When Yeshua pardoned the woman caught in adultery (Jn 8), He was smashing the cultural norm of treating women as property. When He entered into an intense conversation with the woman at the well (Jn 4), He was breaking every social rule. When He healed on the Sabbath, He was purposely challenging the authority of the Pharisees. His words for them were harsh.
Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.” (John 7:23-24)
My point is that Jesus had no problem challenging outdated and corrupt “policies.” But when it came to the moral code of the Bible, He went in the other direction.
Many today are calling for an upgrade: Bible 2.0. Some claim the original version is outdated. Rob Bell, the author of Love Wins, a book that denies the existence of hell, thinks the current culture is ready for a new Bible.
“We’re moments away. I think the culture is already there. And the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.” Rob Bell to Oprah
Many of those who want to change what the Bible says (about so many sins) love the idea of Jesus. He is cool. He is a reformer. He is into social justice. Amen! I agree 100%! But when it came to morality, He did not soften the Torah, but intensified it. Indeed, like with the woman caught in adultery (we are still looking for the man!), He showed a level of mercy that was not common, but when He taught, He was downright scary!
We like to think of Jesus saying, “Hey dudes, you’ve heard it said, ‘Thou shall not commit adultery.’ But God understands that we are bombarded by images every day. Sometimes you can’t help yourself. Just make sure to say you’re sorry afterwards.”
Or maybe, “The Bible says don’t kill, but goodness…some people can be so annoying! Instead of killing them, just think about how good it would feel to strangle them!”