In the Christian faith, Jesus is seen as the epitome of purity and goodness, for since His birth, He always kept His ways clean and did the will of God. However, He always seemed to be on the wrong side of the religious leaders of his time. This usually leaves many Christians with the question; did Jesus break the law?
In an actual sense, Jesus did not break the law. However, the Pharisees and scribes always said He did, especially the law of keeping the Sabbath day holy. The only thing that Jesus did was to challenge their interpretation of the laws of the Old Testament, which the Pharisees and scribes took as a violation of the law. Hence it is essential to know that Jesus did not break any law as breaking the law was a sin, yet the Bible affirms on many occasions that Jesus is entirely sinless.
The Pharisees and other religious leaders always seemed to find Jesus on the wrong side of the law. However, they simply didn’t understand His point of view regarding specific laws, especially the Sabbath. Read on to find out Jesus’ point of view regarding the law and how the religious leaders interpreted it.
Did Jesus break the Sabbath law?
Jesus was accused of breaking the Sabbath law on three separate occasions. However, Jesus did not break the law on any of these occasions; He only had a different interpretation of the law. The first was when he healed a man who was lame for thirty-eight years. The man was seated by the side of a pool on a mat. When he healed, he picked up his mat and went home happily; along the way, he met people who told him it wasn’t right to carry a mat on the Sabbath day as it was considered work. He told them that Jesus had healed them and told them to go home. After this, the religious leaders quickly condemned Jesus for healing the sick on the Sabbath. To this, Jesus said that the law encourages human well-being, and since the man was not well, He had to assist,
The second instance was when he healed a man in a synagogue whose hand was deformed. Performing healing at this time was considered unlawful. To this, Jesus responded by referring to the law of Moses, which states that if a sheep falls in a pit, will you not lean to pull it out because it is the Sabbath? Jesus said that the man was in need, and the fact that it was the Sabbath didn’t mean he couldn’t help.
The third occasion was when Jesus asked His disciples to harvest grain so they could eat. People saw this as a sin since they harvested grain on the Sabbath. However, Jesus referred them to the law of Moses, which says that a child must be circumcised on the eighth day, even if it falls on the Sabbath. Since the disciples were only taking grain to eat, this was not breaking the law. Hence there was no occasion that Jesus broke the Sabbath law.
Why did the Pharisees and the Scribes accuse Jesus of breaking the law?
The main reason the Pharisees and Scribes accused Jesus of breaking the law was the way they interpreted it. The Pharisees and scribes took the law at literal face value and
understood it as it was. However. Jesus had a deeper and better understanding of the law, many passive as breaking the law. The Pharisees and scribes had a hard time with Jesus, especially concerning violating the sabbath day. They accused Jesus of breaking the sabbath law on three separate occasions, all of which Jesus explained to them why it was not a violation according to the law of Moses, which people at the time followed.
Did Jesus violate the OT law?
Jesus did not violate the Old Testament law; He just interpreted the law differently. The Old Testament laws were to guide the people of God and help them do what is right in the eyes of God. The birth of Jesus signified a new beginning for the church and the Christians, hence the beginning of the New Testament. The Bible also clearly states on different occasions that Jesus was sinless in all ways. The Bible also says in the book of John that anyone who stumbles of the law has committed a sin, and since Jesus was sinless, He did not break the law in any way. The only thing was that He had a different interpretation of the law from the people and religious leaders at the time. However, whenever He was asked why He broke the law, He always gave a reason why He was not breaking any of the laws.
What religious law did Jesus break?
Jesus did not break any religious law since the Bible says Jesus is sinless, yet breaking the law was considered a sin. The Pharisees and scribes accused Jesus on many occasions of going against the law or breaking it altogether. Severally He was charged with violating the Sabbath law, and on many other occasions, He was accused of breaking other religious laws and the law of the land. However, Jesus always proved to them that He did not break any of the laws that they accused Him of breaking. Hence, is it true that Jesus did not violate any law, whether religious statutes or laws of the land?
Did Jesus break the law when he touched a leper?
No, he did not. Since Jesus could not get the disease, he did not break the law, as the law was put in place to prevent the spread of the disease. A leper is a person infected with leprosy. In the days of Jesus and the days before Him, there was no way to heal leprosy, and most people who got infected would end up dying eventually. It was only recently that a cure for leprosy was discovered. The disease is transmitted mainly through coming into contact with an infected person or touching their bodily fluids. For this reason, whenever someone got infected with leprosy, they would be banished from the community to go leave by themselves or together with other lepers until their death came. Leprosy was so bad since it led to the loss of limbs and fingers as well as sores all over the body. Since there was no cure for the disease, a law was passed that no one should touch a leper so that the infection could not spread.
When Jesus healed the leper, He touched him, and the Pharisees saw this as breaking the law. But since the law was meant to safeguard the people from getting the disease, this did not apply to Jesus since He could not get sick.
What was the punishment for breaking the law during Jesus’ time?
In the days of Jesus, the punishment for breaking the law was death if found guilty. Breaking the law in the time of Jesus was considered a sin, and it still is to date. There were many punishments that people would receive for various crimes. Some of which involved imprisonment and even some to the extremes of death. However, in the time of Jesus, people did not seem to value life as many societies do today. Hence it was a common punishment that anyone who broke the law was put on trial, and if the accused was found guilty of breaking the law, they would be sentenced to death.
What does it mean that Christians are not under the law?
The law in many societies is meant to create order and maintain peace; this is the case with Christian laws as well. The phrase “Christians are not under the law “simply means that the law is not meant to oppress Christians. Rather, it is supposed to empower them and safeguard them from evil and shortcomings that may be detrimental to them and their faith. The law is also meant to help Christians to live well with each other and promote a peaceful society.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.