taught men also to break them by waging war and killing?

  • 1 decade ago

    You are correct, Christians cherry pick. They either ignore this verse completely or they try to explain it away , either completely (like pastor Art) or partially (like another answer, making a distinction between 10 commandments and rest of the law).

    Harriet's answer is good, most Christians had rather not think about anything that contradict what they claim to believe.

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  • 1 decade ago

    In short ... you are right. See the following quote from Jesus teaching and related parable in Matthew 7. Forgiveness from God is no excuse for pursuing sin or ignoring the commands of God.

    The business of the Christian is pursuing the purposes of God for their life. The emphasis is on relationship with God, not the law. The spirit of the law is fulfilled through that relationship. The Old Testament law is simply one of many tools to help a Christian keep "on track", see passage from Matthew 22 and Romans 8 below.

    As I understand it, the business of the Jew is following the letter of the law. The emphasis is on relating to God through the law.

    Matthew 22:40 is an excellent razor for determining which parts of the Old Testament were "ceremonial law" (for the Hebrews only) and which parts were "moral law" (for all people).

    Matthew 7

    21"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

    The Wise and Foolish Builders

    24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

    Matthew 22

    36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'[b] 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'[c] 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

    Romans 8

    1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus ...

    PS. Much praise to Charli and Martin S. Excellent answers.

  • 1 decade ago

    All was ''accomplished'' after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ..The requirements of the law are fulfilled in Jesus Christ and a new law has been written in the heart of the redeemed...

    We are no longer living under the law of Moses,but by the grace of God,through faith,in His Son...

    Paul says "You are not under law but under grace" (Rom 6:14) (Speaking of the redeemed in Christ)

    EDIT...Pastor Art,is correct.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    jesus was talking about the 10 commandments, not the mosic law

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Everything was "accomplished". Jesus said "It is finished." The death, burial and resurrection of Christ ushered in a New Covenant.

    Hebrews 8:13

    . . . A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.

  • 1 decade ago

    You have neglected to include a very important qualifying verse in your question.

    Matthew 5:17 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

    The Lord Jesus cam to fulfill certain commands given in the law which were "types and shadows" of what God was going to do in the future.

    For instance, the sacrifice of a "spotless lamb" to atone for sins was looking ahead or foreshadowing what God was going to do when the Lord Jesus came down from Heaven, lived a sin free or "spotless" life, and laid His life down on a cross as the ultimate sacrifice for all sins for all time.

    Hebrews 10:1 For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect.

    Hebrews 10:11 And every priest stands ministering daily and offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. 12 But this Man (Jesus), after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, 13 from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

    So this is an example of a law that has been fulfilled. God no longer requires believers to engage in animal sacrifices which were meant to picture the need for an innocent to die for the guilty if the guilty were to be acquitted of their sins.

    In the same manner there were "holiness" laws and "ceremonial" laws which were pointing ahead to what God was going to do and so they have been fulfilled and there is no longer any need for them.

    Colossians 2:13 And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, 14 having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. 16 So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, 17 which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ.

    God's moral laws are still in full effect because they represent His unchanging character and His will for how we who have been created in His image are to behave like our Father in Heaven would have us to behave.

    Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.

    5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.

    1 Corinthians 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    Romans 13:8 Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For the commandments, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY," "YOU SHALL NOT MURDER," "YOU SHALL NOT STEAL," "YOU SHALL NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS," "YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." 10 Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

  • 1 decade ago

    Christian thoughts? To tell you the truth, I think most Christians had rather not think too much about that verse.

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