I have a question about some scripture. It is Matthew 5:19.
Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom in heaven.
I was just wondering if Harvey could tell me what this means.
You probably have no idea, but you have entered into one of the great theological debates of history. But I will try to keep it real short.
Matthew 5:19 cannot be separated from its context.
New King James Version — Matthew 5:17-20
5:17 “Do not think
that I came to destroy
the Law or the Prophets.
I did not come to destroy
but to fulfill.
5:18 For assuredly, I say to you,
till heaven and earth pass away,
one jot or one tittle
will by no means pass from the law
till all is fulfilled.
5:19 Whoever therefore breaks
one of the least of these commandments,
and teaches men so,
shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven;
but whoever does and teaches them ,
he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
5:20 For I say to you,
that unless your righteousness exceeds
the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Below is my own very literal translation of this passage.
Alternate translations are in brackets [/abc].
Words added to fill in the full sense are in parentheses (abc).
5:17 Refrain from supposing [/You should not (begin to) suppose]
that I have come to make void [/dissolve /dismiss]
(the book of) the Law, or (the book of) the Prophets [= the entire Old Covenant Scriptures].
I have not (so much) come to make (them) void [/dissolve them /dismiss them],
(as I have come much) rather to-complete [/fill up /fulfill] (them).
5:18 For truly, I-am-telling you,
(that) until the heaven and the earth [= the current created order] should (altogether) pass away,
one letter [/stroke /iota = the smallest letter consisting of one stroke] — or (even) one corner of a letter [/serif /little-horn = the corner of a letter] —
must never altogether pass away from (the book of) the Law [= the entire Old Covenant Scriptures],
until all things (mentioned therein) should (altogether) come about [/happen].
5:19 Therefore, whoever should loose [/relax /release]
one of these least [/minimum /just barely enough /tolerably sufficient /lowest (one can do and still get by)] commandments,
and he should teach men (to observe them) in this same (loose) manner,
he shall be called (the) least [=his reputation shall be the lowest] in the kingdom [/sovereign-dominion] of the heavens:
but whoever should observe [/do] (them) and he should teach (men to observe them),
this (person) shall-be-called great [=his reputation shall be high] in the kingdom [/sovereign-dominion] of the heavens.
5:20 For I am telling you,
that unless your (kind of) righteousness should (altogether) excel [/surpass \abound]
(to a level) beyond (the kind of righteousness) of the Scribes and Pharisees,
you must be kept from ever entering [/you may never even (begin to) enter] into the kingdom [/sovereign-dominion] of the heavens.
The important questions for Matthew 5:19 are:
1. To what “commandments” does Jesus refer?
2. What does it mean to “loosen” or to “observe” these commandments?
3. What does it mean to “teach” men to loosen them or to observe them?
4. What does it mean to be “called the least” or to be “called great” in the kingdom of the heavens?
Question 1: To what commandments does Jesus refer?
Has Jesus already mentioned any commandments to which He could here be referring in verse 19?
Some say yes — in verses 17 and 18 Jesus is referring to the ten commandments (or to the whole code of Moses including the ten commandments) when He speaks of “the Law or the Prophets” and to “jots” and “tittles” of “the law.” They say that in the remainder of His discourse (Matthew 5:21-7:29), Jesus is simply correcting erroneous notions about and expounding upon these commandments of Moses which He referred to in verses 17 and 18.
Others (myself included) say no — verses 17 and 18 do not refer to any specific commandments, but only to the Old Testament Scriptures in general. The expression, “the Law and/or the Prophets,” regularly refers to the entire body of Old Testament Scriptures from Genesis through Malachi. The Law and the Prophets are the two major divisions of the Hebrew Scriptures. So with the expressions “the Law or the Prophets” and “jots” and “tittles” of “the law,” Jesus refers to all of the Scriptures, not to any certain portions. Sometimes this is abbreviated to “(the Law of) Moses” or to “the Prophets.”
Matthew 11:13 “For all [the writings of] the prophets and the law [writings of Moses] prophesied until John.”
Matthew 22:40 “On these two commandments hang all [the writings of] the Law and the Prophets.”
Luke 16:16 “[the writings of] the law and the prophets were until John….”
Luke 16:17 “And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
Luke 16:29 … ‘They have [the writings of] Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’
Luke 16:31 … If they do not hear [the writings of] Moses and the prophets ….
[Not one title of the writings of the law of Moses and the prophets will fail.]
Luke 24:25 … all that the Prophets have spoken!
Luke 24:27 And beginning at [the writings of] Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Luke 24:44 “… all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms …”
[Sometimes the Psalms were referred to separately, but usually they were considered a part of the Prophets. So “the Prophets” in verse 25 is expanded to “Moses and the Prophets” in verse 27, and further expanded to “the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms.]
John 1:45 …”We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote ….”
Acts 3:21 “… all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. 3:22 for [the writings of] Moses truly said ….”
Acts 13:15 And after the reading of the Law [writings of Moses] and the Prophets ….
Acts 13:27 “… the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath….”
Acts 15:21 “For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
Acts 17:2 Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them [the synagogue], and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
Luke 4:16 … He [Jesus] went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 4:17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah.
[The Law — the writings of Moses, not just the legal code — and the Prophets — the remainder of the Old Testament — constituted the Scriptures which were read and discussed in the synagogue every sabbath day.]
Acts 24:14 “… believing all things which are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
Acts 26:22 “… saying no other things than those which the prophets and [the writings of] Moses said ….”
Acts 28:23 … persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets ….
Romans 3:21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law [writings of Moses] and the Prophets
Sometimes this was further abbreviated to “the Law” which included “the Prophets” and “the Psalms.”
John 10:34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods” ‘?
[This is written in the Psalm 82:6, which Jesus here calls “the law.”]
John 12:34 “… We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever….”
[This probably refers to 2 Samuel 7:13, or else Psalm 72:17 or one of many passages out of the prophets, which the people here call “the law.”]
John 15:25 “But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
[This is written in the Psalms 35:19; 69:4; 109:3, which Jesus here calls “the law.”]
Romans 3:10 As it is written: “There is none righteous, no, not one; 3:11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 3:12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 3:13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”; 3:14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 3:15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 3:17 And the way of peace they have not known.” 3:18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 3:19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. [These are quotations from Psalms 14:1-3 (=53:1-3); 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isaiah 59:7-8; Psalm 36:1, all of which Paul here calls “the law.”]
1 Corinthians 14:21 In the law it is written: “With men of other tongues and other lips I will speak to this people; And yet, for all that, they will not hear Me,” says the Lord. [This is written in Isaiah 28:11-12, which Paul here calls “the law.”]
In verses 17 and 18, the focus of Jesus is not upon “law” in the sense of legal codes, but upon the entire body of Scripture revelation, including all historical, legal, typical, poetic, and prophetic portions of Scripture.
So the question remains: to what “commandments” does Jesus refer in verse 19 when He speaks of “one of the least of these commandments?” Jesus is referring to the many commandments which He is about to give in the remainder of His discourse (Matthew 5:21-7:29).
There are large theological implications which develop from this interpretation, but we won’t go into that here. Suffice it to say that Jesus is using a common mode of Jewish expression. Compare Mt10:34 where Jesus declared He came not so much to bring peace as much more to bring a division a division which would bring peace to his people, Jn14:27; 16:33; Ac10:36. So in this passage, Jesus came not so much to set aside the Law or the Prophets, as much more to fulfill or complete them — to complement them or fill them out and finish them. The Gospel is the completing of the Law and the Prophets — the Old Covenant Scriptures — in three senses: 1) It completes their predictions; 2) It fulfills their righteous requirements 3) It brings in a new law which fills in the shadows with the very image of heavenly realities, completing what is lacking in the carnal commandments.
Question 2: What does it mean to loosen or to observe these commandments?
The Greek word for loose (luo) here means to release the authority of, unbind, or make void. Jesus refers to releasing the authority of the commands of His New Covenant which He is about to deliver. Verses 17-18 referred to thoroughly releasing (Greek word: kataluO) the entire body of the Law and the Prophets, which is the Old Covenant Scriptures. In other words, verses 17-18 are not at all referring to the same thing as verse 19.
Question 3: What does it mean to teach men to loosen them or to observe them?
We teach by our word and by our example. Our word explains our example. If our word does not fit our example, then we teach hypocrisy.
Matthew 16:6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.”
Matthew 16:12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
Luke 12:1 … “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
Matthew 23:2 … “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 23:3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.”
2 Timothy 3:5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
James 2:15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 2:16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
1 Thessalonians 1:3 remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,
2 Peter 1:5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 1:6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 1:7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Question 4: What does it mean to be called the least or to be called great in the kingdom of the heavens?
Our relation to Christ’s kingdom is defined by our relation to His Law. We will have the best reputation if we teach and practice it. We will have the worst reputation if we do not teach and practice it.
Isaiah 9:15 The elder and honorable, he is the head; The prophet who teaches lies, he is the tail.
Jesus went on in verse 20 to criticize the Pharisees’ supercillious observance of the Law of Moses, which was due to their misunderstanding of its intent and jurisdiction. Though the Law of Moses largely focused upon the external and overt act, Moses himself referred to a greater righteousness than what could be found in His Law. Those who found their righteousness in the Law alone, apart from Christ, are therefore forced to expound it and to observe it in a way which justifies themselves apart from Christ. They were self-righteous. The kind of righteousness which the Scribes and Pharisees had was a mere code-keeping kind of righteousness.
In the sense of salvation, the righteousness of Christians is only the imputed righteousness of Christ — apart from any works by them. But that is not the primary sense of “righteousness” in this text.
The primary sense of “righteousness” in this text is behavior which is righteous. The righteous behavior of Christians is mature informed obedience out of gratitude for being saved by the righteousness of Christ — not by their own righteousness. Their acceptance with God is secured by Christ fulfilling the righteous demands of God, doing for them what they could not do for themselves. His righteousness is imputed or legally transferred to them. They are not righteous before God in themselves. They are righteous before God only in Christ. And out of gratitude for His great mercy and loving grace, they live righteously. In their new spiritual nature they work to defeat their Canaanite enemy in the land — that is their old fleshly nature which is still with them and works against their new spiritual nature until physical death.Their new righteous behavior is not a childish code-keeping righteousness coupled with a sense that this earns or contributes to or secures their acceptance with God. They are not Pharisees.
So what does Matthew 5:19 mean?
The Law of Moses came with its blessings and curses.
Deuteronomy 27:4 “Therefore it shall be, when you have crossed over the Jordan, that on Mount Ebal you shall set up these stones, which I command you today, and you shall whitewash them with lime. … 27:8 And you shall write very plainly on the stones all the words of this law. … 27:10 Therefore you shall obey the voice of the LORD your God, and observe His commandments and His statutes which I command you today. … 27:12 These shall stand on Mount Gerizim to bless the people, when you have crossed over the Jordan: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin; 27:13 and these shall stand on Mount Ebal to curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali. 27:14 And the Levites shall speak with a loud voice and say to all the men of Israel:
#1 27:15 ‘Cursed is the one who makes a carved or molded image, an abomination to the LORD, the work of the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.’
And all the people shall answer and say, ‘Amen!’
#2 27:16 ‘Cursed is the one who treats his father or his mother with contempt.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#3 27:17 ‘Cursed is the one who moves his neighbor’s landmark.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#4 27:18 ‘Cursed is the one who makes the blind to wander off the road.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#5 27:19 ‘Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#6 27:20 ‘Cursed is the one who lies with his father’s wife … 27:21 … with any kind of animal 27:22 … with his sister … 27:23 … with his mother-in-law.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#7 27:24 ‘Cursed is the one who attacks his neighbor secretly.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
#8 27:25 ‘Cursed is the one who takes a bribe to slay an innocent person.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
27:26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’
And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’
28:1 Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 28:2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God:
#1 28:3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
#2 28:4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
#3 28:5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
#4 28:6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
#5 28:7 The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
#6 28:8 The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
#7 28:9 The LORD will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the LORD your God and walk in His ways. 28:10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they shall be afraid of you. 28:11 And the LORD will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the LORD swore to your fathers to give you.
#8 28:12 The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow.
28:13 And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. 28:14 So you shall not turn aside from any of the words which I command you this day, to the right or the left, to go after other gods to serve them.
28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:
#1 28:16 Cursed shall you be in the city, and cursed shall you be in the country.
#2 28:17 Cursed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
#3 28:18 Cursed shall be the fruit of your body and the produce of your land, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
#4 28:19 Cursed shall you be when you come in, and cursed shall you be when you go out.
#5 28:20 The LORD will send on you cursing, confusion, and rebuke in all that you set your hand to do, until you are destroyed and until you perish quickly, because of the wickedness of your doings in which you have forsaken Me.
#6 28:21 The LORD will make the plague cling to you until He has consumed you from the land which you are going to possess. 28:22 The LORD will strike you with consumption, with fever, with inflammation, with severe burning fever, with the sword, with scorching, and with mildew; they shall pursue you until you perish. 28:23 And your heavens which are over your head shall be bronze, and the earth which is under you shall be iron.
#7 28:24 The LORD will change the rain of your land to powder and dust; from the heaven it shall come down on you until you are destroyed.
#8 28:25 The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you shall go out one way against them and flee seven ways before them; and you shall become troublesome to all the kingdoms of the earth. 28:26 Your carcasses shall be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and no one shall frighten them away.
[In 28:27-68 the curses are multiplied.]
Deuteronomy 29:1 These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb.
Jesus began the Sermon on the Mount with eight blessings.
#1 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
#2 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
#3 5:5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
#4 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.
#5 5:7 Blessed are the merciful, For they shall obtain mercy.
#6 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, For they shall see God.
#7 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
#8 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 5:11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 5:12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus has no curses for those who are genuinely in the Kingdom. But He does have curses which He pronounces on the Pharisees at a later time.
#1 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.
#2 23:14 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
#3 23:15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.
#4 23:16 Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it.’ 23:17 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? 23:18 And, ‘Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it.’ 23:19 Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? 23:20 Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. 23:21 He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. 23:22 And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it.
#5 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. 23:24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
#6 23:25 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.
23:26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.
#7 23:27 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 23:28 Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
#8 23:29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 23:30 and say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.’ 23:31 Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets.
[In 23:32-39 he fills out the curses.]
With the cutting of a covenant, there are blessings and curses and the giving of a law. We have the New Covenant, and we have the blessings and curses. So where is the law?
Deuteronomy 18:15 “The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, … 18:17 And the LORD said to me: … 18:18 ‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. 18:19 And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him.'”
Deuteronomy 34:10 But since then there has not arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,
Acts 3:22 “For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. 3:23 And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.'”
Acts 7:37 “This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.'”
Matthew 17:5 … a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!”
Mark 9:7 … “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
Luke 9:35 … “This is My beloved Son. Hear Him!”
John 8:46 “… And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 8:47 “He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear [Me], because you are not of God.”
John 18:37 … Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”
Hebrews 1:1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 1:2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son…
Hebrews 2:1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2:2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 2:3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him,
Hebrews 12:25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven
Moses was pre-eminently “The Lawgiver.” The Prophet Who would come would be like Moses. If Jesus is that Prophet, then where is His law? In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus delivered His new beatitudes and His new law.
We are to hear this Prophet in everything He says.
John 1:17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
So Matthew 5:19 means that to the degree that someone, whether by his teaching or by his personal example, looses or releases the authority of the commandments which Jesus gives in the following discourse (5:21-7:29), then that person’s reputation will drop to the same degree among the disciples of Christ’s kingdom. On the other hand, to the degree that someone observes and keeps the authority of these following commandments and thereby teaches others the same through his example, then this person’s reputation will rise to the same degree among those who are disciples in Christ’s kingdom. Those outside of Christ’s kingdom may jeer and persecute this person’s “narrow-mindedness,” and may applaud the “broadmindedness” of others who are loose with Christ’s commandments. What is important is that we understand these commandments correctly and keep them faithfully.
John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
John 14:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. …”
John 15:10 “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love …”
John 15:14 “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
Hebrews 5:9 … He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,
1 John 2:3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 2:4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments,
is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 2:5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 5:15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. …
1 Corinthians 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. …