Teach One Another – BT18
NT teaching doesn’t include any old commandments, only 2 completely NEW ones!
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The Jewish teachers were great at constantly judging people for not keeping the Old Testament’s 613 Torah Laws of conditional-favor and “binding” even more commandments on the backs of people with their Oral Torah or “Traditions of the Elders.” However, they were terrible at “loosing” them by refusing to help people carry the burdens of the Law, forgiving people for there failure, or subtracting some of these “traditions of men.” However, Jesus wanted His disciples to be completely different-in-kind. He wanted them to simply follow His example of unconditional-love toward others, serving and forgiving others, which is a completely different-in-kind “New commandment” than even the OT commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The Hebrew for “neighbor” meant “fellow Jews,” which allowed them to hate Gentiles, their Roman enemies. And if you are self-loathing, does that mean you can loathe others?
No! Christ’s “New (a) commandment to unconditionally-love one another as I have unconditionally-loved you” (b) is as completely different-in-kind as the New (a) Covenant Way is over the old covenant, especially because that’s what “New” (a) means! Christ’s own “New Commandment” is “The Law of Christ to bear one another’s burdens” (c), which involves “unconditional-love for even your enemies” (d), and certainly God’s own children, the Christian brethren (e). This alone distinguishes us as a disciple of Christ and not of some other rabbi teacher. See also Only 2 Commandments. <Notes> a) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior, b) John 13:34, 15:12, c) Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21, d) Matthew 5:43-44, e) 1 John 2:10, 3:10, 14, 16-17, 4:20-21, 5:1.
Jesus didn’t have any scribes record any of His teachings, nor ask His apostles to do so, like other important rabbis always did, and gave the reason to not worry: “The Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say” (a), and “He will teach you ALL things and bring to your remembrance ALL that I have [specifically] said to you” (b). His “Great Commission” to the 11 apostles never commanded ALL His teachings to be taught to ALL others, as I’ve heard too many pastors erroneously teach. He actually commanded in Matthew 28:20, “teaching them (c) to watch carefully to guard/keep ALL that I have officially-decreed as commandments (d) you,” but again, there were only 2 such commandments in a single compound commandment ever given in the NT: “having trusting-relying-faith in the name/authority of God’s Son Jesus Christ and/coupled unconditionally-loving one another, just as He (Jesus) has given us a commandment” (e). It seems like the Church has grossly mistaken the only 2 NT commandments with the 2 greatest OT commandments to “unconditionally-love God and unconditionally-love your neighbor.” I’m not the only one who has noticed! An excellent book is Love Revolution: Rediscovering the Lost Command of Jesus by Gaylord Enns. See also the Only 2 Commandments page. <Notes> a) Luke 12:12, b) John 14:26, c) i.e., those you were made disciples by water-baptizing them, d) entole, e) 1 John 3:23; John 13:34, 15:12.
As Christian musicians, it is time we stopped teaching old commandments when Jesus never did to His disciples, only mentioning them to answer trick questions from Jewish teachers and to show the masses the insufficiencies of the Law and their desperate need for a Messiah. Only 2 commandments were given by Christ for the New Covenant and they are radically different than any old commandments – faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior and unconditionally loving EVERYONE just as Jesus did! This is what Jesus commanded that disciple be taught – not everything He ever said or did! Most Christians will quote 2 old commandments as the greatest ones, not even knowing what the New Covenant is based on. How truly sad!