It was prophesied of the Messiah in ancient times that He would magnify the law and make it honorable.  This Jesus Christ proceeds to do as He lays the groundwork for His interpretation of certain precepts of the law, and His attack upon the hypocrisy and formalism of the scribes and Pharisees.  He begins by abolishing any notion that He came to destroy the law.  Many professed Christians either seem to think, or actually say, that He did destroy the law and make it irrelevant.  This is directly contrary to what our Lord teaches.  He came to fulfill the law.

I take this fulfillment to be done in two senses: first, by perfectly obeying the law to work out a robe of righteousness for His people, and second, by fulfilling all the ceremonies and types which foreshadowed His redemptive work.  Those portions of the law are abolished, in the sense that the performance of them is no longer binding on God’s people, because what they represented has been accomplished.  The moral law cannot be fulfilled in such a sense that it is abrogated.  Therefore Christ says that whoever breaks, and teachers others to break, the law of God, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.  It might even be questionable whether such a one is even in the kingdom.  What servant of God could teach that now it is alright to worship others gods, to take the Lord’s name in vain, to disobey parents, to kill, steal, lie, and covet?  All of these commands are still in force.  In the succeeding passage, our Lord will begin to attack the scribes and Pharisees because they had veritably canceled the force of the commandments by their perverted doctrine.  From verse 20, I would infer that if we imitate the scribes and Pharisees by perverting the law of God, and acting upon their sorry principles, then we too are strangers to the power of God’s kingdom.