The Commandments of Jesus

The Apostle John was the only writer in the NT that articulates “The Commandments of Jesus.” He was also the only author among the first 4 that did not record “The Sermon on the Mount”. I believe one reason may be because John’s writings were written last. John seems to have written immediately before 70 AD, possibly after Paul’s death and definitely a decade or more after Matthew and Mark. Matthew wrote his account after only about 2 decades of meeting Jesus. John wrote his almost 40 years after he began to walk with the Lord!

How much does a person grow in the Lord after an additional 20 years of relationship? *(Some scholars argue that John’s letters were written 60 years or more after Jesus!)

The point?

Maybe John more clearly articulated the New Covenant because the time of the Old being completely removed had arrived (Hebrews 8:13-9:10 & 2 Cor.3:7-11) and the New Covenant ideals needed to me decisively declared. Maybe John understood sonship better. John clearly had a profound revelation of what it meant to be loved by the Lord because he frequently referred to himself as “The Disciple whom Jesus loved.”

Does that mean Jesus loved John more than the others or that John received Jesus’ love more than the others? I believe it’s the latter. Consider Jesus words spoken to the faithful 11 in John 15:9 as evidence ~ “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: abide      ye in my love.”                                                                                                                   (plural)             (singular)

I used the KJV in this instance because it’s the only version that distinguishes the plural “you” from the singular “ye”. Jesus stated that he loved them all as the Father had loved him. Jesus didn’t love John more than Peter, James or the rest. Jesus loved all of his disciples with the exact same love that the Father had for him.

John received Jesus’ love more.

John laid his head on the Lord’s chest.

John knew how to abide.

Is it possible that John had greater faith?

 

HOW MANY COMMANDMENTS?

 

Matthew, Mark and Luke all emphasized faith to an extant. However, none of them even came close to articulating the faith like Paul had.

Did you know that none of the first 3 (Matt,Mk and Lk) recorded Jesus ever saying anything like “Believe in me to be saved”? Isn’t that the foundation of the entire message? Yet, in all of their accounts of the life and words of Jesus; none of them thought it was important to declare the most basic aspect of the Gospel? Very interesting….

Yet, the “gospel” of John records Jesus’ 1st Commandment “Believe” almost 100 times! Compare that to less than 30 times between the first 3. Basically, John emphasizes belief 10 times more than the others. John also emphasized love over 100 times more!

John’s First Epistle detailed the New Covenant Commandments as ~ 1. Believe. 2. Love.

23And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he gave us commandment.” ~ 1 John 3:23

Because even the entire Law could be summed up in “Love”. (Gal.5:14 , Matt.22:40, Rom.13:10) However, the reality is that you cannot truly love without first believing because love believes. (1 Cor.13:7) The cart cannot go before the horse.

Faith always precedes love. We cannot love others with God’s perfect love until we believe in God’s perfect love. ~ The Holy Spirit

It’s really that simple to obey the New Covenant commandments because God doesn’t want slaves who merely obeyed for the sake of obedience; like in the Old Covenant. Paul wrote in Romans about a new obedience that he called ~ “The Obedience of the Faith”.

 

HOW NOW SHALL WE LIVE?

 

This is not an excuse to disobey. It’s a true definition of Christ-like obedience.

This is not a reason to neglect the writings of Matthew and the others. It’s also not an excuse to ignore the words of Jesus in the likes of “The Sermon on the Mount”. It’s merely an explanation of how.

This is how we live a “Sermon on the Mount” (SOM) lifestyle.

We can obey the letter of the SOM without believing in God’s love. But, we cannot disobey the heart of the SOM when we believe in God’s love.

One way reduces children of God to a life of slavery. The Way inspires the children of God to a life of sons!

If God’s primary objective was obedience to a set of regulations; he would have invented robots. But God yearned for relational children, so he created us!

God doesn’t merely desire us to follow a set of rules. God desires relationship.

God wants us to stay in relationship with him through in everything!

16And we know and have believed the love which God hath in us. God is love; and he that abideth in love abideth in God, and God abideth in him.” ~ 1 John 4:16

Interestingly, the emphasis in this verse does not seem to be on the Presence of God. The emphasis is on love because ~ “love is the Presence of God.”

It’s that simple and yet that challenging. Because Ephesians 3:16-20 announced that God’s love in infinitely beyond our understanding. It’s probably a good idea to pray along the lines of Paul ~

16that he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fulness of God.”

Profound. It seems that Paul was saying something like ~Believing and growing in the love of God increases the amount of God that we experience in life. God is infinite and so is love. Keep growing in faith and in love. The deeper you go into love, the more Christ fills your heart.

 

 

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5 thoughts on “The Commandments of Jesus

  1. How about we focus on what Jesus said?

    Jesus was asked twice which Commandment is the greatest or most important one, (Matthew 22 and Mark 12)
    Both times Jesus answered quoting the same two commandments, from the Law of Moses.

    Jesus said that one of these two commandments is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [Mark 12:29-30, Deuteronomy 6:4-5]

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Matthew 22:37-38, Deuteronomy 6:5]

    Poem – What is love?

    Two men came to Jesus
    With different motivations.
    They asked Him the same question
    Relevant to all the nations:

    Which is the Most Important?
    The answer was the same.
    Jesus did not manipulate
    He was not there to play a game.

    “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
    as He quoted from The Law –
    to fulfill and not abolish
    was His purpose, full of awe.

    Jesus did not make all Scripture
    Into one new great commandment.
    He summarized The Law and Prophets
    “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

    The Love of God is higher
    Than the love of any man.
    Receive from God, give back to God-
    Then to others, that’s His plan.

    The Love of God involves much more
    Than simply “love your fellow man.”
    Worship, trust, and pray to God,
    and obey Him – that’s His plan

    To worship and pray to neighbors,
    Whoever they may be,
    Or trust and obey our enemies
    Would be idolatry.

    The love of God is first and greatest,
    And the love of man is second.
    “All we need is love” are words
    of dead Beetles on the pavement.

    “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
    are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
    It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
    an “accuser of our brethren.”

    “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
    in his chapter to the Corinthians.
    “I will show you the most excellent way”
    is the road to eternal perdition.

    Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
    Nowhere in view of the eye.
    Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
    “I, I, I, I.”

    Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
    Not the words of a Pharisee.
    The words of Jesus are very clear.
    Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”

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    1. I approved your comment but disagree completely with the content. The idea that Paul was satanic is a foolish lie. Peter himself endorsed his words in his letter and in Acts 15, Paul was approved by the “First Apostolic Council”. When you referred to Jesus’ words about the greatest commandment, you neglected to mention the context. Religious Jews, who were living under the Law, were asking Jesus (at that time a teacher of the Law) concerning The Law. This message was not the Gospel. It was the righteousness of the law summarized. That is why there was no mention of “Believe and be saved…” The New Covenant was not even inaugurated until the Last Passover Supper and the 2 Commandments are clearly described in 1st John. 1. Believe. 2. Love.

      Also in 1 Cor.13, we have one of the clearest depictions of the nature of God anywhere. Why? Because God is love. 1 John 4. You can’t throw out Paul’s writings without throwing away John’s. Then you throw out Jesus.

      Simple Gospel. Be blessed!

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  2. Christopher, you said QUOTE:
    “Matthew, Mark and Luke all emphasized faith to an extant. However, none of them even came close to articulating the faith like Paul had.”

    So you are elevating Paul and Paul’s teachings above the teaching of Jesus given through His appointed Apostles. Only 3 of them wrote Scripture, Matthew John, and Peter. YOU are throwing out Jesus of the Gospels, and replacing Jesus with PAUL – or the “christ”‘ of Paul’s imagination.

    You said “Simple Gospel.”
    WHOSE “gospel”? Jesus, in His own words, or Paul’s “gospel” about Jesus?

    Parable of the House Painters

    A homeowner called his friend, who was a painting contractor. “Friend, I want to hire you and your team to paint my house and my garage. Paint the house first, and I’ll stay in the garage until you’re done. Then when the paint is dry, I’ll move back into the house, and you can paint the garage.”

    The painting contractor hired a new foreman named Paul, and gave him the homeowner’s instructions. (Paul insisted that all the workers show respect for him by addressing him as “Boss Paul.”) Paul called the team of painters together and told them:
    “Boys, we need to paint this garage and house. The quicker we do it, the more profitable it is for us. So get to work! Since the garage is smaller, we can finish that quicker. Then those who finished the garage can go help the others finish the house.”

    One worker objected: “But Boss Paul, those were not the owner’s instructions! We are supposed to paint the house first. Only after the house is finished and the paint is dry can we go and paint the garage.”

    Paul replied: “I’m Boss, you work for me, and you do as I say. We are painters, and we paint. We don’t have time for debates about ‘which one is first’. We need to get to work applying that paint to the garage and house as quick as we can. Which owner would be upset if we finished early? The job is to paint the garage and house – what difference does it make ‘which one is first’”?

    “It makes a big difference to the owner,” the worker objected. To which Paul replied, “you’re fired.” Paul then took his team of painters, and started painting the garage and the house.

    When the homeowner returned in the evening, he was furious. He had nowhere to sleep, and had to go stay in a hotel for several days. The homeowner’s friend, the painting contractor, apologized, and explained:

    “I hired a new foreman named Paul, but that was a huge mistake. He ignored your instructions that I passed on to him. You don’t know him, and I’ve just barely met him.
    To be extremely polite, I could say that Paul ‘says some things which are difficult to understand.’ To be more direct, I could say Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex, proclaiming; ‘I am not under the law’ but yet making up his own laws as he goes along, that everyone else has to obey. Paul said: ‘I became your father…. therefore I urge you to imitate me,’ and ‘I have become all things to all men.’ Paul thinks he’s Boss, and doesn’t need to listen to your instructions that I gave him.”

    In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus identified two commandments, saying one of them is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

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  3. Your parables are interesting, but not proper doctrine.

    Jesus authored and finished “The Faith”. The faith is more than your or my belief. The Apostle Paul said there is ONE faith. Paul and John articulated it most clearly. I am not throwing out any writers but merely attributing their proper context.

    Can you deny that Matthew, Mark and Luke did NOT articulate the New Covenant? Show me where they recorded Jesus’ profound promises concerning the New Covenant and the New Commandments.

    You cannot. It’s impossible because they did not record Jesus’ most intimate words with the faithful 11 Disciples after the “Last Passover Supper”.

    John was the only one of the 4 who recorded Jesus’ message to his friends.

    However, Paul declared the same profound truths to the Gentiles.

    Most of Matthew, Mark and Luke recorded pre-Cross, Pre-New Covenant teachings. Probably 90% of it was Jesus prophesying the coming New Covenant Kingdom and performing miracles to demonstrate his authority and love people.

    I do not elevate Paul above Jesus. But, so much of what Jesus said does not apply to us but applied to that generation! Most of Jesus’ parables in Matthew were specifically directed to those Jews who were about to reject and murder their Messiah and God!

    John 13-17 is the clearest declaration of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Paul also declared. I love and honor all 66 books of the Biblios but, I recognize the simple reality that it does not all apply to us in the New Covenant.

    Be blessed my friend and continue your search in the truth of ALL Scriptures as the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth!

    * To answer your question ~ I really don’t care which commandment Jesus was referring to because the context was which commandment is greatest “under the Law” and that Old Covenant Law is not for the New Covenant believer.

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