Today, we shall continue with Part 3 of our sermon series on the Kingdom. If you will recall, Part 1 was about “The Parables of Kingdom.” Part 2 was about, “The Blessings of the Kingdom.” Part 3 concerns the Kingdom Lifestyle—the righteous life of Kingdom citizens. Today, “The Key to the Kingdom: Obedience to the Law of the King.
Matthew 5 is about Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount is about Kingdom living. According to Jesus, Kingdom living is righteous living according to the Law. But many people have misinterpreted God’s will in the Law. Jesus has come to give the correct interpretation of God’s will in the Law. Jesus explains the right spirit of the Law in vv. 21-48. Thus, vv. 17-20 functions as Jesus’ introduction to right living in vv. 21-48.
This introduction is the key to understanding the whole Sermon. In this introduction, we see two things—what Jesus thinks of the Law; and how His followers should obey the Law.
If I were to rephrase vv. 17-20 in three sentences, it would appear like this. Jesus fulfills the Law and upholds its authority. Therefore, we must obey the true spirit of the Law as interpreted by Jesus. In so doing, we surpass the righteousness of the Pharisees and Scribes. For unless our righteousness surpasses the Pharisees and Scribes, we will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.