Matthew 28:20, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Disciples (students of Jesus) are not only to be taught everything Jesus commanded, but also they are to go out and teach others all that Jesus commanded. In other words, “disciples make disciples.” Thomas Aquinas wrote, “To teach in order to lead others to faith [and obedience] is the task of every preacher and of each believer.”
Jesus’ commands can be found in the New Testament; the twenty-seven books from Matthew through Revelation. Some commands come from Jesus’ own words and the others come through the Holy Spirit to the disciples. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples after He ascended to heaven to speak on His behalf. Jesus said in John 16:12-13, “12 I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.”
The best way to learn and obey all of Jesus’ commands is to read and study the New Testament.
Here is a helpful way to understand the breakdown of the New Testament’s twenty-seven books; (1) Four Gospels: Stories written about the life and teachings of Jesus found in Mathew, Mark, Luke and John. (2) One Historical Book: The book of Acts, written by Luke, which recounts the history of the early church and the first disciples. It includes their application of Jesus’ teachings and the further revelation given by the Holy Spirit.
(3) Twenty-One Epistles: Personal letters written by the apostles to the churches and leaders. There are thirteen written by Paul (Romans-Philemon), one by an unknown author (Hebrews), one by James (James), two by Peter (1 & 2 Peter) and three written by John (1-3 John). These epistles are the best place to understand Jesus’ commands with the additional insight of the Holy Spirit because that was their primary purpose in being written. To teach the disciples how to live God-pleasing lives. (4) One Prophecy: A book about the end times given to John (Revelation).
There are a total of 260 chapters in the New Testament with an estimated 100 unique commands. If you were to read just three chapters a day you could read the entire New Testament 4x each year. Or if you read just one chapter a day you could read it over once a year.
Certainly, the Old Testament is useful for teaching as well. However, the Old Testament must be taught and applied through Jesus and His commands. Only apply the Old Testament commands in the ways that Jesus and the disciples did, otherwise, you’ll be looking for animals to sacrifice and a temple to worship God in! Read the New Testament everyday, obey Jesus’ commands and then be obedient to teach them to others.
- Repent if you are currently breaking any of Jesus’ commands.
- Be faithful to the read the Bible everyday, especially the New Testament.
- Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom and boldness to teach Jesus’ commands to others.