Any prophet or would-be Messiah who breaks the Torah and teaches others to do so as well disqualifies himself. The Torah says, “You shall not listen to the words of that prophet … he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God … to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk” (Deuteronomy 13:3-5). This explains why the Master’s opponents were so eager to label Him as a Sabbath breaker or heretic.
If Yeshua’s opponents could prove Him to be a Torah-breaker, they could discredit His ministry and His claims. If they could prove that He intended to abolish or annul the Torah, they could dismiss Him as a heretic. To answer their charges, the Master declared the validity of the Torah and the Prophets—i.e., the whole Tanach.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Torah until all is accomplished. (Matthew 5:17-18)
Yeshua forbade His disciples from even thinking that He came to abolish the Torah. How much more so should we be forbidden to teach the abolishment of the Torah as a theological pillar of doctrine? The Torah is God’s unchanging revelation and standard of law until the end of time—until heaven and earth pass away, and “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Law to fail” (Luke 16:17).
When the Master said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah,” He was not referring to His incarnation or arrival from heaven. The expression “I came to …” functions idiomatically in Hebrew to express purpose or intention. He was not speaking about coming as the Messiah; He was speaking about the purpose of His teaching. He was not speaking about fulfilling Messianic prophecies; instead, He said, “Do not think that my teaching is intended to diminish the Torah. My intention is not to abolish the Torah of Moses, but to establish it.” In these words, He declared that His teaching was intended to instruct on how to live out the Torah.