The words of Jesus that we find in today’s Gospel are not found elsewhere. That is because Matthew was the only one who wrote in reply to a particular attack of the Pharisees. Their attack on Our Lord’s reputation came forty years after his death and resurrection. They began to say Jesus had been an enemy of the sacred laws of the Old Testament.
In denying that in today’s Gospel Matthew quoted Jesus as saying, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or Prophets. I have come not to abolish but fulfill.” Then Matthew went on for page after page of his Gospel pointing out that all of Our Lord’s actions had been foretold by the prophets. He had not destroyed the Law and the Prophets, he fulfilled them.The attacks of the Pharisees on Our Lord’s reputation make us think of all the character attacks in today’s political battles. None of the political infighters seem to remember the Commandment that says, “Thou shall not bring false witness against thy neighbor.” Not only can they get away with it, they are paid big money for making up convincing packages of slander.
We take part in their sin when we pass along such slander.