Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“For those who are circumcised themselves do not keep the law.”
Paul, in Galatians 6:13
“Now, therefore, why do you tempt God, to put a yoke [the Law] on the neck of the [Gentiles] which our fathers were not even able to bear?”
Peter, in Acts 15:10
Keeping the Law which God gave to Moses was tricky. The Law demanded that no work be done on a Sabbath, not even the picking up of sticks for making a fire. At the same time, the Law demanded every son born in Israel to be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth. But what if the eighth day fell on a Sabbath? Which of those two commandments would one keep, the commandment not to work on the Sabbath or the commandment to circumcise the baby? Those two commandments were of the highest importance to Israel; they actually defined Israel as a nation that was especially God’s, and the death penalty was God’s ordained punishment for breaking either of them.
So, which commandment would you choose to disobey?
Now, Jesus said that the one who circumcised a child on the Sabbath was innocent of a crime. This is because God is merciful and wise. He understood Israel’s plight. But Paul’s point in the above Scripture from Galatians was this: no one could always keep every statute of the Law all the time because the Law, upon occasion, contradicted itself and, so, placed even the most godly men in an impossible position. The Law that God gave to Moses for Israel was wonderful beyond all human ability to rival, but the Law was impossible to keep perfectly in every case because the Law itself was imperfect.
So, when Paul and Peter said no one kept the Law, they were not so much saying that nobody could keep the Law as they were saying that the Law could not keep us!