Jesus keeps the Torah

When we are examining the role of the law in the life of the believer, it is important to look at the role of the law in the life of Jesus. He is our example and His observance of Torah is paramount to how we should order our lives. If, per say, Jesus lived His life in without following Torah, then a case can be made for us to live an “anominal” (The Greek word for torah is “nomos” so, the word for torah-less-ness, would simply to add the prefix “a” to nomos. Thusly giving us, anominism) lifestyle. What we will find is that Jesus kept all the commandments that pertained to Him and even encouraged others to do the same and to examine the role of the law in their own lives. Perhaps it will be best to utilize a list format:

1. Matthew 5:17 Jesus teaches that He does not destroy or do away with the law. (see previous post on Jesus and the Law.)

2. Matthew 8:1-4: Jesus heals a leper and tells him to offer the sacrifices of the Torah as prescribed in the law. Please see Leviticus 14 for complete details.

3. Matthew 19:1-12: Jesus entire teaching on marriage comes from the Torah

4. Luke 4:1-12: Jesus quotes from the Torah to defeat the strategies of Satan.

5. Luke 2:22-23 : Jesus grew up in a Jewish Torah-observant home.

6. Mark 3:1-6: Jesus keeps the Sabbath

7. Luke 8:44: Jesus wore tassels (tzitzits) according to the commandments (Numbers 15:33)

8. John 7& John 13: Jesus kept the Passover and the Feast of Tabernacles

9. There is not one instance of Jesus eating anything other than kosher foods. (There is a reference in modern translations that says “He declared all foods clean.” It is my opinion that this is a theological interpolation into the text as older version of scripture translate it differently. It will be the subject of a future post.)

10. We could literally write documents of all the references where Jesus upholds the Torah or teaches on the Torah or is performing the commandments of the Torah.

In short, there is not one instance in scripture where Jesus violates the commandments of the Law. He was completely obedient to them. He had to be, because He had to be sinless in order to be the “Lamb of God without spot or blemish.” For Jesus to have violated Torah would have been for Him to sin. Hence, Jesus never broke even the “least of these commandments” (Matthew 5:19)

It is also a point of interest that there are commandments which Jesus never kept. Such as, the laws for the high priest at the day of atonement (Leviticus 16). Jesus never kept these commandments because they didn’t apply to Him. The same can be said for us today. If a particular commandment is one that I am not able to keep ie: going to Jerusalem during the feasts, then I don’t keep that commandment. Likewise, if I am able to keep a commandment, then I do it as an expression of my love for God. I have a beard and I wear tassels, exactly as Jesus did. If He truly is our example, then we ought to do what He did. I’m not advocating that we all become Jewish, that misses the point. I am saying that we should keep the commandments as we are able to. This allows for the unique expression of individualism within the boundaries of God’s Holy Standard for His People.