Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gospel Enigmas - Which Commandments?

I find that many of the things Jesus did are perplexing. They make me think, and sometimes I have no conclusions. I'll pose questions and only share my opinion as to meaning after a day or so. Interact!

rich young ruler and Jesus

Jesus answered the scribe’s question of which is the greatest commandment: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

This wasn’t some newly created distillation of the ten commandments. Jesus was quoting Deuteronomy and Leviticus. By using these phrases he not only demonstrated his knowledge of Scripture, but validated the authority of the law. This all makes sense.

Then we come to Jesus’ meeting with the young rich man. This man chases Jesus down... literally. He runs down the road to catch up with him. He kneels and calls Jesus “Good Teacher.” Then he asks what he should do to inherit eternal life. Jesus answer is almost coy. He starts with a question, “Why do you call me good? No man is good.”

He continues by telling the man to obey the commandments, and lists them. Well, sort of... Jesus lists five of the ten commandments. And not the first five. Actually the decalogue breaks into sections of four and six. The first four deal with our relationship with God, the “love the Lord” part. The final six cover “love your neighbor.”

Jesus seems to be playing a game with the young man. He tells him not to commit adultery, murder, or lie, and that he should honor his father and mother.

This seems like all the wrong answers. It’s as if Jesus is saying that one can attain heaven by doing certain things, when the entire premise of the New Testament is that we gain eternal life by faith in God... more in line with the first four of the commandments.

What do you think Jesus was doing? read more

See Mark 12
See Mark 10


Shinade said...

I think if we are saved and do love the Lord with all of our heart, mind and soul, we will try our best to follow all of the Ten Commandments.

However, we are only human. Therefore, as Jesus states, no man is good, then no matter how hard we try, we will fail. I know I fail Him in someway everyday.

But, I do try my very best to be as good as possible. It is not always easy to love your neighbors and even your enemies as you would yourself.

But, I try and I have been frowned upon by good church going folk on more than one occasion for doing so.

I think Jesus was simply trying to teach and explain to the man how God expects us to live. Or, at least give it our best go.

I look forward to your answer.

vanilla said...

By reciting the commandments, I think Jesus was reminding the man of what he already knew. But the Master continues with the ultimate command "follow me". In obedience to this would we not attain salvation?

The part about "selling all" may have been the sticking point for this man, for, as with us, there are certain things in his life he must relinquish in order to follow Christ. Obedience is key.