Only 2 Commandments – BT3
NT teaching doesn’t include any OT commandment, only 2 completely NEW ones!
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The Jewish rabbi teachers were great at constantly judging people for not keeping the OT’s 613 Laws 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.” Many on the internet have added 1000s of NT commandments to the list! 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 kainos “NEW (a) 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? If you feel like committing suicide, should you help others do the same? <Notes> a) kainos: fresh, completely-different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.
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 ALL of God’s own children, the Christian brethren (e). This alone distinguishes us as a disciple of Christ and not of some other rabbi teacher. <Notes> a) kainos or chadash in the Hebrew OT: 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) – see New Covenant Ways – BT13c. <Notes> a) Luke 12:12, b) John 14:26.
Christ’s “Great Commission” to the 11 apostles never entellomai commanded ALL His teachings to be taught to ALL others, as I’ve heard too many pastors erroneously teach. I suppose that’s why the internet says there are 1000s of NT commandments. He actually entellomai officially-decree for universal complains in Matthew 28:20, “teaching them (a) to tereo watch-carefully-to-guard/keep ALL that I have officially-decreed as commandments (b) 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” (c). <Notes> a) i.e., those you were made disciples by water-baptizing them, b) entole, c) 1 John 3:23; John 13:34, 15:12.
It seems like many in the Church have grossly mistaken the only 2 NT commandments with the 2 greatest OT commandments to “love God and love your neighbor as yourself.” 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 Obedient Steps of Faith and Unconditional-Love pages.
As Christian musicians, why are Christians trying to add more than the only 2 entole officially decreed, universally-binding commandments of trusting-relying-faith in the Son and unconditional-love for one another as Christ did for us? Are we falling prey to the same religious spirit that drove the Pharisees and scribes to “bind” more commandments to the back of men? And why do so many Christians think that the 10 commandments or at least the 2 greatest commandments of the OT are still applicable for the NT, even when so many verses say that Christians shouldn’t be following even 1 of the 613 OT commandments – see Logos Word of God – BT8, let alone the 2 greatest OT commandments of “loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself” that sum up the entire OT – see Logos Word of God – BT13. The “NEW commandments” of the NT are completely-different-in-kind and superior to everything before it, by definition and use. Jesus didn’t put the 2 NEW commandments on paper either, though others did, because they are written the Holy Spirit on every believer’s heart! However, these are the only 2 that Jesus commands the 11 apostles to teach to every disciple to tereo watch-carefully-to-guard/keep – nothing else!
Thank You Jesus for keeping it so simple that even little children and the least among us can learn these from you and be empowered to do them. Discipleship is so much easier when we only have two focus on 2 things. That’s why Your Yoke is easy and burden of commandments or laws is light to carry. You certainly aren’t like the other rabbi-teachers but gentle and lowly!