The Story Jesus is Writing

Sermon Series:Sermon on the Mount

These four verses are a bridge in the Sermon on the Mount between the Blessings and the Commands. In them Jesus makes two statements that would have sent a collective gasp through the original audience and still reverberates in how we view Jesus, Scripture, identity, and how we are to live a life of discipleship. The first mic drop is ”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.” Jesus was not anti-OT. He actually came to fill it full - to recapture the original intent and purpose of the Law, to reinterpret it through the lens of the cross, to strip away the layers of religion to get to the heart of the Gospel. Jesus completes the picture. The second statement is this: “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.” Jesus is calling us to what is impossible to accomplish in our own strength and ability. This statement of Jesus looks backward toward the Beatitudes and forward toward the Cross. The Beatitudes describe the upside-down nature of the Kingdom where the poor and powerless, the grieving and desperate get the keys to the Kingdom and its justice, comfort, and blessing. The Cross encapsulates the reality that "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Pascal wrote: “The law demands what it cannot give; grace gives all it demands. No longer are we governed externally by a list of moral duties; we’re now compelled internally to a lifestyle of radical, holy love because of the Person who’s taken up residence within.” Live out what is already true. You are righteous. Be righteous.