the commandments according to Jesus

Jesus makes it clear that if we love him, we will obey him. Not a blind, fearful obedience, but an obedience that flows naturally out of love and trust for someone we know. If we trust God, we listen to him. Today, we’ll continue loving God by pausing to hear his commands.

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither–
whatever they do prospers.

When we realize that commandments are gifts rather than burdens, we can better understand the beauty of Jesus’s Sermon on the Mount. Found in Matthew’s gospel, ch. 5-7, this teaching of Jesus plunges us deep below the surface of the ten commandments given to Moses. Go ahead and take some minutes to read the full sermon.

Ask the following questions, and take what time you have to meditate on this central teaching of Jesus.

1. What themes do you see in Jesus’s reiteration of the ten commandments? In other words, what does Jesus communicate that wasn’t already said to Moses generations ago?

2. Why do you think Jesus felt the need to give this teaching to us?

3. Many people would hear the strict standards for holiness found in the sermon and think obedience was impossible — that Jesus was contradicting himself by offering grace to sinners and yet calling his followers to be so radically moral. What do you know about Jesus that allows you to reconcile his grace with such convicting teachings?

If you’re having a hard time with that last one, schedule a couple hours this week to read one of the gospel accounts. Highlight or sticky note the passages that help you understand Jesus more.

Best wishes for a lovely week. May you find lots of chocolate and lots of Jesus.

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