I am a Jesus Pusher! In a precise statement, Jesus proclaims His relationship to the Scriptures. Two contrasting statements are in this verse. The content of the first is, “I came to destroy (don’t think this).” The Greek word “kataluo,” translated destroy, is a strong word. “Kata” is an intensive word, and “luo” means “to loose.” It properly refers to travelers loosening their burdens or those of their animals when they stopped for rest on a journey. Our passage refers to dissolving, demolishing, canceling, or throwing down a building or its materials. Jesus relates that we are not to think (nomizo) this about His relationship to the Law or the Prophets. It projects the idea of “to assume, to suppose, or to regard as custom.”
The second is “I came to fulfill.” The Greek word “pleroo,” translated to fulfill, pictures someone placing content into a container until it is full. “Pleroo” is the word Matthew uses throughout his book in relationship to the fulfillment of prophecy. The prophecy of the Old Testament contains the event that he describes about Jesus. In this picture, “The Law or the Prophets” is completed; they are a container, and Jesus is the content making them full.
Understanding “The Law or the Prophets” is essential. They are what we now call the Old Testament. They were the only written Scriptures during Jesus’ earthly time. Jesus continually called these Scriptures the foundation and context of His life (Matthew 7:12; 11:13; 22:40; Luke 24:27, 24:44-45). Everything Jesus taught in His ministry He based on the Old Testament. The Old Testament was the base for everything Jesus taught through the apostles, which validated the authenticity of the Scriptures. I am a Jesus Pusher!