Jesus Talks about the Bible

David Bast

Read: Matthew 5:17-20

I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. (v. 17)

The phrase “the Law and the Prophets” was the usual way a Jew of Jesus’ time referred to the Hebrew Scriptures. So in these verses Jesus is talking about the Bible as it was then constituted—what we call the Old Testament.

Jesus loved the Bible. He had the greatest regard and esteem for it. That comes through every word he speaks about it. Jesus lived by the Bible. “Man does not live on bread alone,” Jesus recited, “but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD” (Deut. 8:3 NIV; cf. Matt. 4:4). That is exactly how Jesus himself lived. Jesus fulfilled the Bible. That is what he said he came to do—to fulfill, not just in the sense of obeying all the commands of God’s Law (which he did) but to fulfill in the sense of completing the Scriptures. Jesus is the one to whom the whole Old Testament points. He’s the climax and point of the entire story.

Evangelical Christians are sometimes criticized for practicing bibliolatry, the worship of a book. That’s a false accusation. We don’t worship a book; we worship Jesus. But because we do that, we also reverence the Word of God just as he did. Authentic Christianity is always biblical Christianity, a faith marked by love for the Bible and commitment to the authority of the Bible. —David Bast

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your Word. Help me to live by it faithfully.