What Did Jesus Say About The Old Testament

Did Jesus hold the Old Testament to be infallible? Did he believe it to be divinely inspired? Did he demonstrate it to his supporters? Did he use it as the foundation for his deeds and words? Our understanding of Jesus’ relationship to the Old Testament depends on how we respond to these questions.

Reverence for the Law

Jesus never spoke of the Law as a temporary measure, meant to be overstepped by those who had come to believe in Him. He said instead that it would not pass away until all was fulfilled (Matthew 5:18). The Law was given by God and it is necessary for salvation.

Jesus pointed to the necessity of obeying the Law when he healed a man on the Sabbath day (Luke 13:14–17)

Valuing the Old Testament Scriptures

While acknowledging that those who came before him (those who were not prophets) had been given this commandment, Jesus continued by adding his own teaching about harboring resentment toward one’s brother. In Matthew 22:40–46, Jesus gives us more information about what God requires of us through His law—the Ten Commandments—when He says that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. These scriptures teach us that in addition to our acts, we are also accountable for our thoughts and feelings toward others.

The Sufficiency of Scripture

Jesus warned against adding to or taking away from the truths of Scripture. He said that man-made traditions were worthless because they were not from God. Jesus also told His disciples to teach only what is written in Scripture (Mark 7:7-9).

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Jesus’ goal was to complete the Old Testament rather than to add to it. In other words, He fulfilled the prophecies of those prophets by appearing as the Messiah and dying on the cross to atone for our sins (Matthew 5:17). According to Jesus, He did not enter this world only to free us from sin; rather, He came that we might be saved by Him alone through faith in Him (John 3:16).

Jesus’ words and deeds are consistent with what we read about in the Holy Scripture: His birth story is recounted in Isaiah 7:14; His life’s mission is made clear by Isaiah 53; his death is predicted by Hosea 6:6; his resurrection on Easter Sunday morning was foretold by Psalm 16:10; and much more!

There are many lessons we can learn from Jesus about the Old Testament.

There are many lessons we can learn from Jesus about the Old Testament.

  • In Matthew 5:18, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” This confirms that all of God’s word is true.
  • In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus affirmed that Moses gave us God’s law when he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” This means that Jesus did not come to change what was already being taught in Israel at that time but rather he came as an example for us of how we should live our lives according to God’s Word (the Old Testament).
  • In Matthew 5:17-19, Jesus also confirmed our salvation through faith in him as he said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or [the prophets]. I have not come with another teaching but with life itself.” With this statement, we can see how much importance Christ places upon his teachings which are based upon what has been written in scripture (Old Testament).
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We hope that this post has helped you understand a little more about the relationship between Jesus and the Old Testament. The Bible is one book, divided into two parts (Old and New Testament). It is the story of God’s plan of redemption, or bringing us back to him, with Jesus as its climax. The Old Testament was not an outdated part of the story, but rather an essential part of God’s plan to bring salvation to mankind through his son.

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