The Savior’s Sermon (Part 1)
“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. 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.”Matthew 5:17–18
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In our classrooms, we all have rules and procedures. These guidelines make our class run smoothly. They keep our students and our classroom materials from harm, and they teach our students about love and respect. They create a safe and positive learning environment for our students. We have undoubtedly put these rules and procedures in place for the benefit of our students and their learning. Since this is true, then why do our students have such a hard time living in accordance with our rules? At times, our students talk out of turn, they do not use positive language, and they fail to respect themselves and others. Why can’t they just follow the rules?
Have you ever wondered if this is how our heavenly Father feels about us?
We know that the Law is truly good. We understand that when God created us, He wrote the Law on our hearts and we desire that all our doings in life may please Him. Yet we find ourselves falling back into patterns of the old Adam. We decide that we know what is best for our lives and charge headfirst into a disobedience that leaves us feeling hopelessly certain that our classroom behavior clothespin should be moved down to “red,” at the bottom of the chart. So where do we find our hope?
This is why an understanding of Matthew 5: 16–20 is so important in our lives! Yes, the Law is truly good, and yes, we will continually fail to keep it. But God is a loving God, and His grace and justice are equally met in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In Matthew 5, Jesus says, “’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” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus fulfills the Law for us. For those who repent of their sins and trust Jesus as their righteousness, all is accomplished. Our clothespins have been set on green.
Understanding Matthew 5:16–20 also has a large impact on the way that we handle disobedience in the classroom. This is why, although there must be consequences for breaking classroom rules, we forgive our students. We start anew and help our students recognize the value of following the rules that are set in place. Above all, our classrooms are a place to teach our students about the grace that has been given to us, despite our shortcomings.
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