In plain English, to be ‘under the law’ is to BREAK IT!
Even in our own civil parlance, we say, “He’s going to feel the full weight of the law!”
When do we say that? When a person is driving responsibly at the speed limit, staying with his lane, and observing all traffic signs and signals? NO! When a person is speeding and weaving through traffic, blowing through signs, etc.
The ‘weight of the law’ is the application of just punishment. That is true of the Torah [Law] of Messiah, of the Creator, as well. Those who trust in Him will NOT suffer that punishment.
The Jews who were FALSE believers in the book of Galatians were under the law BECAUSE THEY WERE UNBELIEVERS who were TRYING to become righteous by THEIR FALSE INTERPRETATION/ UNDERSTANDING of Messiah’s Torah! After the time of Ezra, and after the Maccabean revolt, the “Pharisee” DENOMINATION was formed, and they invented NEW ‘commands’ OF THEIR OWN, and were teaching them in the place of G-d’s commands. [Mark 7] They taught and thought that SALVATION [Yeshua’s Name, btw] was by THEIR OBSERVANCE of the law, which to them included THEIR ‘fence’, a set of their own rules that THEY said would keep them from breaking Torah. They REPLACED the Torah with THEIR LAW. And they stopped believing in Salvation by TRUST in יהוה , which is what the Torah teaches [Gen 26, Gal]. Jews today, including many Messianic Jews, STILL DO THIS, in spite of the Son of G-d showing the sin of it. One of those MANMADE ‘laws’, from the ruling ‘house’ of Pharisees, was that Gentiles HAD TO CONVERT with the final sign of conversion being circumcision, ‘becoming Jewish’, IN ORDER TO BE SAVED. This was NEVER true. Those Jews [In Gal and Acts 15] WERE UNDER THE LAW! NOT the Many THOUSANDS of Messianic Jews who DID BELIEVE IN YESHUA AND KEPT THE TORAH! [Acts 21], and CERTAINLY not the Apostles, and Paul, who STILL KEPT THE TORAH [Acts 21].
To be ‘under the law’, in any government, is to be BREAKING IT.
Now, to another occasion of Yeshua’s treatment of the subject.
“My doctrine is not mine, but His who sent me. He who desires to do His will can understand if my doctrine is from Elohim or if I am just speaking of my own accord. He who speaks of his own accord seeks glory for himself; but he who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and there is no deception in his heart. Did not Moshe give you the Torah? And yet no one of you obeys the Torah.”
Yeshua said this to the Pharisees. The error of the Jews in the time of Messiah was to think that their own obedience to the Torah is what made them a “Tzadik” [A Righteous One]. Many of them still think this today. But, there is more to learn from this verse.
There are many ‘christian theologians’ who for 1700+ years have taught that Yeshua broke the Torah, and did away with it. He did not. He was teaching the Pharisees how they misunderstood the Torah, in this conversation, and many others.
These teachers teach that the Messiah came to give a new ‘doctrine’, apart from the Torah. That torah ‘was’, and now He fulfills it, so they do not have to.
That makes Yeshua both a liar, and a hypocrite. Yeshua spent 31/2 years trying to show religious people that they should quit obeying MEN and start obeying G-d. He shows here that He is UPHOLDING the authority of His Father, which is expressed in His Torah.
He did NOT speak “of His own accord”; He was not a wing-nut, Torah breaking Jew as the world of constantine has purported and mindless theologians have echoed for centuries. In this very passage, He is observing the feast of Sukkot! And He spends those eight days teaching Israel how Sukkot is a message about Himself. If they had understood the Torah, they would have known that. And if today’s ‘christian theologians’ truly understood the purpose of the Torah, they’d know that too, and they would obey it.
“He who desires to DO HIS WILL [G-d’s] can understand if my doctrine is from Elohim….”
We are truly ‘justified’, made a Tzadik, a Righteous One, by our trust in Yeshua’s loving atonement for our sins. But, we are “Set Apart”, or become a Khasid [Devout one], K’doshim [holy ones], by our obedience to His commands.
“If you love me, you will keep my commands.” ~ Yeshua
“Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love. IF YOU KEEP MY COMMANDS YOU WILL STAY IN MY LOVE- just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in His love.” ~Yeshua
And here is how we KNOW that we know Him: IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDS.” Yokhanan
“And this is love, that we walk after His commandments. This is the commandment, that you have from the beginning [that’s Genesis], that you should walk in it.” Yokhanan
“My doctrine [teaching] is NOT my own.”
The commands Yeshua spoke of to His Talmidim were not ‘new’ ones, separate from those the Father wrote in the Torah.
To teach otherwise is to defy Yeshua.