Did Jesus Ever Break or Teach People to Break God’s Law?

Some people will say that Jesus actually went against the law of God. Here are some of the attacks that are commonly used:

Claim #1: Jesus broke the Sabbath

Scriptures: (Matthew 12:1-8; 9-13) (Mark 2:23-28) (Mark 3:1-5) (Luke 6:1-5; 6-10) (Luke 13:10-17) (Luke 14:1-6) (John 5:1-18)

Answer: Jesus’ disciples plucked corn on the Sabbath to eat, and Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath day. For some reason, to some people, this is proof that Jesus abolished the Sabbath, because they think he broke the Sabbath.
Jesus did not break the Sabbath. When accused of breaking the Sabbath, during the corn plucking, Jesus quoted right out of the law, showing the Pharisee’s their error.

When Jesus healed on the Sabbath, he used the Law as a defense (John 7:22-23). Plus, how much labor was required for Jesus to heal someone? It looks like to me that all he really did was speak the words and it was done. But how much labor was done is not even an issue. If a child has a bad fever, everyone (including the Pharisees) would spend much time and effort trying to bring down this fever, no matter what day it was. And at one point Jesus said, “Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you (including the Pharisees) on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” (Luke 13:15-16). When his accusers heard this they “were ashamed” (Luke 13:17), because they knew that Jesus was right and that He did not break the law.

Every time that Jesus had to defend his actions, showing that he was not breaking the law, He is reinforcing the law.

Claim #2: Jesus went against the law of God when he allowed the adulterous woman to go free.

The scriptures:

John 8:3-11
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

The law that the scribes and Pharisees were referring to:

Leviticus 20:10
And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

Answer: Jesus was always the first to point out the Pharisee’s hypocrisy. If the common interpretation is correct (that the Pharisees could not cast a stone at her because they had sin in their life too), then Jesus would have called them “Hypocrites”. But he did not do this. Why not?

The big question that needs to be answered first is what did Jesus write in the sand that made everyone leave her alone? If Jesus just said, “he who without sin, let him cast the first stone”…many self righteous Pharisees would have jumped at the chance to throw stones at her. Plus, where in the law does it say that you must be without sin to put someone to death? So what did Jesus write that was so profound that made them drop stones and leave?

When someone asked Jesus about the law, most of the time, he quoted right from the law. In this situation the Pharisees asked Jesus about the law.

“Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?”

It would make sense that Jesus would give them the answer from the law. Notice that after they asked him if he thinks that she should be stoned, Jesus stoops down and starts writing something in the dirt. Jesus probably wrote out the law pertaining to their question and then underlined or circled both the adulterer and the adulteress.

Notice that they only brought Jesus the woman. They even said that they caught her “in the very act”. So, where was the man? Why were they trying to stone her without stoning the man? Like today, maybe they had a double standard back then too? Today, if guys go out and have sex with multiple women, he is a stud. And if a woman goes out and has sex with multiple men, she is a slut. What ever the reason, there was no man with the woman to be stoned. Therefore, they would be breaking the law if they stoned her without the man. This is why no one dared to cast a stone.

Think about it. The whole reason they brought the woman to him in the first place was to tempt him, “that they might have to accuse him”. If Jesus just told them flat out to let her go, they would have been able to accused him (and probably try to stone him) for teaching against the law of God. Jesus then puts them in their place when he wrote out the law.

Claim #3: Jesus replaced the law with just two commandments

Scriptures: Matthew 22:35-40
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Answer: See page: All of the Law Hangs on the Two Great Commandments

Claim #4: Jesus “fulfilled” the law, so we don’t have too.

Matthew 5:17-18
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 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.

Answer: If he did come to abolish the law (by following it), then why did He say, “I have not come to destroy the law”? He should have said, “I have come to destroy the law by following it completely”.

The belief that, “Jesus fulfilled the law so we don’t have to”, does not make any sense. I would not want to use that phrase for my defense of breaking the law. Do you think that would fly in today’s courts?

What if the Governor came to your town and drove himself from the courthouse to the ball park. During his route, he obeyed all the traffic laws. Would this repeal the traffic laws where you are from? What type of law is set up so that if one person follows it completely, then it would be abolished so no one has to follow it anymore? Did God have no purpose for the law, except to make us all sinners?

People assume that when Jesus said that he came to fulfill the law that he meant that he came follow the law perfectly. This is an incorrect assumption. Almost every time Jesus used the word “fulfill” he was talking about some prophecy being fulfilled. Jesus has not fulfilled the law yet. He will do that when he comes back. Jesus has fulfilled Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of First Fruits, Pentecost (the Spring Feasts), which foreshadowed Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and the pouring of the Holy Spirit. (I Corinthians 5:7-8; I Corinthians 15:23; Acts 2:36 and many more). The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (the Fall Feasts), are foreshadows of the resurrection of the dead, Judgment day, and the millennial reign with Christ. These feasts were a part of the law. Christ has not fulfilled all of these feasts yet. Jesus will fulfill these Fall Festivals when he comes back. Therefore, “not one jot or one tittle” has passed from the law. (Also, heaven and earth are not passed yet.)

Claim # 5: Jesus abolished the dietary laws before he died.

Scriptures: “Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.” (Matthew 15:11)

Answer: If you look in context, the topic is not if one can eat unclean meats, but it was about washing your hands before you eat.

Eating unclean meats does not spiritually defile someone (nor did it ever) or mean someone is an evil person. I believe it is mainly a health issue (and still a sin). Notice that Christ said this before his death… If Christ is saying here that we can eat unclean meats, then here are a couple of points to ponder:
1. How could he be changing this law before he died?
2. Why didn’t the Pharisees jump on the chance to accuse him of teaching against the law here?
3. Why didn’t the disciples know that he was saying they can now go eat unclean meats? [Peter was still keeping the dietary laws after Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 10:14). Paul was still keeping the whole law after Jesus ascended into heaven (Acts 24:14)]
4. Why are there still health consequences for eating unclean foods?

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