Matthew 5:19 (ESV) 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.
What does Jesus mean by least of these commandments?
Is that the same as the jots and tittles?
Matthew 5:18 (ESV) 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.
Jesus says the least little iota or dot will not pass away until all the Law is fulfilled. The KJV calls this a jot and a tittle.
Matthew 5:18 (KJV) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
What were the jots and tittles?
They were the tiniest markings in Hebrew writing. Things like we would express as “doting the i’s and crossing the t’s.”
So does this mean Jesus is actually speaking of the least of the Old Testament Commandments?
What might those be?
How about a blue thread in your tassels?
Numbers 15:38 (ESV) “Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner.
How about wearing a cotton blend shirt?
Leviticus 19:19 (ESV) “You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your cattle breed with a different kind. You shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor shall you wear a garment of cloth made of two kinds of material.
Shall we buy slaves, if we desire to, as long as we buy them from another country?
Leviticus 25:44-46 (ESV)
44 As for your male and female slaves whom you may have: you may buy male and female slaves from among the nations that are around you.
45 You may also buy from among the strangers who sojourn with you and their clans that are with you, who have been born in your land, and they may be your property.
46 You may bequeath them to your sons after you to inherit as a possession forever. You may make slaves of them, but over your brothers the people of Israel you shall not rule, one over another ruthlessly.
See the problem here if you say the Old Testament Laws are for New Testament believers? This is why we as Christians are often the laughing stock of unbelievers. They see that we as a general rule don’t even know what we believe nor do we do what we say we believe.
So was Jesus speaking of these least commandments in Matthew 5:19? Or was He speaking of those commands that He was about to give in the Sermon on the Mount?
Jesus did fulfill the Law and the Prophets totally right down to wearing a blue cord in His tassel. But because He fulfilled the Law of Moses we are free from being bound by that Law and are under the Law of Christ.
The Law of Christ is expounded by Jesus Himself throughout the New Testament but specifically in the Sermon on the Mount.