The Greek wordpleroo, translated "fulfill" in Matthew 5:17, means "to make full, to fill, to fill up, .. . to fill to the full" or "to render full, i.e. to complete" (Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, 2002, Strong's number 4137). In other words, Jesus said He came to complete the law and make it perfect. How? By showing the spiritual intent and application of God's law. His meaning is clear from the remainder of the chapter, where He showed the spiritual intent of specific commandments.
Some distort the meaning of "fulfill" to have Jesus saying, "I did not come to destroy the law, but to end it by fulfilling it." This is inconsistent with His own words. Through the remainder of the chapter, He showed that the spiritual application of the law made it even more difficult to keep, not that it was annulled or no longer necessary.
Jesus, by explaining, expanding and exemplifying God's law, fulfilled a prophecy of the Messiah found in Isaiah 42:21: "The Lord is well pleased for His righteousness' sake; He will exalt the law, and make it honorable." The Hebrew word gadal, translated "exalt" or "magnify" (KJV) literally means "to be or become great" (William
Wilson, Wilson's Old Testament Word Studies, "Magnify").
Jesus Christ did exactly that, showing the holy, spiritual intent, purpose and scope of God's law. He met the law's requirements by obeying it perfectly in thought and deed, both in the letter and in the intent of the heart.
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