Did Jesus do away with the law and prophets (Luke 16)?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Jesus, the Law and the Prophets

Some claim that Luke 16:16 suggests that Jesus ended the law and the prophets. Let us examine the passage carefully. Jesus said, “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it.” 

The verse that follows verse 16 clearly explains Jesus’ Word: “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail” (Luke 16:17). The gospel came, not to replace what Moses and the prophets had written, but rather to confirm those books.

In verse 16, Jesus is simply saying that “until” the preaching of the “kingdom of God” by John, the sacred writings of the Old Testament constituted man’s primary guide to salvation (Romans 3:1, 2). Obviously, the word “until” does not mean that “the law and the prophets,” in the Old Testament Scriptures, lost their value when John began to preach.

Again, Jesus made it clear that His teachings don’t set aside those of the Old Testament. He said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.  For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:17–19).

Those who teach that the Old Testament Scriptures are without authority for the New Testament Christians, are negating the very words of Jesus Himself. Throughout the New Testament there is no reference where the Old Testament teachings have been belittled.

On the contrary, it was the Old Testament that the first-generation church possessed (John 5:39). In fact, Jesus set forth the writings of the Old Testament as sufficient to guide men to heaven: “‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead’” (Luke 16:29–31). And He added, “The scripture cannot be broken” (John 10:35).

Paul confirmed that his teachings included “none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come” (Acts 26:22). And that, “All Scripture (Old Testament and New Testament) is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

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In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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