What Jesus Did! 'Permanent?' — Matthew 5:18

Thursday, February 18, 2021

[After saying that he came to accomplish the purpose of the law of Moses, Jesus continued:] "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved."
— Matthew 5:18 NLT

Key Thought

The intent of Jesus' teaching is to shift the focus away from just an appearance of adherence of the law and rivet our attention on the heart of the Lawgiver, God. The validity of the law's truth is enduring down to the last detail. But that truth is found in Jesus, the one who lived in perfect obedience and righteousness before God. As the rest of the Sermon on the Mount indicates, Jesus does not lessen the intent of the law but gives it flesh and blood, compassion and mercy, power and depth. His words will never pass away! Grace is not about diminished expectations, but about power, motivation, and salvation. But salvation is more than salvation from past sin or even salvation to heaven at the end of time. Salvation is about being protected from the ravages of sin's punishments and consequences since Jesus' mercy and grace have motivated and empowered us to obey God's will and so fulfill the intent behind every letter of the law.

Today's Prayer

Almighty and glorious God, who lives in eternal light, I praise you for your glory and grace. I pledge to you, dear Father, that I will not take that grace for granted or trample on its gift. At the same time, I ask you to empower and lead me with your Holy Spirit to do your will and honor your grace with a life that is holy, and wholly yours. Through the name of the Lord, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 24:35
  • 1 Peter 1:25
  • Psalm 119:105


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Illustration of Matthew 5:18 NLT — "I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God's law will disappear until its purpose is achieved."

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.