‘How Jesus understood the Law and the Word’ (Matthew 5:17-20)

In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus addressed the question of where he stood in relation to the Old Testament, particularly the Law of Moses. This is a question that troubled many in his time and continues to trouble people today. Jesus said that he came to fulfill the Law, not be in opposition to it. More than that, Jesus upheld the Old Testament as being the Word of God and taught that the standard of righteousness we need in order to enter God’s Kingdom has to be greater than that of the Scribes and Pharisees – that is, it needs to be a true (not hypocritical) righteousness that comes to us by God’s grace and so is not merely outward but inward.