The original Ten Commandments are located in Exodus 20:1-17.
If you’ve never read them, I suggest pulling out your Bible and turning there quickly to look them over.
In this article, we’re going to look at what Jesus said about the Ten Commandments.
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill (Matthew 5:17).
The original Ten Commandments run this way:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven about or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
- You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.
- Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not commit adultery.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not bear false witness (lie) against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet.
Many of these are straightforward but Jesus thought two of them required clarification (Matthew 5-6).
- You have heard that the ancients were told, “You shall not commit murder” and “Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court” –Matthew 5:21. Jesus discusses this commandment in depth, saying that anyone who is angry with another or calls another “foolish,” “good for nothing,” or any discouraging name is guilty in the eyes of the law. Jesus even goes so far as to say that we should not bring our offering to God until we have reconciled with those who are angry with us!
- You have heard it was said, “You shall not commit adultery” –Matthew 5:27. Jesus doesn’t just let this commandment stand as a physical act. Jesus says that this also means looking at anyone with lust in their heart. When we look at another person with lust, we already have committed adultery in our hearts.
There is one command that I found confusing when I was younger–you shall not covet. Coveting means desiring or being jealous of what someone else has. God wants us to be content in our own situations and in the life He has provided for each of us. He wants us to live the life He has given to us fully and not to spend it wishing that we had someone else’s life.
To honor the Ten Commandments means to follow them as well as we can, but not relying on them to get us to heaven. Following the Ten Commandments does not grant us salvation. Only by believing in Jesus Christ and in His mercy and grace are we saved. The Ten Commandments are a large part of how we live out our Christian lives, but they are not our salvation.
How do you honor the Ten Commandments? Do you find one harder to honor than the others?
Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches other to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:19).