Picture credit from the internet.
“For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Matthew 5:18
I was wondering if this is the same word for fulfill as where You, Jesus, said that You didn’t “come to destroy, but to fulfill.” But this is a different word. It’s ginomai. Nothing will pass, not even one little mark like a jot or tittle, from Your law, from Your word, from You, till all of it is “fulfilled.” But to understand that, I need to get the idea of ginomai.
Now, it’s really important to make this connection here. And it’s really important to make other connections throughout Your word. But I just learned this. Look at John 1:14, “And the Word was made flesh…” Listen here as shared on ginomai.org, “In every religion and philosophy, word remains word – religion remains a theory and philosophy remains a guess. But in Jesus Christ, the Word is made flesh, reality is revealed – God’s thought is concluded in human life. The ultimate destiny of the Word, was never a book or an institution, but the image and likeness of God displayed in human life!” Here’s the base for today’s thought. Now let’s look more at ginomai.
When You Jesus said, “Before Abraham was, I am,” that “was” is that word ginomai again. What does that mean, “before Abraham was”? It means that before Abraham was caused to be, You already existed. It wasn’t that Abraham was caused by himself. Someone else caused him to be. And it wasn’t that Abraham was just made or created because that’s the word poeio. Abraham was “caused to be”. He came into being. There was a greater force than him. And here, You were that pre-existent force.
In Galatians 4:4-5, Paul states, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” This word for fulness is the complete time, the right time. At the right time, You God, took the pre-existent Christ, and caused Him to be brought forth, to come into being as an embryo within a woman. You took the pre-existent Christ and caused Him to be brought forth, to come into being as a man bound under the laws of both God and man. By Your will and Your power, Christ became subject to God and man. Imagine that, God allowing Himself to be made subject to man.
Paul coins some words from Psalm 8:5. I’ll share that first. “For You have made Him a little lower than the angels, and have crowned Him with glory and honor.” Imagine this again. Ginomai is about becoming, it’s about entering a new state. Jesus was and is and always will be God. Yet You, Jesus, became a little lower than the angels. How? You became man even though You were God. And because You fulfilled Your purpose, in the English sense of the word, God has made You to have dominion over the works of Your hands [all creation]; You have put all things under His feet…” Paul continues this thought, “But we see Jesus, who was made [who became] a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” What angel ever did that for us? No angel could. There is only one deliverer. “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made [ginomai] a curse for us: for it is written, ‘Cursed is every one that hangs on a tree.'” (Galatians 3:13)
It’s the power of God at work to bring something into being, to bring something of His glorious will to pass. This is the working and bringing into being of God’s handiwork in our life. Paul pleads, “Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are.” (Galatians 4:12) Paul is pleading, “Brothers, let Christ bring You into existence, let Him create Your character, like I am allowing Him to do in me. Surrender yourself to His work in your life like I am. He’ll do this same mighty work in you. You and I aren’t any different. I’m a man, a human, an anthropos, just like you. But that’s all it takes. It just takes a surrendered human for Jesus to have his way in your life.”
The funny thing is that sometimes, asking someone to surrender their life to Christ makes others upset with us. Paul asked, “Have I become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16) There’s that word, become, ginomai. Now their attitudes, their thinking, their desires have caused Paul to become an adversary to their own hearts. Funny thing is that Jesus brings life into being and that abundantly. Left to ourselves, we tend to bring animosity and division into being. Without Christ, how can we bring life? Life is only brought forth from Him.
So whether I allow and desire Christ to be formed, to cause Himself to be generated through and in me will determine what my life exhibits, or rather, who my life exhibits or exudes. Here’s the danger of not allowing Christ to be the one bringing me continually into being. “For, speaking loud boasts of folly, they entice by sensual passions of the flesh those who are barely escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption. For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved. For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.” (2 Peter 2:18-20) I have a choice. I can allow the world and myself to bring me into some form of existence, to make me become who I or it thinks I ought to be. Or I can allow my Creator to bring me into my purposed form of existence in Him. I can allow my God to have His way in me to allow me to become all that He created me to be and to do in Him.
“[F]or of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.” I have a choice. I have a choice to be overcome by God or by the world and my own thinking. It’s a pretty harsh word and idea here. Overcome is the Greek word hettao. This is the only time it’s even used in the New Testament. Precept Austin shares that it means “to be less or inferior. The idea is to be put to the worse and hence to be defeated or conquered. To succumb. To be vanquished, subdued and enslaved or overcome as in a conflict or a lawsuit. To be forced to yield. The idea is of suffering a defeat so that what conquers now has mastery over the defeated party.” Surrender is not easy. It takes letting go of pride. But not surrendering can mean certain death. Surrender brings life.
What kind of life does it bring? Well, surrendering to God brings life and life abundantly. It brings fulness and joy and peace and love. Surrendering to myself or the world brings death and ultimate emptiness. I’m going to surrender to one or the other. I’m going to surrender to the ways of God, to God Himself in Jesus Christ or to the ways of the world. I’ll fall under one or the other. I will be made inferior to one or the other. Either the world will defeat me or God. I will have to succumb to one. I just will. Which will it be? Will I be vanquished, subdued and enslaved by the world or God? One day I will be forced to yield. One day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord. But will I already be a yielded slave to the one I am confessing or will I be confessing the truth before my enemy who could have been my master?
This makes God seem harsh. But really it’s just one true side of God. This is the power of God. He is our Supreme Authority. Of all kings, He is over every King. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. His law will never be lost, not one jot or tittle. He will overcome. The truth of the matter is that He defeated us before He ever brought us into existence. It’s foolishness to not surrender. Because the other truth of God is that surrendering to this Warlord, is surrendering to a warlord who loves me beyond measure. It’s surrendering and being overcome by a King who gave His very life just to save mine. The world won’t and could never do that for me. I can’t even do it for me. But my God, He did that for me. And He doesn’t give up on me. He calls me to Him. He brings forth Himself in me. He vanquishes me and I become His slave and yet He adopts me and calls me His very own child. The choice is clear for me. There is no one and nothing like my God.
I am so glad that ” till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” See, I’m part of what He spoke about in the law, because the law reveals Him. It’s not about a set of rules and regulations, it’s about the character of God Himself. And just as the one that called me is holy, so I’m called to become holy by Him and in Him and through Him also.(1 Peter 1:15)
This is what the law always wanted to bring forth. This is what You always wanted to bring forth out of us, You. It behoved You to be made like us, that You would be brought to be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for our sins. (Hebrews 2:17) The truth is that when I allow myself to be overcome by You, Lord, when I allow myself to be “caused to be” by You, then am I buried with You by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, I too can walk in newness of life! Because the fact is, that as I surrender to You, I am united with You in a death like Yours. And being united by death, that means I’ll be united with You in Your resurrection. ( Romans 6:4-5) This is what You have brought to be in me. You bring me into true existence. You form my character and my future. You have done it and You are continuing to do it.
All I can say is that I am so overjoyed for every jot and tittle that is in Your law. Because Your law is my life. One day, I’ll look just like You. I’ll be able to live out Your law without flaw and I’ll love it, every jot and tittle. But until then I know that You are bringing Yourself to be in me. And that’s an amazing work in itself, because I’m a lot more stubborn than Your original creation. Overcome me, Lord, by my own willing surrender and cause me to be all that You created me to be, down to my last jot and tittle.