So how many direct commands does Jesus give us through the words God spoke to him? The number may surprise you at the end of this post. But let’s start with two of them.
“’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.’ The second is like it,’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NASB, quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18)
In effect, when Jesus quotes the Old Testament, it all becomes one giant direct commandment from God through Jesus! Have you ever looked at it that way? I had not. And remember, Jesus said elsewhere that he came to fulfill every jot of the Law of the Old Testament, not to do away with it.
Jesus also said, “For I did not speak on my own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak. I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told me.” (John 12:49-50, NASB)
God’s primary command through Jesus to us is eternal life! So how do we obey that one?
By putting these two sections together and counting commandments the way God counts.
If the great and foremost commandment has a second like it, there must be at least two. But those two sum up the entire Old Testament, which makes it all one commandment. And if everything Jesus spoke was a commandment to obtain eternal life, then the entire Bible is a single commandment.
Those who dismiss sections of the Bible because they are not “accurate” are not reading with the common denominator of attaining eternal life as a commandment, and they do so at their peril.
How about you?