I tend to believe that the greatest commandment given to us is in John 13:34 – 35 by Jesus Himself: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” That is remarkably simple and easy to remember. Just LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Easy, right? Only by reading the Bible, especially the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John can you find out how Jesus loved people. Did He condemn the sinner? He told Mary Magdalene, the prostitute, “Neither do I condemn thee. Go and sin no more.”
Each of the Ten Commandments is based on love. The first four commandments tell us how to love God and the last six commandments tell us how to love each other.
1 John 3 is one chapter that all of us should read carefully. It tells us in verse four what sin is. It tells us where all the sinning comes from in verse eight. It explains that if we hate someone, especially a brother or sister of our family or church or school or club or of the world, we are considered murderers. If this is true, think about what talking about someone, running them down in any way, might just be the beginning of murder in our hearts. We are told in Leviticus 19:16 through 18: “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people. . . Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart. . . Thou shalt not. . . bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 5 shows us that Jesus looks deeper into the laws such as “Thou shalt not commit adultery: but I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). The Beatitudes that pronounces blessings on us are the first few verses in the first part of Matthew 5. Hopefully, you will read the whole chapter.
I John 4:8 and 16 both say clearly that GOD is love. Therefore, the Ten Commandments could be considered a transcript of God’s character. Some people mistakenly say that when Jesus died on the cross the commandments were done away with. The verses they use for proof of this are talking about the rules for sacrifices and offerings called ordinances, which they had before Jesus came. All those offerings and ceremonies were showing the people the gospel story, how THE LAMB died, and its blood was used to cleanse people, etc. These were done away with because they were merely pointing to Christ, so they were a “shadow” of things that would transpire when Jesus came.
The Bible is a fascinating book and I am sure we will be discovering more beautiful things in it as we go through eternity together.