“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” (Mattthew 5:17-18, NIV).
When we were recording the lesson on Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law, one of the participants was reading from the New King James Version, which said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till it is fulfilled.”
Okay, what are jots and tittles? Jot refers to the tenth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, yod or yodh. It is the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet:
Your Bible may have a yodh preceding Psalm 119:73.
A tittle is smaller than a jot, representing a pen stroke or part of a letter. In the letter daleth, for example, the tittle is the extension of the top of the letter as seen in the circled portion below:
Obviously, Jesus meant that not the slightest change will be made to God’s Word before the Law is fulfilled, not the least pen stroke will be altered.
This led me to think of jots and tittles that should pass away. How often in my life do I waste time and energy dwelling on insignificant “stuff?” You may have seen the tee shirt that says: “Don’t sweat the small stuff,” and then adds, “It’s all small stuff.”
That last statement could be a paraphrase of another of Jesus’ teachings in the Sermon on the Mount. He told us to not worry about life, as God is in control, even of things like food and clothing, which we consider significant (Matthew 6:25-33). To Him, it’s all “small stuff,” and he promises to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19). Praise God, and don’t obsess over the “jots and tittles.”