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 until all is fulfilled. Matthew 5:19
The Old Testament was the Bible Jesus knew, read and memorized. As a child he saturated his heart and mind with the Hebrew Scriptures such that by age twelve his parents found him in the temple teaching the teachers (Luke 2:41-52). During his earthly ministry, he took every opportunity to affirm the trustworthiness of Scripture. This is one of those places.
Jesus held a high view of Scripture and so should we. He made it clear that the Scriptures he came to fulfill were trustworthy down to the smallest markings in the Hebrew alphabet. I love the way the King James version of the Bible renders this verse, using words like “jot” and “tittle.” We would say it this way: you can trust God’s word – all of it! – because the Author dots his is and crosses his ts.
In the Hebrew alphabet, the “tittle” is a small seraph-like marking that differentiates one letter from another, and thus one word from another. Think of the slight difference between the capital letters “R” and “P” in the English alphabet, and the difference between the words “Raid” and “Paid.” Small markings really do matter because they change the meaning of words and sentences.
Through the centuries, Jewish scribes carefully copied the Scripture onto parchment, paying attention to every jot and tittle and making the Bible the most well-attested ancient book ever written.
Elsewhere, during a hard conversation with the Pharisees, Jesus said, “It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail” (Luke 16:17). What is your view of Scripture? Is it the same as Jesus’s?
Well, you may already be familiar with the term “legalism.” But what about mysticism or asceticism? Each of these three is an obstacle to our Christian faith, and can keep us from genuine spiritual growth. Exactly what do these terms mean? And how will we know them when we see them? Find out next, as Ron continues his teaching series “Colossians: Jesus Is Greater Than.”All Sermons by Dr. Ron Jones