Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What Jesus Commanded, Part 1: Repent, Believe, Follow

As part of my lenten discipline this past Lent, I read all four Gospels. One of the things that struck me was in several places, in various ways, and in each Gospel, Jesus places great importance in keeping his word or commandments:

“They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them. . . . Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.” 
John 14:21, 23-24

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

“You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’, and do not do what I tell you?” Luke 6:46 (cf. Matthew 7:21)

”Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.” Matthew 24:35 (cf. Mark 13:31)

“Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” John 8:51

“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”  John 15:10-11

That prompted me to start looking for those places where Jesus explicitly says that we should or should not do something, or where some behavior or attitude is held up for clear approval or disapproval. I am going to post what I think is a complete list of what Jesus said to do or warned against doing.

A couple of more comments before beginning the list.

1.    Clearly Jesus taught lessons by his actions. And his parables, while not always containing explicit commands, often imply some response. I am just listing his explicit commands.
2.    This list is not meant to imply that the commandments found elsewhere in the Bible don’t matter.
3.    What Jesus commanded only really matters if Jesus is who the Bible and the Church says he is. And if Jesus is who the Bible and the Church says he is, his commands should shape the way we read the rest of the Bible rather than the other way round and, more significantly, his commands should shape our lives.

What Jesus Commanded:


Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news." Mark 1:14-15

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” Matthew 4:17

“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.” Luke 12:3

“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ Mark 1:14

“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10:32-33

“Do not be astonished that I said to you, “You must be born from above/born again.” John3:7

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” John 3:16

“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.” John 3:36

“This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” John 6:29

“And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me.” Luke 7:23

Follow & Obey

“Enter through the narrow gate.” Matthew 7:13 (cf. Luke 13:24)

“Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Matthew 7:21

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.” Matthew 7:24

“Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” Matthew 10:37-38

“But Jesus said to him, ‘Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead” Matthew 8:22

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Mathew 12:30

Then he said to them all, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?” 
Luke 9:23-25 (cf. Mark 8:34 & Matthew 16:24-25)

“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21

“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?’ They said, ‘The first.’ Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax-collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you.” 
Matthew 21:28-31

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20

“Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27

“Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor.” John 12:26

"If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." John 8:31-32

No comments:

Post a Comment