As we have seen, Jesus was a faithful citizen who fulfilled His responsibilities as a Jewish male, even when His life was in danger (see, for example, John 7:1, 25-26; 10:31). In fact, Jesus makes it clear that it was not His purpose to abolish
the Law or the Prophets (Matt. 5:17-20, NKJV).
Some of the Pharisees were always trying to expose Jesus as a lawbreaker (see, for example, John 8:6).When they present Him with the woman who was caught in the act of adultery, they pose this question: Moses says she should be stoned, what do You say? Interestingly enough, Jesus does not directly respond to their inquiry. In fact, He affirms the law of Moses with His response,
He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first
In the incident concerning divorce and remarriage, Jesus appears to contradict the law of Moses with His insistence that there were originally no grounds for divorce (Matt. 19:4-6). When the Pharisees point to Moses’ commandment in Deuteronomy 24:1-4, Jesus places everything in perspective. Nowhere does Moses command that divorce should take place. However, because of the people’s obstinacy, Moses made an allowance for divorce (Matt. 19:8). Thus, we see that even when Jesus critiques a Mosaic law, He does not set it aside. Jesus was a faithful Jew in every way, adhering to the laws of Moses.
How do we learn to balance justice and grace for those who, like ourselves, fall into sin? If we are going to err, as we as fallen beings inevitably do, what side is it better to err on, and why?