The verse that really hit me today was Matt. 5:18- “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.”
Jesus goes on for the next 2 chapters giving even MORE clarity to the law. He is not changing what God had Moses write 1,450 years earlier. But, as you can imagine what can happen over time, the intent of the law had been lost. Jesus was bringing the people back to the heart of the law with the clarification he was giving.
I heard a theologian recently say that we read scripture through a lens. You can read Matt. 5-6 either prescriptively or descriptively. Prescriptive is that the verses are telling you (prescribing) how to live. If you try to live these verses as a command, you may get caught up in the “works” aspect of trying to “earn” your salvation, and then be bummed out when you can’t live up to it. If you read these verses through the lens of them being descriptive, then you see that this would be how a true believer would act. It describes how a believer would live because their heart is going after the intent of the law.
Isn’t that a new way of looking at these scriptures!!!
This thought reminds me of two verses.
John 14:15, when Jesus says, “If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Counselor to be with you for-ever-the Spirit of truth.”
James 2:14 &17, “ What good is it, brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?……In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action is dead.”
So, when you are reading verses that sound like they are telling you what to do, ask yourself, does this describe me? Is my life showing the world that I love Christ? Doesn’t that make Matt. 5:14-16 make sense!!!!! “You are the light of the world…let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.