When Jesus said, "A new commandment I give unto you," what was His subject? Which was it?

(1) marriage and divorce? __

(2) love one another? ___

(3) baptism of repentance? ___

(4) letting one's light shine? ___.

In what way was it "new"?

If you are stumped, you can look at John 13:34. Jesus repeated it again a couple chapters later. These words were said on the night that Jesus was betrayed. When would this new commandment have come into effect? Before or after His cross? If someone says, "Before His crucifixion", there were only a few hours before His trials and His cross.

Jesus preached, "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 4:17). What does "at hand" mean? It is here now? (YES)__ (NO)__. It is coming in near future? (YES)__ (NO)__. If the kingdom was not in existence during the two or three years before the cross, when did Jesus establish the kingdom? Who would still be alive when the kingdom came (Mark 9:1)? Was it not still in the future when the apostles asked him about it after the cross (Acts 1:6)? On the other hand, was it not in existence a few years later according to Colossians 1:13 and Revelation 1:9?

The laws of the Kingdom did not then come into effect until after Jesus' ascension. Since Jesus preached, "Repent" (of your sins), what sins were the Jews to repent of? "For sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4; compare Romans 4:15). What Law had the Jews violated? Was it not the Law of Moses?

Again, Jesus was tempted to break what laws? "[Jesus] was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin" ( Hebrews 4:15). Since sin is disobedience to a law, what law did Jesus obey (Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 5:8,9)? If you said "Moses' Law", then you and I understand the Bible alike.


Could Jesus have been "sinless" if He taught the Jews to disobey Moses' Law (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)? Did not Moses teach to put such a one (even a prophet) to death? Is one guiltless that leads others to disobey the current law? Obviously, any interpretation of Scripture that would have Jesus changing Moses' Law during His ministry would be in error, if not blasphemous.

If Jesus taught against or violated Moses' Law, the Jerusalem Sanhedrin Court could have so prosecuted Him for it and He could not have died for the sins of others. The effective charge against Jesus was blasphemy; i.e., that He admitted to being "the Christ, the Son of God" (Matthew 26:63). Of course, Jesus told the truth.


Some have determined that during His earthly ministry Jesus made around 40 plus commands (recorded in the "gospels"). Here are some commands and teachings attributed to Jesus during His personal ministry. Were they "new" commands or "old" ones that Jesus affirmed and illustrated while correcting false traditional teachings of the first century Pharisees?


   1. (Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets hang upon this.)
   2. Jesus said, "for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (Matthew 7:12).
   3. Psalms 37:4.
   4. Proverbs 4:18; Isaiah 60:1- 3.
   5. Psalms 37:8; Proverbs 14:29.

   6. Exodus 23:4-5; Leviticus 19:17; Deuteronomy 19:4; Proverbs 24:29; Proverbs 25:21-22.
   7. show mercy and compassion to one another. (Zechariah 7:9). "Forgive" in Hebrew is 'cover, lift, release', etc." Demanded debt forgiveness every 7 years Deuteronomy 15:1-6.
   8. Pharisees' "lighter version?" of the Law. Jesus said to not leave undone. (This was Moses' Covenant!)
   9. Pharisees' "heavier" version of Law. "These [Moses' Law] do."
 10. Exodus 34:12-16.
 11. Deuteronomy 4:29.
 12. Deuteronomy 13:1-3.
 13. Ten Commandments. Exodus 20; Deuteronomy 5.
 14. Leviticus 19:15
 15. Proverbs 16:18-19
 16. Proverbs 15:27
 17. Psalms 37:11.


Jesus used parables to explain His coming Kingdom.
            To Nicodemnus and the apostles, Jesus gave some specific rules of the Kingdom to come.

"You must be born again" John 3:7. [to enter the Kingdom (when it comes)].

Lord's Supper, "Do this in Remembrance of Me" Luke 22:19-20.

"You Should also Wash One Another's Feet" John 13:14

Give self in love for brethren as Jesus gave self. John 15:12; 16.

"Remain in Me and I will remain in you" John 15:4.


God added to Moses as was necessary and according to His pleasure (Ephesians 1:4). The Zelophehad Daughters Amendment (Numbers 27) was added to the Sinai Covenant, later the Moabite Covenant was added ("beside" Deuteronomy 29:1), then the covenant with David along with the Psalms and "Writings", and then the Prophets were added. God added laws that prepared immediately for the Kingdom. These lasted for about 3 years or so.

1. John's baptism of repentance was added temporarily, taught and practiced by Jesus and disciples (John 4:1). In Acts 19:1-6 there were "disciples" who had been baptized only by the authority of God's prophet John. They were ordered to be baptized by the baptism of the great commission (of Acts 2:38).

2. "This, then, is how you should pray" Matthew 6:9-15. This prayer was for the Kingdom to come.

3. The "limited commission" of the 12 and 70. "These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into [any] city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand" (Matthew 10:5-7). The teaching was still limited to the people of Moses.


As the idiom goes, now we have a different "ball game!" "Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them [the Eleven apostles], 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age'” (Matthew 28:16-20, ESV2011). The apostles wait for the Holy Spirit and begin the building of the church of Christ (Matthew 16:18).

Do you believe in the laws of the Kingdom or of Moses? Do you go to Matthew for your law? The laws of the Kingdom is of effect after the cross (Hebrews 9:15-18) and begin in Acts 2. Were you baptized by the baptism of John like those in Acts 19? Or were you baptized in order to be forgiven of you past sins as in Acts 2:38? Do you obey the Levitical laws that include the sabbaths, unclean meats, holy days, instrumental music, animal sacrifices, the ordination of priests, all shadows that were nailed to the cross (Colossians 2:14-18)? Should we not go to the teachings after the cross that affirm the things that are bound by the Holy Spirit through the inspired apostles and prophets?

"So then you [Gentiles]are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit" (Ephesians 2:19-22, ESV2011).

Gaylon West
Throw Out the Lifeline