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Sermon Notes: Matthew 5:17-20

Sermon Notes: Matthew 5:17-20


Scripture: Matthew 5:17-20

Pastor: Dr. Edgar Aponte

Date: September 3, 2023








  • Jesus is the center and goal of the Scriptures, and the lens through which we rightly understand it. 
    • Acts 6:10-15
      • See Fulfillment Formula
    • Matthew 11:3
    • Luke 24:25-27; 44-45, 46-48
    • John 5:46-47
    • 2 Corinthians 3:14-16
      • 1 Corinthians 7:19
      • Galatians 5:2





  1. Followers of Jesus must follow Jesus’ conviction about the Bible. Honor and obey the whole Bible! (v.18-19)
    • Luke 16:16-17
    • Matthew 24:35
    • “If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.” Augustine of Hippo.



  1. Do not test the boundaries of sin, but align your heart to God’s heart. Pursue merciful and humble obedience! (v.20)
    • Matthew 1:19
    • Matthew 3:15
    • “Biblical orthodoxy without compassion is surely the ugliest thing in the world.” Francis Schaeffer










  • The purpose of your group time is to reflect on God’s truth together, discussing how it impacts your life and walk with Jesus.
  • There are more questions than you can cover in one group. Just use the ones that will best facilitate discussion in your group.
  • Feel free to edit/rephrase the questions to fit your personality and style.



  1. What stood out to you from the sermon (or from the passage)?
  2. What parts are the most challenging and why?
  3. What parts are the most exciting/helpful and why?





17 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. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.


  1. Notice how when Jesus contrasts the idea of “abolishing” the Law, He says that he came to “fulfill” the Law (which means “to bring to completion” or “bring about it’s ultimate purpose”)
  • How does the word “fulfill” serve as a contrast to “abolish” in this context?
  • How is this different than if Jesus had said something like He came “to establish the Law”, or “to reinforce the Law” or “to reinterpret the Law”?


  1. READ LUKE 24:25-27. How does this passage help us understand some of the ways in which Jesus fulfilled “the Law and the Prophets”? (LEADER’S NOTE: “the Law (or Moses) and the Prophets” were common expressions for the entirety of the Jewish Scriptures, the Old Testament.)


  1. READ GALATIANS 3:23-29
  • How does this passage (in its context in Galatians) help us better understand the purpose of the Law?
  • How does this help us understand what it means for Jesus to fulfill the purpose of the Law?
  • What does this suggest about the Christian’s relationship to the Law today?


  1. In MATTHEW 5:18-19, how does Jesus emphasize the enduring nature of the Old Testament? What are some specific examples of the way that the Old Testament has helped you better understand who Jesus is and what He came for?


  1. Based on the examples of “greater righteousness” that Jesus gives in MATTHEW 5:21-48, how would you summarize what Jesus means by a “righteousness that exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees”?
  • Why is this kind of righteousness better than that of the Pharisees? (ie. an internal heart-led obedience, rather than merely outward conformity to the rules)
  • What other examples do you see of this is the New Testament?


  1. Pastor Edgar explained MATTHEW 5:20 by saying “it’s not how close you can come to sinning, but how aligned your heart is to the heart of God”.
  • How have you seen or experienced the dangers of trying to get as close as possible to the line without crossing it?
  • How would aligning our hearts with God’s heart impact the need for a written Law?