Thoughts from a Young Man: “Not a dot will be void”


14The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him. 15And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

16“The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it. 17But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.

Passing away seems to be in reference to the self excusing in v.15. The Pharisees may have set aside the Law to serve themselves but it’s authority will not pass away. Every stroke of the law must be fulfilled. As beautiful as it is Ezekiel 36:24-28 is not the fulfillment of the Law.

I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.a You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

The life the Cross and the resurrection of the Christ is the fulfillment. It came to a climax in the words of Christ:

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:30

Paul explains this in Romans 3.21-22a

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.

When Jesus here says that all the law will stand it should be and would have been great warning to the hearer. Jesus is reminding us that we are culpable for the entirety of the Law. That is a heavy weight. He follows this with a sharp dart, in our day, saying, “Divorce and remarriage, that is still sin. For what God has brought together He has brought together.” Then he follows with what should be a deeply painful stroke. He who, it is not a picture of outward hate, simply shows no mercy has failed to fulfill the law. Jesus is pointing to the intent of the Law. The Law shows our great need of mercy. When we don’t practice mercy we demonstrate that we have not understood the Law; the law shows us our inability to please God and our need of His Messiah. We have not understood its fulfillment; the cross. This pair of verses are a statement that though men maybe trying to enter the kingdom of God, heaven, they will not enter with even the slightest deviation from the Law. It stands as a just command and picture of righteousness.

The following two sections first show our guilt and second, the later in particular is an extension of Luke’s sermon on the mount in applicatory illustration, the failure of mankind to be Holy as God is Holy. He who loves his wealth and shows no mercy will be shown no mercy. He who excuses himself of the Law will not receive mercy to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is clearly a shot at the money loving pharisees.

The question is who are we? The pharisees thought their care of the temple and the rituals and their traditions served God. Their beautiful synagogues and nice prayers. Their well preserved bibles and ministry vans. Jesus says that is all, in your heart, self serving. He doesn’t say it was wrong but it is a demonstration of their wicked hearts. That is an abomination, it is an abominable use of His gracious provisions. Look to the $26 Million (and number works $1-$30,000,000 or more) lavish and ornate temples some American churches are building. Not because they are expensive (some are expensive but are tools) but because they are temples to the men who build them on the pretense of God being grand and glorious; God says they are an abomination! Thus, are our churches and ministries merciful, not to the well (the church members), but to the sick and hurting? Consider the two parables of the wedding feast which Luke told just prior to this.

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