Did Jesus Fulfill the Law?

In Matthew 5:17 Jesus states, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.

Frankly, i’m quite tired of this verse being used, abused, misused, and misinterpreted. When most people use this verse to defend tithing they have no clue what that verse means. When people point to that verse, their purpose is to say, “Look here! See . . . i told you that Jesus wasn’t throwing out the law; He was actually confirming it.”

Of course, i get all fidgety because their ignorance  requires a great measure of restraint on my part. I just wanna shake them, slap them, and scream until my blood vessels are bulging from my eye balls!

People only whip this verse out to defend some sort of  biblical pet peeve of theirs. Would most people use this verse to defend their stance on stoning children, on circumcision, or clean meats? Obviously not. Call it hypocrisy, inconsistency; i don’t care. Just don’t classify their behavior as a clear, mental state.

Truthfully, i hate when arguments about tithing always whittle down to debates about obeying, defining, and fulfilling the law. I don’t claim to have it all figured out; but to me, if we’re still arguing about the law 2000 years later, we might as well pack our bags and leave the argument. It’s quite laborious and somewhat embarrassing to actually be in a conversation about what Jesus meant when he came to fulfill the law.

Do i really need to take the time to explain why ‘do not kill’ is irrelevant because ‘do not hate’ has always existed? Do i really need to explain that although Jesus emphasized ‘do not hate’ in the New Testament, this doesn’t mean He was raising the standards? Do i really need to give the difference between eternal laws, compared to civil and ceremonial laws? Do i need to explain to you why giving 10% is just as effective as circumcision is? Seriously? Do i really?

Did Jesus fulfill the law? Of course he did. What did Jesus mean when he said, ‘fulfill’? Here’s a short synopsis of the definition of fulfill from blueletterbible.org

  1. To make full
  2. To complete
  3. To carry through to the end
  4. To accomplish

What part of the definition of fulfill makes a strong case to continue or confirm tithing? I seem to get the feel of termination from the words ‘complete’, ‘end’, & ‘accomplish’. I’ve used this analogy before, so i’ll use it again. Let’s say i  gave you an empty bucket, and i wanted you to use it to gather rain water. Once the bucket was full, could you continue to use it to gather more rain water? You would either need to get a new bucket, or empty that one out. Filling the bucket up wouldn’t abolish the purpose of that bucket, it would just abolish your reason to continue its use.

Romans 7:4 states, “My brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another

So, did Jesus fulfill the law?  I’m not saying i have it all figured out, but my final question to you is, which bucket are you still carrying around? The one that’s full or the one that needs to be filled?

Jared Bartholomew is the author of www.tithing.com. There are over 300 articles written on research and reviews about tithing information.

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15 comments on “Did Jesus Fulfill the Law?
  1. Khaleef says:

    Good article. I’m glad that you are able to show restraint and not slap people who rest on Matthew 5:17 to prove tithing.

    I think that the primary reason why many teach that giving 10% of your gross income is God’s command comes from a basic misunderstanding of what tithing really was. The various “tithes” commanded in the Law of Moses served as taxes to support various functions of the nation – supporting the government officials (Levites), funding the national religious ceremonies and festivals, and providing for the needy (widows, orphans and immigrants).

    I am in the middle of a series on giving and my first 6 articles will focus on tithing. I am finishing #5 now.
    .-= Khaleef @ KNS Financial´s last blog ..A Closer Look at Tithing Before the Law of Moses – Abraham’s Example – Does Abraham’s Tithe to Melchizedek Provide an Example for us Today? =-.

  2. walter says:

    JESUS CAME TO FORFILL TITHES BY (GIVING) TO THE BODY OF CHRIST AND THE LOST AND DOWN

  3. RevRunD says:

    Tithes are part of the law (which goes unfulfilled in part, in each of our lives).
    Tithes are right and tithing does not earn anything.
    I dont circumcise.
    I dont stone disobedient children.
    I eat shrimp.
    I do not try to keep the law.
    I cant.
    Gal 5:6 (ESV) 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

    But I try to do what I am able to, in order to help make disciples.
    Giving is gift I enjoy; a gift i employ; to fulfill a crucial role in the body of Christ.
    We provide resources out of what God has given us.
    10 percent is a good example (that I am not required to give) from the Law.
    The law served as a tutor till Christ came.
    Christ came to redeem me and i am dead to the world.
    All I have is Christ’s.
    And I use part, of all, to feed the minister, pay for electric at the worship shelter, and minister to the poor and the sick and the needy.

    I give more than 10% and have never lacked.
    I am a minister and I understand that ‘priests’ didnt tithe.
    but i also own a house too (because this church cant provide a home)
    and they pay us to persue every opportunity to advance the gospel instead of lay bricks.
    and I still work in the community with my hands so folks respect the preacher.

    So keep the useful fires burning and give, give, give.
    Not because the law says so,
    because your heart compels you!
    Just give all your resources to promote the good news:
    that God loves; that Satan hates; and that Jesus saves!

    feed your children, feed the flock, feed the poor.
    give generously;
    crazy give! like, absurdly give; and laugh at what you let go.
    give-it-away, give-it-away, give-it-away now…

    “Tithe” is not a christian vocabulary word.
    Give freely as you freely receive everything.
    Free up the resources of God’s family by investing in ministry that works.
    Some churches will die (but they wont be missed!)

    end of rant…

  4. SQ says:

    Christians who promote the tithe mandate in order to obtain favor and right standing with God have no idea what Jesus meant when he said on the cross, “it is finished” same as, “paid in full.” Our favor and justification (right standing) with God comes from the payment Jesus made on the Cross not our own works or payment. The payment Jesus made covers grace upon grace (favor and more favor) for every need to everyone within the Body of Christ.

    There were 613 Old Covenant laws in the Old Testament (ask any Orthodox Jew) Most Church leaders have selected one of those laws to keep for the Church, The Tithe.
    However all 613 laws had to be kept perfectly. To break any one voided the entire contract. Jews had laws to keep around the clock on what to wear, eat, say and do. Thank God Jesus said, “it is finished and Jesus fulfilled all of those external laws in our place. Now the Holy Spirit , He is now our Teacher and guide, not law and external rituals.

    Unless you are a Jew living under the Old Covenant these laws and Jewish Observances did not apply to you (Gentiles) in the first place. We were grafted into a New Covenant of Grace by faith in the payment Jesus made for us on the Cross. Unmerited Favor. After Jesus died there is no more mention of keeping the tithe command or any Old Testament law or Jewish Observances, such as The Day of Atonement or Passover or any of the 7 Jewish Feast.

    In Matthew 23:23 Jesus placed mercy above tithing. He endorsed tithing in that verse but he was addressing Jews who were still under the Old Covenant because he had not gone to the Cross to fulfill the law for all of his body of believers. The New Covenant begin when Jesus died on the Cross.

    Acts 13:39
    ..and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.

    Romans 3:20
    because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.

    Acts 15:10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the (new Gentiles believers) disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?

    Colossians 2:14
    Blotting out ordinances which was against us, taking them out of the way by nailing them to his cross.

    Hebrew 8:6
    “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises”.

    Hebrew8:7
    For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

    Galatians 3:10
    All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”

    Galatians 3:11
    “So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”

    Galatians 3:13
    “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree”

    James 2:10
    For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

    Romans 8:32
    “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”

    Hebrews 7: 28
    Moses’ Teachings designated mortals as chief priests even though they had weaknesses. But God’s promise, which came after Moses’ Teachings, designated the Son who forever accomplished everything that God required.

    We are set free to be guided by the Holy Spirit in our giving as our act of worship and according to 2nd Corinthians 9:7 “Each one should give as he has decided (purposed) in his own heart, not out of duty or obligation, for God loves a cheerful giver.

    Abraham gave a one time tenth so this is not a good example of faithful tithing.
    He was also circumcised before the law of Moses was given but clearly there is silence on keeping the circumcision law except for the Apostle Paul’s condemnation of those who taught to keep this law. He felt now that we are under grace we should not look but to obtain favor by keeping the law.

  5. SQ says:

    What I meant was that believers should not look for favor from God by keeping the law. Our favor comes from the payment Jesus made on the Cross it is called Grace which means Umerited favor. If you pay for a gift then it is no longer an Unmerit/unearned gift but it then becomes something you earned and bought yourself.

    Acts 13:39
    ..and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.meant we should not look to obtain favor from by keeping the law

  6. Truthbringer says:

    Jesus was a Jew. He was also a Pharisee. He followed the law.
    Paul was a pagan Roman. He developed Christology based on a combination of Mithraism, Zoroastrianism, etc. Of course, the pagan Romans would not want to follow the Jewish law. So he scrapped that and founded his version of Christ on “faith” alone.
    Jesus would be shocked at the bickering that goes on in his name from people reading a conflicted Bible that has opposing viewpoints on just about every issue. And I’m sure Yahveh isn’t too pleased either.
    I just want to shake and slap and scream at people who blindly believe the things they learn in church. So sorry to deliver truth to you.
     

    • Dave S says:

      Uh, ok. So, let’s forget about Jesus healing someone on the Sabbath. Or, how about the disciples gathering wheat on the Sabbath. . . Or, um . . .how about forgiving the woman adulturer and her accusers leaving in shame as they become enlighten to the Spirit of the law vs the letter? Enjoy your bondage “Truthbringer.”

  7. Dave S says:

    Give as led to give. Walk as a believer. Don’t stress if you miss church for your kid’s ballgame. Be free. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength . . . Take all worries, prayers, requests . . . to the cross. Amen!!

  8. Jesus Christ has redeemed me from the curse of the law! says:

    My bucket is filled full, Praise the Lord!

  9. tony says:

    The question I have surrounding tithing is did Jesus support during his earthly ministry? Right now I am convinced by scripture that Jesus did support tithing. Matt 23:23 and Luke 20:25 and Mark 12:17. If Jesus supports tithing, so do I. But I certainly do not judge anyone for thinking differently on this topic. Is this issue critical to salvation, certainly not.

  10. tony says:

    Hi Jared, thank you for your quick reply. I read your article and I absolutely respect your stance regarding Matt 23:23, although I don’t know if I agree with it or not. I would also like to hear your stance on Luke 20:25 and its synoptic equivelant in Mark 12:17. Many people including myself, would use these text also to a support a belief that Jesus does not condone regular tithing.

    • Matthew 23:1 seems pretty clear that the disciples and Jesus were still practicing the law, and obligated to teach it. It’s Hard to ignore the fact that of all the people that Jesus told the disciples to listen to, it was the PHARISEES!

      I don’t think there’s anything mysterious about Luke 20:25 or Mark 12:17. Romans 13 states that all authority is ordained by God, so can you make a determination that giving unto Caesar or unto God does not involve God either way?

  11. tony says:

    Jared, although I may not completely agree with you now, I thank you again so much for your reply in truth and love, it’s much appreciated. Keep up the good work.

  12. Jamie says:

    What people fail to realize is that Jesus and all of his disciples were born under the law of moses. But when christ died and was crucified there was a change in the law and the veil was rent from top to bottom. Jesus didn’t knock paying tithes because God established it under the laws he gave to moses. But when christ blood was shed on the cross and he said it was finished there was a change in the law.

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