Therefore whoever relaxes 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 does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
You can be called “least”; you can be called “great” but unless your righteousness exceeds your leaders’ – you will be called “left outside.” I wonder if those listening caught the subtly? Frankly, this is the first time I’ve ever noticed.
Entry to the kingdom of heaven is the big thing. And if righteousness is the ticket, you best find something that’s a lot better than the guys who say they have the corner on the market.
If you stop to ponder, this puts a truly important emphasis on Jesus’ claim:
I have not come to abolish them [the Law and the Prophets} but to fulfill them.
Fulfill is the word pleroo – to make replete, i.e. to cram a net or level up a hollow – to complete. Strong’s gives “satisfy” as one option.
Jesus said He had come to “satisfy” the Law. All those rules and guidelines and jots and tittles were just waiting for the Final Word of God.
He spoke the Incarnation
And then so was born the Son
His Final Word was Jesus
He needed no other one
Spoke flesh and blood so He could bleed
And make a way divine
And so was born the baby
Who would die to make it mine
The Final Word – Michael Card