On the night of February 6, 1996, three buddies drove the country roads east of Tampa, Florida, committing acts of vandalism. The three friends pulled about twenty street signs out of the ground and they removed one stop sign at an important intersection.
The next day three eighteen year-olds, who had just come from a fun evening of bowling, sailed through that intersection where the stop sign had been uprooted. Their vehicle ran directly into the path of an oncoming 8-ton truck. Those three teenagers were instantly killed.
Within a year, the original three “pranksters” were brought to justice and convicted of manslaughter. In June 1997, the three buddies stood in orange jumpsuits and handcuffs in front of a judge in a Tampa courtroom, crying their eyes out as they were each sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
It is obviously a dangerous act to remove a signpost on a highway. However, the tragic consequences are no less great when someone uproots the signposts God has put on the highway of life.
In this next section of Matthew’s Gospel we see how Jesus the King honored God’s commandments as signposts to a new way of life and how he deepens our understanding of those signposts. In Matthew 5:17-19 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. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.Tomorrow we will look at one particular signpost from the Hebrew Scriptures and what Jesus had to say about it....