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. (Matt 5:19)
As a fellowship we’re currently studying the book of Romans which is one of the favourite books that theologians point to as the ‘we don’t do law no more, cos we’re not under law we’re under grace’ justifying line. I’m not going to get into an argument about the role of the law post-Christ, because that’s a separate study for another day.
What I do want to address with this particular verse is just the importance of not just teaching but doing as well. Right after this verse Jesus sets the standard of righteousness to which believers must attain, but it’s based on people actually teaching and doing the requirements of the commandments. As Jesus would go onto highlight in the rest of the sermon that His standards are actually more exacting that the law’s requirements and so the route to success is belief in Him. Through that belief it’s abundantly clearly that we are empowered to fulfil all the requirements of the law and live them out completely as Jesus did. If you don’t believe me check what 2 Peter said in 1:3 – “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,”
Therefore if we have the power available it really is just about accessing that power through faith on a constant basis. Then not only do we live out obedience to Christ, but we’re also in the best position to teach others of it. Our life example can play a model as Paul’s did for the early church and as Jesus’ did for the disciples. It’s not unreasonable to expect us as maturing believers to reach for the stage where our intimate knowledge of the LORD enables us to be in a position to direct others in how to develop that intimacy with Him. No longer should we be content just to be fed, but we should be in a growing position to feed others. Likewise if we’re not getting fed so we should hunger and thirst to be so in the hope that we can be like Christ in multiplying others. To do that we need to teach the whole deal about who Jesus is and the law that He fulfils.
4 His Name’s Sake
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