Five and Five

Once again we delve into a controversial subject – The Ten Commandments.  People end up in different camps on this topic, with many heated discussions and arguments.  I don’t want to create any argument, but want to simply make a few points on the topic.

Among Christians there are several camps on this subject matter:

  1. Jesus, and the new covenant, did away with the Ten Commandments.  We are saved by Grace.
  2. No, the Ten Commandments are still valid, real, and important.

And, yes, of course, there are few more camps out there, which are usually a variation of one of the above, which simplified down, simply mean either Ten Commandments were done away with, or they are still here and valid.

But, what if neither position is completely correct?  People today still struggle with the Ten Commandments, and what they mean to our modern society.  It might even be said, with some validity, that all modern law that protects individuals and property have their roots and foundation in the Ten Commandments.

While hardly anyone can question the truth contained in the Ten Commandments, it was clear from the very beginning there was a problem, and a big one.  No one could follow them – perfectly.  The problem was not with the Ten Commandments, but in our inability to follow them perfectly, and at all times.

But, going back to the premise that the two camps may both have missed the mark, let me address that.  What if it’s not a matter of the Ten Commandments being done away with, or that they are all still in full force, but rather that they have been fulfilled and transformed, instead?  The scriptures plainly state Jesus didn’t come to do away with the Ten Commandments, but to fulfill them.  In other words, what man could not do, Jesus did, and therefore ushered in a new contract with men and women.  What would this ‘new contract’ be?  Jesus put it like this:

  1. Love God
  2. Love one another

But, wait, can it really be that simple?  Surely, it is more complicated than that.  But, Jesus said all the prophets and the law hang on these two simple concepts.  But, wait, the law could be defined as the original Ten Commandments, right?  Well, let’s see….  If Jesus transformed the Ten Commandments into two simple concepts, we need to see what happened to them.

Paul in Romans 13:9 made this declaration:

For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Hmmmm…. that’s Five.  Now, where is the other Five?

The other 5 commandments deal with our relationship with God.  However, I must admit I had a bit of trouble with #5 – Honor thy mother and father, and fitting it into the ‘Love God’ grouping.  But, after some thoughtful meditation on the topic I could see how, yes, it does fit into that group.

Follow with me….

  1. Parents, good or bad, are generally the first authority figures known to a child.
  2. To some degree, whether we like it or not, parents represent our first true encounter with God.  Or, to put it another way, to young children parents are God, or God-like, if that makes it easier to swallow.
  3. Parents are not perfect, but to some degree they instill respect, which one day should transfer over to their Father in Heaven.  The better the parenting, the easier this transfer.

We don’t know precisely when Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, passed away.  But, it is clear that by the time Jesus begins His ministry, His focus is not on His earthly father, but on His Heavenly Father.  But, the parent-child relationship is still quite apparent.  So, do you now see how honoring our earthly father and mother tie into how we might honor our Heavenly Father?  Hopefully, you can make that connection.

So, now we have Five and Five.  Jesus did not do away with them, He fulfilled them, and transformed them into something we can deal with:  Love God, Love one another…

Thank you, Jesus, for making it easy enough for us to understand, and to follow.

One Response to “Five and Five”

  1. Barbara McGuire Says:

    This is a great blog! When we say, “Love one another” it seems like such a simply command but if we “really love one another” we have about mastered the greatest command of all…Love God First and then Love One Another. I have to admit that it took me many years to fully understand this and how to do it but I can honestly say at this point in my life…I do love everyone, enemies and all. The way I am able to accomplish this is that I pray DAILY, “Lord, help me to love like You love, and to see people through Your eyes because I cannot do it myself!” Let me tell ya…if you really mean it….He will do it! I’m living proof and another example how God hears and answers prayer! Wish it hadn’t taken me so long to get it! 😦 Blessings….

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