In my previous posts, I have described the Commands of Jesus Christ for his followers to obey. And the center verse that I am using to suggest that we should really follow these verses is John 14:15 If you love Me, keep My commandments. Previously I posted about these Commands involving how we should Love God (posts of October 15th and October 18th), and those Commands that involve Loving Others as a result of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit (October 24th and October 26th). Today's post is to list those Commands of Jesus that involve loving others and are part of a person's virtuous character.
In discussing a godly person's virtue, I think a good place to start is with the Roman Catholic Church's teaching on Virtue. The Church has four 'Cardinal' Virtues that are considered as having greater importance than other virtues. These 'Cardinal' Virtues are: 1. Prudence; 2. Justice; 3. Fortitude; and, 4. Temperance. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1805. The Catechism also starts out its' section on Virtues by quoting Philippians 4:8, which is a great place to start: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. And so, with this background in mind, here is the list of Jesus' Commands involving human Virtues, assembled from the Commands in the 'New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge' (entry for 1 John 2:3):
Virtue – Chastity, Mt 5:27, 28. You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.' 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Fidelity in marriage, Mt 19:6. Mk 10:8.
Virtue – Honesty, Mk 10:19 (You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.) Lk 6:31 (And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them). 8:15 (As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.).
Virtue - Justice, Mt +*23:23. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.
Hear evidence before judging, Jn 7:51. Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?
Support of the oppressed, Mt 25:35-40. (end of Olivet Discourse support of hungry, those in prison…)
Virtue - Love Others - Family:
Children to come to Christ, Mt 19:14. Mk 10:14. Children not to be despised or offended, Mt 18:6, 10. Children to be fed spiritually, Jn 21:15.
Disciplining of children, Mt 19:14. Mk 10:14. Lk 18:16, 17.
Fidelity in marriage, Mt 19:6. Mk 10:8.
indissolubility of marriage, Mt 19:6 (So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.) Mk 10:9.
Marriage, Mk 10:7, 9. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife,
Provide for parents, Mt 15:4-5 (For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 5 But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, "What you would have gained from me is given to God," 6 he need not honor his father.' So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.). Mk 7:9-13 (And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! 10 For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban" ' (that is, given to God)— 12 then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, 13 thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.").
Reverence for parents, Mt 15:4. 19:19. Lk 18:20 (You know the commandments: 'Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.').
Support of family, Mt 15:5 (But you say, 'If anyone tells his father or his mother, "What you would have gained from me is given to God,"). Mk 7:10, 11 (For Moses said, 'Honor your father and your mother'; and, 'Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.' 11 But you say, 'If a man tells his father or his mother, "Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban" ' (that is, given to God)).
Virtue – Moral Behavior, Harmless as doves, to be, Mt 10:16. Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
Ideal character, Mt +*5:3-12. (see the Beatitudes; which include blessed are: the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, peacemakers, those who are persecuted or reviled for righteousness' sake.)
Keep the commandments, Mt 19:17. And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.
Righteousness, Mt 5:6 (Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.), 5:20 (For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven). Lk 13:24.
Virtue – Prepared for Christ's Return
Look up, Lk 21:28 ((at Jesus' Return) - Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near).
Preparedness, Mt 24:44 (therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.). 25:13 (Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.) Lk 12:35 (Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, 36 and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.)
Watchfulness, Lk +*21:36. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."
Weep for yourselves and your children, Lk 23:27, 28 (Olivet Discourse).
Virtue - Temperance, Lk 21:34. "But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
Virtue – Wisdom; Prudence/be shrewd, Mt 10:16 (Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.). Lk 14:28 (But don't begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?)
Cost must be considered, Lk 14:28.
Flee persecution, Mt 24:16. Mk 13:14. Lk 21:21. (All these are from Olivet Discourse)
Wise as serpents, be, Mt 10:16 (Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. 17 Beware of men…).
Virtue – Work, Labor, Jn 6:27. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.
Occupy, Lk 19:13. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, 'Engage in business until I come…
I hope you are finding this a helpful exercise in reviewing the Commands of Jesus. My prayer is that you are blessed by increasing knowledge of God and His character, and how He wants us to live our lives. In Jesus' name, Amen. /s/Tom