In this verse, Christ stated, “The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it.” Many people believe that this says that God’s laws have been done away since John the Baptist preached.
This is not at all what is meant here. Continue in the context into Luke 16:17. You will notice that Christ went on to say, “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” Look into the sky at night and you will notice the stars are still there. Also notice that you are still standing on this earth. Christ is saying that it is far easier for the stars and earth to disappear than for His Law to pass away.
Another example of God’s Law not passing away is found in Matthew 19:17. Christ says to the young man, “…but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” Why would Christ tell this man to keep the commandments if they were done away since John? It is obvious that God’s laws were still to be kept!
What did Jesus mean when He said, “The law and the prophets were until John”? At the time Jesus said this, the New Testament had not yet been written. He was referring to the Old Testament, which consists of the law (the first five books), the prophets (Joshua through Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 minor prophets) and a third section called the Psalms (see Luke 24:44), or writings. Christ came to fulfill or to magnify the law—not to destroy it (Matt. 5:17-18). Notice in the following case how Christ differentiated between the old letter of the Law and the new magnification of it. “You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matt. 5:27-28).
Christ stated in Mark 1:2-8, “Behold, I send My messenger before My face, which shall prepare My way before Me. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare you the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. And there went out unto him all the land of Judea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan…And preached, saying, There comes One mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose. I indeed have baptized you with water: but He shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John began to proclaim the gospel—the good news—of the coming kingdom of God, but his life was cut short. Christ followed John preaching that same gospel, but now it was on a spiritual level, not merely physical.