50 – ‘Fence Laws’

About 600 BC, the Babylonian empire took Israel into captivity. God allowed this because Israel kept disobeying the Law He gave through Moses. That Mosaic Law had temple and sacrificial laws for spiritual strength, basic moral laws for a happy society, and other general government laws to help Israel survive in a world without soap.

(God did not teach Israel sciences, such as how to make soap, because we humans must learn science on our own. The fallen angels taught sciences before the Flood, which only empowered murder and made Earth such a terrible place to live that we could not imagine it today.)

One of these laws was the Sabbath. It comes up frequently throughout the Bible. In the Old Testament, Israel often ignored it. In the New Testament, Israel enforced it too much…

…because of the rabbinic “fence laws”.

We don’t know God’s good reason for being so serious about the Sabbath in the Old Testament. It does prevent an oppressive, slave society.  Any dictator could easily slaughter Christians since he knows when and where they go every week. God could have some spectacular event planned to save Christians one day, yet it might only help Christians who rest on Saturday and plan to work on Sunday. That said, we only know that the Sabbath is important to God, that we remember the correct day, and have any one day of rest for ourselves.

Israel obeyed none of this.

By Jesus’s day, not wanting to repeat Babylonian captivity, Jewish rabbis had created extra laws—not from Moses—as a “fence” to keep far away from possibly breaking any Mosaic law. They behaved as if these were equally important to Moses’s Law, but God cared nothing for their “fence laws”.

Many of Jesus’s arguments with the Pharisees were about their fence laws.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says multiple times, “You have been told…” which reference these fence laws.

Jesus blatantly ignored these fence laws, especially about the Sabbath. Fence laws made it nearly impossible to do anything on the Sabbath, including heal people through miracles!

Jesus’s life teaches us many things, including the priority of Heaven’s morals over our own made-up rules.

Nehemiah 13:15-22, Ezekiel 20:10-13, Matthew 5:17-22, 27, 31, 33, 38, 43; 12:1-8, Mark 8:11-13, Luke 11:37-54, Romans 14:1-12, 1 Corinthians 8:1-13