Matthew 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
One of the charges that comes against me, is because of a statement I make about the ministry of Jesus, that short circuits the minds of the Religious. The statement is that Jesus taught the Law, Prophesied of the New Covenant and demonstrated the Kingdom. I always lose the Religious at that first point, about Jesus and the Law. In their minds, they cannot associate the Ministry of Moses with the Ministry of Jesus, and this has a domino effect, where they claim things about my statement that I never said. They think I’m saying Jesus isn’t God, or he’s not the Messiah, and that nothing he did before the cross was new covenant. All of these statements are false.
Of course, this problem exists only in the religious mind, for the Scripture attest to what I’m saying. The words of Jesus are important, contrary to the religious that think I’m telling people to throw out the words of Jesus. I am instead saying, we must understand the context and audience-relevance to whom Jesus was speaking. The words of Jesus are Spirit and they are Life, they are just not always talking to New Covenant Believers.
The religious always like to attack my statement by quoting the verse above, about the Prophets and the Law were until John. They automatically assume, that the Law ended with John the Baptist and that means instantaneously, Jesus must have started Preaching the New Covenant from go! But those of us who are thinking will know that is not what Jesus said about his ministry, that words he spoke and what he did was to fulfill the Law of Moses. In the words of Jesus himself, the new covenant was established in His Blood (Luke 22:20).
Luke 24:44 And he [Jesus] said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
I fully agree with Matthew 11:13, that the Law and the Prophets Prophesied until John, but I also fully believe that Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of all the Law and Prophets in the old Covenant. The Prophecies of Jesus stopped at John. Jesus did not prophesy of his own coming, he had arrived!
Matthew 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill [all things written in the Law of Moses and in the Prophets, and in the psalms, Luke 24:44]
Some people argue, well Jesus preached the Kingdom! So that means he preached the New Covenant. While I fully agree that Jesus preached the Kingdom, that is not synonymous with the New Covenant. The Kingdom of God, or God’s Rule is fixed, but you will get a different response from the Kingdom depending on which Covenant you access it with. In one instance you get the Prodigal Son, and in another instance you get the unfaithful servant, and the two stories cannot be reconciled, unless the audience of one of them is directed to Israel under the Law.
None the less, it is also important to look at the things said about the teachings of Jesus throughout Scripture. For instance we look in the Book of Malachi, where we see the verse talking about John the Baptist is to come first (Malachi 4:5), but just one verse earlier, we get a prophecy about the Messiah, and see God’s Instructions to Jesus Christ.
Malachi 4:4 Remember ye the law of Moses my servant [Jesus], which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
We need look no further than the words of Jesus himself to see that what he was teaching is the Law and Prophets.
Matthew 7:12 – 14 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Matthew 22:36 – 40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 23:1 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
Luke 5:12 – 14 And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him. And he charged him to tell no man: but go, and shew thyself to the priest, and offer for thy cleansing, according as Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.
Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he [Jesus] expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
The evidence, in my opinion is overwhelming. While our religious sensibilities tell us one thing, we must place our trust in the words of Scripture. Even into the book of Acts Chapter 10, right up to Peter’s encounter with the first gentile converts in Cornelius’ House, the Law is still seen to be present and active in the lives of the first Apostles.
Acts 10:25 – 28 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man. And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together. And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
Contrary to my accusers, the scriptures suggest, in some capacity, that Jesus had a very close relationship with the Law of Moses. We see it in his teachings, preaching and instructions. That is not to say, he said nothing of the New Covenant that he prophesied was to come after his death (Luke 22:20). The full Revelations of the Mystery of God’s Grace and the inclusion of the Gentiles into the promises of God was revealed to Paul and to the Apostles later on. In the words of the Apostle Paul, the mystery was revealed to him first, and NOW revealed to the Holy Apostles.
Ephesians 3:2-5 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward: How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is NOW revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
Paul White, Jesus and the Law