In Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, he made several statements that were meant to contrast either the Mosaic law itself or the Pharisees interpretation of it. Theologians are divided on what exactly Jesus meant, but John Reisinger in his book BUT I SAY UNTO YOU seeks to simply let the Bible speak for itself in this passage, and as he shows, what Jesus meant couldn't be clearer. The problem, Reisinger says, is that people often come to the Bible with certain theological presuppositions. Specifically, Covenant Theologians and Dispensationalists come to this passage with their theological construct already in place, and their theological construct doesn't allow the most basic interpretation shine forth.
Reisinger looks at the words of Jesus and shows that it's most clear that Jesus was contrasting the Mosaic law. He's careful to point out that Jesus wasn't saying the Mosaic law was wrong, but that he brings a new and higher law. The Mosaic law wasn't the highest expression of God's moral law. The law of Christ, as revealed in Jesus' teaching and the teachings of the apostles, is the highest expression of God's moral law. Reisinger shows that Jesus quoted the Old Testament laws themselves, and then he said, "But I say Unto You..." This means Jesus was contrasting the Mosaic law and presenting a better law under a New Covenant. The Mosaic Law was meant to be the moral obligations under a theocracy in the Old Covenant for the nation of Israel. But the Mosaic Law was never meant to be permanent. God was moving in the direction of revealing his highest law based on grace and love.
I loved reading this book. I've never wrestled much with what Jesus meant in the Sermon on the Mount, but when I've studied it, this is the direction I've always felt it pointed. Thanks to the work of John Reisinger and A. Blake White, I've developed a deeper appreciation for the New Covenant. I highly recommend this book.
Review copy provided by New Covenant Media