While reading the account of Jesus’ passion in John’s Gospel, I paused where Jesus says “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (14:15). This simple statement seems to summarize what it means to love Jesus. We simply need to do what he says.
Jesus gave plenty of commands. In Matthew’s Gospel, for example, there are 197 commands of Jesus that have an enduring significant for modern day disciples. That is quite a few! And honestly I have a hard time wrapping my mind around all those commands, even though I wrote my master’s thesis on the subject. I prefer George Patterson summary of Jesus’ seven basic commands. Here I’ve put them in chronological order.
- Repent and believe the good news (Mark 1:15)
- Pray (Matthew 6:9-13; 7:7,8)
- Give (Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35)
- Love God, your neighbor, fellow disciples, the needy, your enemies (Matthew 22:36-40; John 13:34-35; Luke 10:25-37; Matthew 5:43-48)
- Break bread and drink the cup in remembrance of Him (Matthew 26:26-28)
- Make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20)
- Baptize (Matthew 28:19)
Now that is a list that I can get a hold of! Patterson has shown that all the rest of Jesus’ commands can be grouped under these. I was surprised to see how many of these major commands were given during Passion Week.
As we approach Easter, it is fitting to ponder our response to Jesus’ sacrificial love. By obeying Jesus’ commands, we show him our love. David Watson says, “Obedience is Jesus’ love language.”
How, then, does your love for Jesus show itself?