Last issue we explored the first four commandments and showed that Jesus taught all of them. Did He also teach and practice all of the last six?
In our last article, we saw that Jesus reaffirmed each of the first four of the 10 Commandments—which show how to love God—by word and example.
But what about the last six—which teach us how to show love toward other people?
Fifth Commandment: “Honor your father and your mother”
This commandment teaches us to respect and honor our parents and, in a more general sense, to respect and uphold the family structure that God instituted (Genesis 1:27-28; 2:24).
Jesus used this commandment to point out that though the Pharisees meticulously obeyed human traditions, they were much more careless about the commands of God. “For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and mother’” (Matthew 15:4). Jesus then said their tradition to get around caring for their parents “made the commandment of God of no effect” (verse 6).
Later, when asked what a person needed to do to live forever, He again included this commandment in His answer (Matthew 19:19). He also personally showed honor to His parents (Luke 2:51) and took care of His mother (John 19:25-27).
The Fifth Commandment, designed to uphold the God-ordained family structure, is clearly still to be obeyed.
Sixth Commandment: “You shall not murder”
This teaches us not to take a human life. But the spiritual intent goes much deeper. The core principle teaches us to love and deeply value human beings.
Jesus cited this commandment as an example of His magnification of God’s law (prophesied in Isaiah 42:21). He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. … But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire” (Matthew 5:21-22).
Jesus reaffirmed the law against physical murder and also taught that the intent goes deeper into the mind.
The Sixth Commandment is designed to replace anger and hostility with love. Jesus elaborated on this when He said we are to love even our enemies (verse 44). Later Jesus’ close friend John wrote, “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15).
The Sixth Commandment is designed to help us develop God’s core characteristic of love and is plainly still to be obeyed today.
Seventh Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery”
This commandment addresses marital faithfulness and much more. It is also designed to protect the sanctity of the God-ordained institution of marriage and to govern human sexuality.
Jesus directly reaffirmed this commandment: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Jesus magnified this commandment to apply to the mind. He also cited this commandment in a discussion of divorce. He taught that it was adultery to marry a divorced person who was still married in God’s sight (Matthew 5:32; 19:9).
Later, Christ’s apostles also wrote about the seriousness of adultery (Galatians 5:19; 2 Peter 2:13-14). The Seventh Commandment is also still to be obeyed today.
Eighth Commandment: “You shall not steal”
When we consider all that Jesus said about the 10 Commandments, how He lived His life and what He taught about them individually, we discover that the 10 Commandments clearly remain as the core laws and principles designed to govern a Christian’s life.This commandment is far more than just a law protecting property rights. The spirit of this law teaches a Christian that instead of desiring to take, we should give.
Jesus reaffirmed this commandment (Matthew 19:18), and He revealed the spirit of this law in John 10:10: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Jesus came to this earth to set an example of serving and giving (Matthew 20:28).
His disciples taught this same way of life (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). In fact, the apostle Paul wrote, “Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working … that he may have something to give him who has need” (Ephesians 4:28).
The Eighth Commandment is still to be obeyed today.
Ninth Commandment: “You shall not bear false witness”
The spirit of this law teaches us that instead of telling lies, we should always speak the truth. A Christian’s word should be completely trustworthy and reliable.
Jesus also reaffirmed this command (Luke 18:20). In John 8:44 He traced lying back to its source, Satan: “There is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
Jesus also said that lying defiles a person (Matthew 15:18-20). Christians are to be people like Christ who always speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15, 25; 1 Timothy 2:7). Even Jesus’ detractors acknowledged that He spoke truth (Matthew 22:16).
The Ninth Commandment is still to be obeyed today.
10th Commandment: “You shall not covet”
This commandment directly deals with the mind and intentions. The command against coveting hits the core motivation of nearly every sin—self-focused desire.
Jesus called covetousness one of the “evil thoughts” that come from within (Mark 7:21-23). When asked to deal with an inheritance dispute, He warned, “Beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).
This gets to the heart of the 10th Commandment—to direct our innermost thoughts and desires to the spiritual things of God instead of the physical things of this world (Matthew 6:19-21, 33; 2 Corinthians 4:18).
The apostle Paul connected covetousness to idolatry (Colossians 3:5). By connecting the 10th Commandment to the First and Second, he showed that all 10 form a unified circuit.
The 10th Commandment is also still to be obeyed today.
The 10 stand
In our recent articles for this column we have examined the 10 Commandments from multiple angles. When we consider all that Jesus said about the 10 Commandments, how He lived His life and what He taught about them individually, we discover that the 10 Commandments clearly remain as the core laws and principles designed to govern a Christian’s life.
When obeyed, the 10 Commandments lead to happiness, peace and spiritual success.
To learn more about these important laws and how they can change your life, please download our free booklet God’s 10 Commandments: Still Relevant Today.