I’ve been asked about this many times and heard many times people questioning aren’t the commandments Jesus refers to the same as the ones that are given by Moses, or what most refer to as the “Ten Commandments”? The answer to that according to the bible’s record of what Jesus said, is a resounding no!
Now you might be asking, does that mean that we are not to keep the “Ten commandments”…. or now that we’re under grace we don’t have to keep commandments… but we have to consider what it is that the bible shares with us from Jesus versus what it is that Moses gave that Jesus is also to have referred to that if one would not hear Moses, one wouldn’t hear one raised from the dead.
So what I’d encourage each person to do is to pick up the bible and read for yourself what it is that Jesus is recorded to have said God gave Him to speak. We can see from the pages of the bible that those “commandments”, “his words” “his sayings” actually are.
First we can see that often times they begin with “ye have heard it said”… followed by “but I say unto you”…. indicating what it was that they had been taught by oral traditions, or had heard others telling them….
Then we see that most of them have to do with changing a known “tradition” of the time based on what they had heard and were taught. “Ye have heard it said an eye for an eye, but I say unto you…..
We also see in the words of the bible where Jesus begins by having first himself gone through a wilderness experience, where he faced the temptation to turn from He knew “it is written” that he states to the devil. It was AFTER his refusal to go against “it is written” that we see Him being sent by God to Galilee of the Gentiles to begin sharing what it was that God had given Him to do and to speak.
We see in reading what is known as the “Ten Commandments” …. “thou shalt not”… so often said… and with what Jesus shared it is “but I say unto you”… or “but when ye “… showing a difference in what it was that they had heard or had been their practice … to what was now going to move them beyond what they had heard… to hearing from God directly and knowing God for themselves…. beginning with the instruction that one was to forsake all that one had to be a disciple of His.
Now I don’t know about you … but there is a lot more of a difference in what Jesus had to say and command, and what it is that we see the disciples whom He is recorded to have sent out teaching people to observe that He had commanded them…. than just the “Ten commandments”.
We see that not only did Jesus say that one must forsake all to be his disciple.. we see the record in the bible of His disciples doing that themselves… but also we see in the book of Acts, Peter also teaching this as well as a requirement for one to be a disciple… and people were selling all they had and giving so that none would suffer lack…. because it is in that record that we have the one spoken of that didn’t give all, held back some and fell over dead after lying about it. Remember?
So yes, there is a difference in what it is that Jesus refers to as “my commandments”…. for they are when followed the means by which one comes to know God, (eternal life).. they are the ones that are recorded to be, when followed, not only evidence of one’s love of God, and Jesus, but the means by which one knows whether or not they believe He spoke what God gave him to speak…. cause after all if you don’t believe that part first… why would anyone follow them??? If you do believe Him and He was sent of God… then what reason would there be in not keeping the commandments that He gave to be followed… to see if they came from God and would bring you to a place in your life to know God … to know the one true God and Jesus Christ… not from “flesh and blood” teachings.. but to actually be taught by God, to hear from God and to learn from God for yourself. Isn’t that what it was to all be about??
So again when we look to the commandments Jesus gave His followers… we see that they direct His followers to forsake all and put their total and complete trust in God. How better to know if there is a real God than to do so? How better to know if one believes those words are from God-given to Christ then to do what they say is to be done for one to be disciple when one believes himself called of God to be a follower of Christ??
Next, we see that Jesus puts it upon each of his followers in those commandments, to take full and complete responsibility for their own actions. If your eye causes you offense, pluck it out… if your hand causes you offense cut it off… and if you don’t forgive the trespasses of another you will not be forgiven yourself. Now I don’t know about you… but that surely speaks a different view and understanding of things than what most say and have heard… right?
Next we see that Jesus said to His followers that they were to pray in secret, with the door shut and that God would hear them in secret and reward them openly. Now how do you suppose that going against that would get someone to knowing that ONE TRUE GOD??
Or what about not doing things to be seen of men… or so that men could see what was being done?? Again … it was all about knowing whether or not God exists, knowing this God and having this God that Jesus was referring to reveal Himself and HIS CHRIST and the power of God in the earth was with man…. to each one for himself/herself…. not as the result of “ye have heard it said”…..
So yes, upon careful examination of the “commandments of God-given by Jesus Christ”… they turn us from so many of the things “ye have heard” and been taught…. when followed, they bring us to the point of knowing the one true God, (eternal life) and realizing again how so much of what it is that we’ve heard and learned and followed is the result of what it is that we have heard from “flesh and blood”…. not from within us… not from what it is that God has said…. and Jesus as well as the prophets say that “all shall be taught by God”… that it those that have heard from God and been taught by God that will come to Christ… and will have “eternal life”… (know Thee, the one true God) … for as Jesus also states…
“no man comes to the Father except by me”… by the same manner in which Jesus did himself… and shared the “way” to do so to others…. and commanded them to go out and teach others to “observe whatsoever I have commanded ye”….
So be encouraged today to revisit the words of Jesus Christ found in the pages of the bible. See what it is that the bible actually records that Jesus Christ said… and see for yourself what it is that Jesus said God told him to speak… and why!!
For more about being a disciple of Christ according to the bible… check out “What is a Disciple: The Biblical Perspective”