by Tom Plonski
10 Commandments brought to us by Moses
plus 1 New Commandment given to us by Jesus
There are 11 Commandments for Christians
Do you know what the Eleventh Commandment is?
Do you really understand the Eleventh Commandment?
How can we know the difference between right and wrong?
God understands that sometimes a person has difficulty deciding whether an action is right or wrong. That is why God gave us His commandments. We are to use God's commandments as our guide when we are trying to decide if an action is right or wrong.
Many times we may hear people speak of the "Ten Commandments." I am talking here about the "Eleventh Commandment."
At the last supper Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment." I call this New Commandment the "Eleventh Commandment."
When speaking to Christians about the New Commandment that Jesus gave us at the last supper I am amazed how unclear many Christians are about this New Commandment.
Earlier in the gospels Jesus speaks of the Greatest Commandment. When I ask people if they know what is the Greatest Commandment that Jesus was referring to, many people will say "Love your neighbor as yourself." But this is a wrong answer. Jesus said the Greatest Commandment is
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. This is the Greatest Commandment."
Loving God is the Greatest Commandment. Many Christians think that Jesus was the first to introduce this commandment. But this is not so. When Jesus said these words He was quoting the book of Deuteronomy(6:5). This was written more than one-thousand four-hundred years before Jesus was born.
Loving your neighbor as yourself is the Second Great Commandment.
When I ask people if they know what is the new Commandment that Jesus gave us at the last supper, many people will again say, "Love your neighbor as yourself." But this is also a wrong answer. Loving your neighbor as yourself is not new with Jesus. When Jesus spoke about loving your neighbor as yourself, He was quoting the book of Leviticus (19:18). Leviticus was written more than one-thousand four-hundred years before Jesus was born.
When Jesus spoke of the Greatest Commandment and of the Second Great Commandment he said, "On this relies all the law and the prophets." So the two Great Commandments are really a synopsis of the Ten Commandments that Moses brought us. These already existed for more than one-thousand four-hundred years before Jesus came.
The first and Greatest Commandment refers to the part of the Mosaic Ten Commandments which tell us how we must treat God. The Second Great Commandment refers to the part of the Mosaic Ten Commandments which tell us how we must treat our neighbor.
What then is the New Commandment (or as I call it the Eleventh Commandment?) The New Commandment is not "Love your neighbor as yourself." The New Commandment is "Love one another AS I HAVE LOVED YOU." John (13:34). The New Commandment that Jesus gave us at the last supper is more demanding than "Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus is telling us that loving your neighbor as yourself is not good enough. Jesus is telling us that we must love as He showed us to love. Jesus Himself is to be taken as the model for this New Commandment.
Another reason that I call this New Commandment the "Eleventh Commandment" is because I want to stress the fact that the first Ten Commandments have not been nullified by the New Commandment that Jesus gave us at the last supper. Jesus very clearly stated that the Ten Commandments were to remain in full force. Jesus said he was not here to change the Ten Commandments at all. He said He was not even going to change " .... one jot or tittle..." (Matthew 5:18). A jot means a dot like on the letter "i" and a tittle is a tiny mark over an alphabetical letter. Jesus is very clear that we must continue to obey the Ten Commandments even in the smallest part. Jesus is very clear that His New Commandment is to be added to the Ten Commandments. That is why I call the New Commandment the Eleventh Commandment.
The Eleven Commandments are not merely suggestions. They are not merely options. The Eleven Commandments are Commands from God. Jesus said: "If you love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15). "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father. and I too will love him and show myself to him" (John 14:21). "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him" (John 14:23). "He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me" (John 14:24).
The Eleven Commandments are not merely suggestions. They are not merely options. The Eleven Commandments are Commands from God.
They were given to us because they are our guideposts to happiness. God wants us to be happy. If we disobey even the littlest part of these commandments, we cannot achieve true contentment. If we disobey even the littlest part of these commandments, we cannot achieve complete happiness.
But blessed people that we are, even though
we are all sinners, our sins can be forgiven.
Happiness can again be placed within our reach.
But, when forgiven, we must then
"Go and sin no more."
The Eleven Commandments are about
love and responsibilities..
I invite you to read the other pages of my Happiness Essays. I hope they will help you to become the happiest person you can be.
Copyright (c) 2005-2012 Tom Plonski. All rights reserved.
Last modification September 9, 2012