WHAT ARE THE COMMANDMENTS OF JESUS?
One facet or dimension of a particular form of self-deception with many Christians that seems common in our culture is a perception that Jesus was ONLY a non-judging, merciful person who just wanted people to get along with one another and be peaceful people.
Many of these same Christians believe that because God is good, everyone gets to go to heaven eventually, no matter what, and that hell is not real.
There’s no need to get into all that theological thinking stuff – so the justification goes – all that babble only complicates faith; there’s no need to go to church, you can pray anywhere, etc.
It’s a “kiss” approach (keep it simple stupid) kind of theology that doesn’t take a lot of mental work and has very few demands on a person, but unfortunately lends itself to the worst kinds of distortions and errors.
When the lgbtq, trans, drag queens, etc. slogans proclaim: “LOVE WINS!” (with a sea of people parading with rainbow flags celebrating free love and sex in a world of unrestricted personal freedom) it can be confusing for Christians… and the temptation to buy into the delusion that waters-down Jesus is strong.
We need to go back to the source to see exactly what Jesus said about what “loving Him” entails!
Jesus gave us a simple test to check our lazy tendency to not think, and to offset our cowardly inclinations to fabricate deceptive delusions to protect our conscience against the sting of deciding to cooperate with what we know at a level a little deeper down (that we don’t like to bring into consciousness) is wrong.
Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that to love Him we need to keep His commandments.
He elsewhere says that if we keep His Commandments we will abide in Him and the Father.
Do we love Jesus?
Well, let’s check.
It’s not about how we feel, it’s about what we do, because a command is always about doing something, and Jesus said that if we love him we will obey his COMMANDS.
I am not suggesting for a second that the list that Samuel Mills put together pasted below is in any way comprehensive, but it’s a good start, and a guide to breaking through the illusion that being Christian is just being “happy-go-lucky” and nonviolent, always in the party mood, not killing people of course, but also supportive of all such peaceful smiling people no matter what they do or say.
Love wins on the cross, not a rainbow flag.
We worship God in reverence, in spirit and truth, always conscious of the great suffering Jesus endured to win our way to heaven.
We endure, looking to the day when we can truly celebrate in the final victory of good over evil, which is already decided, but not yet actualized.
We don’t worship God by celebrating what is against God’s law and will, parading around in skimpy clothes holding signs with catchy slogans with man-pouches protruding!
Commandments of Jesus
1. “When you stand praying, forgive”
“And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.” (Mark 11:25-26 NIV)
2. “You must be born again”
“You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:7 KJV)
3. “Remain in Me and I will remain in you”
When you ask Jesus into your heart and He becomes your Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit lives in you, and you in Him. Here Jesus uses a grapevine to compare our relationship with Him.
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” ( John 15:4 NIV)
4. “Let your light shine before men”
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. ” In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven,” (Matt 5:14;16 NIV).
5. “Settle matters quickly with your adversary”
“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.” (Matt 5:25 NIV)
6. “Get rid of whatever causes you to sin”
“If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matt 5:29-30 NIV)
7. “Do Not Swear at All”
“But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” (Matt 5: 34-37, KJV)
8. “Do Not Resist an Evil Person”
(Turning the other cheek.)
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” (Matt 5:38-39 NIV).
9. “Giving More than is Demanded”
(Going the extra mile)
“And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you,” (Matt 5:40-42 NIV).
10. “Love Your Enemies”
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous,” (Matt 5:43-45 NIV).
11. “Give to Please God, Not to be Seen”
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven,” (Matt 6:1 NIV).
12. “Pray Privately, Not to be Seen by Men”
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words,”
(Matt 6:5-7 NIV)
13. “This, then, is how you should pray”
“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins,” (Matt 6:9-15 NIV).
14. “Fast Without Fanfare”
“When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full,” (Matt 6:16 NIV).
15. “Do not Store up Treasures on Earth”
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matt 6:19-21 NIV).
16. “Do not Worry about Your Needs”
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:25-26 NIV).
17. “Do not Worry about Tomorrow”
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” (Matt 6:34 NIV).
18. “Place God First”
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matt 6:33 NIV).
19. “Do not Judge”
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you,”
(Matt 7:1-2 NIV).
20. “Guard what is Sacred”
“Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces,” (Matt 7:6 NIV).
21. “Ask, Seek, and Knock”
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you,” (Matt 7:7 NIV).
22. “Care for Those in Distress”
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,” (Matt 25:34-36 NIV).
23. “Enter Through the Narrow Gate”
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it,” (Matt 7:13-14 NIV).
24. “Watch out for false prophets”
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves,” (Matt 7:15 NIV).
25. “Exercise Spiritual Power”
“He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness,” (Matt 10:1 NIV).
“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give,” (Matt 10:8 NIV).”
26. “Do not Despise Childlike Believers”
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven,” (Matt 18:10 NIV).
27. “Do not Exalt Yourself”
“But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one Master and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.
Nor are you to be called ‘teacher,’ for you have one Teacher, the Christ. The greatest among you will be your servant.
For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted,” (Matt 23:8-12 NIV).
28. “Settle Disputes Between Believers in this Manner…”
“If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.
But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’
If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector,”(Matt 18:15-17 NIV).
29. “Do not Oppose Other Christian Groups”
“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us,” (Mark 9:38-40 NIV).
30. “Have Complete Faith in God”
“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours,” (Mark 11:22-24 NIV).
31. “Do as the Good Samaritan Did”
“The expert in the law replied, ‘The one who had mercy on him.’ Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise,”
(Luke 10:30-37 NIV).
32. “Love One Another”
(This commandment of Jesus summarizes all the others.)
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you,” (John 15:12 KJV).
33. “Do this in Remembrance of Me”
“And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'”
“In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you,'” (Luke 22:19-20 NIV).
34. “You Should also Wash One Another’s Feet”
“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet,”
(John 13:14 NIV).
35. “Be Merciful”
“Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,”
(Luke 6:36 NIV).
36. “Go and Make Disciples of All Nations, Baptizing Them”
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matt 28:19-20 NIV).
37. “Obey What I Command”
“If you love me, you will obey what I command,”
(John 14:15 NIV).
38. “You Must be Ready”
“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him,” (Luke 12:40 NIV).