Problem: Verse 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.” Yeshua says He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets; it is often taught or understood that “fulfill” means to come to an end, it is finished.
Solution: Verse 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.” Nothing from the Law changes until heaven and earth pass away. Therefore fulfill cannot mean “to be completed” or “finished”. Instead it means to be made full, filled full of meaning, fully preached. Yeshua was the Word made flesh who taught and showed by example what the Law meant in its fullness and how it was to be applied.
Problem: Matthew 5:38-42 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.”
This saying of Yeshua is generally interpreted as criticism of the Torah based commandment, given to us by our Creator, and often taken as implying that “an eye for an eye” encourages excessive vengeance rather than an attempt to limit it.
Solution: The context of eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth involves the reconciliation of circumstances related to permanent consequences to the victim…whether that be losing an eye, or having scars from burns or by other means. A slap on the cheek causes no permanent consequences. It is not to be included in the context of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” Yeshua basically says, “get over it”, as there is nothing there to reconcile. However, on the flip side, there are circumstances in which the threat of real permanent damage could occur to us or our family. Such circumstances merit protecting and defending ourselves. In addition, sometimes those circumstances become a reality and real permanent harm results. In such
situations, as the “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” model teaches in the Torah, the offender needs to take responsibility, exercises humility and servanthood, and make things even with the victim. On the other side, the victim needs to realize that it the Torah is a system that facilitates love and reconciliation, not retribution and revenge…thus it needs to be treated as such…a system of equal weights and measures.
Problem: Verses 15-16: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?” It is not always clear what fruit is and how to tell a false prophet. Some are taught that fruit is a large congregation, feelings of love, or only the Fruit of the Spirit.
1 John 3:9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God.
1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
1 John 3:4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.
The fruit that we are to watch out for is the choosing to disregard God’s law. Everything else can be blended but there is no blending the desiring to obey and the desiring to disregard God’s Law. You either desire to obey it OR you desire to disregard it. It’s one or the other in the eyes of the Father. And remember, breaking one law is like breaking all of it.
From: 119 Ministries – Torah Quick Reference Guide