The Commandments of Jesus, Part Two

Collected By John David Clark, Sr. - November, 1993

Last month, we paraphrased the commandments of Jesus which were associated with his "Sermon on the Mount". This month, we continue examining his commandments, beginning with those he gave relative to the time of the end of the world. Then, we will look at Jesus' commandments found in Matthew.

What surprised me when I first began this study was how very few direct commands Jesus gave to those who followed him, though many other commands may be inferred from statements he made. It is possible to read whole groups of chapters from the gospels and find no commandments at all! Jesus certainly did not oppress people with numerous, weighty, and difficult commandments. As he told us, the yoke he places upon men is "easy", and the burden which he places on our shoulders is "light".

When studying the Bible in general, one should learn to notice what is not there. With regard to Jesus's commandments, we notice that much of what is commonly associated with Christianity and is expected of its members is never mentioned by the Lord. There is no commandment concerning the wearing of choir robes or of ministerial vestments. There is no institution of ceremonies in any form. There is no commandment concerning the process for selection of pastors. There is no commandment concerning political entanglements or social restructuring. If we just obey the Master's voice, we shall do well.

Legend: M = Matthew K = Mark L = Luke J = John

Concerning the Last days

L.21:7-8 The very first thing you must do to be prepared for my coming is to be leery of Christian ministers. They will try to intimidate you with their numbers and frighten you into submission with phony warnings of my immediate return. Do not become one of them.

M.24:3-5 If you are not suspicious of the leaders of God's people, and many are not, you will be deceived, as many are, and you will be left utterly unprepared to meet me in the final judgment.

K.13:5-6 Be on guard, or someone will deceive you! Many unsuspecting souls will be taken in by "Christians" and be deceived.

L.21:12-15 You will be arraigned as criminals before religious tribunals and the courts of men to face false charges and to give an account of your faith, and when this happens, force yourself not to prepare any speeches. I will tell you what to say when the moment comes.

M.24:6-8 Do not be afraid at the terrible natural disasters and extraordinary events in the sky which must come. Neither let the coming wars distress you. The world must suffer many things before I return. Make certain you are not provoked to anxiety by reports of these horrible events when they begin to occur. K.13:7-8; L.21:9-11

L.21:28 When you see the world's systems falling apart, fearful natural disasters, and confusing diseases plaguing mankind, I tell you, my friends, to rejoice. Your salvation is not far away.

M.24:23-34 Do not believe those men who will come teaching that I am already here, in some secret place unrevealed to the masses. When I return, everyone will know it, just as everyone knows it when lightning strikes. Just watch for the signs I have described to you. I have warned you, now. Pay attention. K.13:21-23

M.24:42-44 Be prepared, and be watchful. You do not know when I am coming again, and if you grow slack in your faith, you will be caught by surprise and suffer great loss. What I am telling you applies to everyone: Be watchful!

K.13:33-37

L.21:34-35 Be on constant guard against gluttony, and other forms of self-indulgence. Because of these things, men will fail to be prepared for the final judgment.

L.21:36 Pray always, and be vigilant against all things that would hinder you, lest my coming take you by surprise.

General Commandments

MATTHEW

M.4:17 This is the time for repentance and the obedience of faith, for the door of the kingdom of God is being opened. Repent from all your evil doing and believe the gospel. K.1:15

M.9:13 Go find out what God meant by saying, "I will have mercy, and not sacrifice."

M.9:38 Pray that God will anoint and send men to win souls.

M.10:17-20 Be careful, for men will hurt you and hate you for obeying God, and will put you on trial for your faith. But when that happens, relax. Listen to me. Do not so much as think about preparing a answer. Exactly when you need it, I'll give you words to tell them. K.13:9-11; L.12:11

M.10:24-26, Do not fear those who falsely accuse you; rather, fear God, who knows the

28-31 truth about you and holds eternity in His hand. And put your trust in Him, for He cares far more about you than He does other things that He created. M.10:27 What I teach you privately is to be repeated openly among men.

M.10:34-36 Don't begin to think that I am here to bring peace among men. I am here to expose who is of God and who is not. I will break up families, stir up great hatred, and cause controversies. I will turn those who are closest to you against you. I am come to bring trouble.

M.11:28-30 If you are tired of the doctrines and traditions with which men have burdened your life, come to me. Live by the standard that I demand, and you will find the peace and rest you have been looking for.

M.15:13-14 Don't even try to help those spiritual leaders who claim to be sent from God but are not. Leave them alone, and let them and their followers fall.

M.16:6-12 Be very careful of the doctrines that will make hypocrites out of you.

M.16:24 If you would be my servant, do as I do, obeying the will of God for your life as I obeyed my Father's will for me.

M.18:8-9 In my name, cast out of the congregation those precious members of the body which are so corrupt as to threaten the well-being of the whole body, so that the whole body doesn't become infected with sin and perish.

M.18:10 Never despise any of God's children.

M.18:15-17 If a brother does evil against you, go to him alone to settle the matter. If that does not settle it, take with you another trusted friend to try to reason with him. If that fails, bring the matter up before the church. If that fails, you are free from the commandments concerning how members of the body must treat one another. Think of him, from then on, as no more than an ordinary sinner, and deal with him as if that were the case.

M.18:21-22 Regardless of how often a brother sins against you, if he repents, forgive him.

M.19:6 Do not cause a division among those whom God has joined together. K.10:9

M.19:14 Allow little children to come to me. I like their attitudes. K.10:14; L.18:16

M.19:17 If you hope to obtain eternal life, learn and keep the commandments God gave to Moses. K.10:17-19

M.22:21 Give to the government over you everything which belongs to it, and give to God everything which belongs to Him.

M.22:36-39 These are the two greatest commandments: Love God with everything within you and treat your neighbor as you want to be treated. K.12:28-33

M.23:8,10 Do not allow yourself to be given weighty titles, indicating that one of you is greater than the other. There is only one Master, and that is I.

M.23:9 Do not call any man on earth "father", in a religious sense, thus provoking to jealousy your Father which is in heaven. (What about this commandment, my born-again Catholic friends?)

M.23:11 If you want to be truly great, be able to edify everybody in the church.

M.23:23 Do not become so proud of doing the small things right that you neglect the really important matters. L.11:42

M.23:25-26 Only fools believe that God is impressed with an outward show of religion.

From your heart show mercy, and everything else will be clean. Be concerned with the condition of the heart rather than the appearance of the body. When the heart is right, the body will be put in order. L.11:39-41

M.25:1-13 You must be mindful at all times to be prepared for my coming, for you do not know when it will be.

NEXT MONTH: General commandments found in Mark, Luke and John.


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