8 – The Commands of Jesus

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Jesus gave many commands for his followers; they are not optional, so if we are called to be his followers, we really ought to know what his commands are and obey them.

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– Perhaps we should start by identifying the commands of Jesus.  

– Surely, The major commands of Jesus are familiar to us:

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The Greatest Commandments

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him; Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “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.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:28-31

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The Great Commission

Then Jesus came to them and said: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.  Matthew 28:18-20

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The Golden Rule

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

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Follow Me

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

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Take up Your Cross

Then Jesus said to his disciples:  Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  Matthew 16:24-26

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Other commands of Jesus are familiar, but we seldom think of them.

Do not be Angry —– Matthew 5:21-22
Do not Lust —– Matthew 5:31-32
No Retaliation —– Matthew 5:38-42
Love your Enemies —– Matthew 5:43-48
Give to the needy —– Matthew 6:2-4
When you Pray —– Matthew 6:5-8
How you Pray —– Matthew 6:9-13
Instructions on Fasting —– Matthew 6:16-18
Gathering up Wealth —– Matthew 6:19-21
Do not be Anxiety and Worry —– Matthew 6:25-27; Luke 12:22-34
Seek First the Kingdom of God —– Matthew 6:34
Do not Judge Others —– Matthew 7:1-2
Beware of False Prophets —– Matthew 7:15-16a
What defiles a Person —– Matthew 15:10-11
Humble yourself like a child —– Matthew 18:4
Be reconciled with your brother —– Matthew 18:15-20
No divorce except for Adultery —– Matthew 19:3-9
The greatest among you is to be servant of all —– Matthew 20:25-28
Be alert and ready for the Lord’s Return —– Matthew 24:42-44
Keep Watch for the Lord’s Return —– Matthew 25:13
Use the assets of God wisely —– Matthew 25:14-30
Be kind to the least of the Lord’s brothers —– Matthew 25:31-46
Positions of Authority —– Mark 10:42-45
Pay your Taxes —– Mark 12:17, Luke 20:21-26
Love your enemies, Give to everyone who asks, Do good to all, Forgive others —–
Luke 6:27-38
Beware of Hypocrisy —– Luke 12:1b
Acknowledge Christ before men —– Luke 12:8-12
Be on guard against Covetousness —– Luke 12:15
Be ready for Christ’s Return —– Luke 12:35-49
Repent of your Sins —– Luke 13:1-5
Strive to Enter by the Narrow Door —– Luke 13:22-30
Do Not take the Place of Honor —– Luke 14:7-11
Give Hospitality to those who cannot Repay —– Luke 1412-24
Deny Yourself and Follow Me —– Luke 14:25-33
Do not Try to Serve Two Masters —– Luke 16:1-13
Do not Commit Adultery —– Luke 16:18
Do not Tempt Others to Sin —– Luke 17:1-4
Pray without Ceasing —– Luke 18:1-8
Do not Exult Yourself —– Luke 18:9-14
Watch yourselves – How you Act —– Luke 21:34-36
You Must be born Again —– John 3:1-15
Whoever Believes has Eternal Life —– John 3:16
Drink the Water of Eternal Life —– John 4:1-15
Worship God in spirit and in truth —– John 4:21-26
Believe in the Son for Eternal Life —– John 6:35-40
Thirsty come to Jesus to drink —– John 7:37-39
Abide in my word —– John 8:31-32
Whoever believes in me will live —– John 11:25-27
Receive the one I send —– John 13:20
Believe in God, Believe in Me —– John 14:1
Believe I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me —– John 14:11
Ask anything in My Name —– John 14:14
Keep my Commands —– John 14:15-24
Abide in Me, let my words abide in you —– John 15:1-8
Abide in my Love —– John 15:9
Love One Another —– John 12-17
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed —– John 20:29

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How many commands did Jesus give?  One writer found 147 commands, another 125, and still others 50.

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Discussion Questions:

1. Review the major commands of Jesus. Are obeying the major commands of Jesus optional? How are you doing on obeying these commands? What would help you to obey them better?

2. Review the list of the other commands of Jesus. Which of these commands are unfamiliar to you? Are any of these commands surprising or disturbing?

3. As you review the other commands of Jesus, what common threads or themes do you see?

4. Are obeying these other commands of Jesus optional?

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