Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. 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.
Whosoever shall break one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. For I say unto you that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:17-20 KJV
Jesus is making his intentions very clear. The Old Testament law had been perverted into something it was never intended to be. In fact, the Pharisees liked the idea of the Ten Commandments so much they created over 400 of their own. I like to refer to these as the Demandments, where men tried to earn their way into Gods approval by obedience to the law. This is why Jesus reserves his harshest criticisms for the Pharisaical religious elite.
What Christ is asking of us is something much more substantive than mere outward conformity; he is leading us into an inward transformation of our heart, soul and mind. Therefore, instead of increasing the number of Demandments, Jesus decreased them; limiting them down to only two. We introduced these two New Commandments last week from Matthew 22:37 where Christ told us to love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind. To love God with our heart means to love Him with every physical and emotional part of our being. To love God with our soul is to pay attention to the things the Spirit of God is trying to teach us. To love him with our mind is to take command of our thoughts. The second commandment Christ gave us was to love our neighbor as ourselves.
There is a freedom that comes when the weight of the Demandments have been lifted off our shoulders. Simplicity is the conveyor of profundity. There is no longer the fear associated with the law, in fact it becomes enjoyable. Love God and love people… pretty simple really.
However, for those who are deeply entrenched in legalism, the simplicity of Christ can be both frustrating and confusing; so Christ is going to explain himself throughout the rest of the Sermon on the Mount. He is going to reach deep down into your heart and soul and redefine for you what it means to love God and to love people.
Before we get into the rest of the Sermon, I want to draw a modern parallel. Whenever we talk about “the Law” in the back of our minds we always know we’re referring to the Old Testament Law. However, we also have laws today that our government demands we live by. These laws may be the same as the Old Testament, but many are quite different. It doesn’t matter who is making the laws, Jesus point is the same thing; love God and love people. You do these two things and you won’t be breaking any of God’s laws or any of the laws of our government.
The reason laws exist is to establish a peaceful community. It is man’s best efforts; but it is entirely an outwardly forced conformity. Whereas Christ was trying to change our hearts inwardly by desiring something greater: love and not law. The politicians who make the laws were the Pharisees of Jesus day, and the scribes would be the press or media. Our lives should reflect a godly righteousness that is more honorable and noble than that of the politician or liberal media and much of society.
How do we accomplish that? By loving God and loving people. If you love God, then you will love what God loves and has established; even the government as odd as that sounds. This doesn’t mean you agree with everything, but obedience to the laws for the peaceful coexistence of society is how we love people. Some people are hard to love, so we love them by loving God. Christ came to fulfill the law by teaching us how to love.