That we are to obey all that Jesus commanded is practically, for someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus, a given. Christians tend to be very astute in knowing ALL of Jesus’ commands and pointing out those that don’t obey them. If we had to narrow down all of Jesus’ commands and subtract out the ones he repeated, we’d have roughly 50 or so unique commands of Christ. Sounds doable. I mean, if the assumption is that we CAN actually obey all of Jesus’ commands, then it should be achievable, right?
Before you jump on my case, I do assume that the Spirit, acting on the New Covenant promise; “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances,” (Ezekiel 36:27) is the ‘engine’ that drives obedience. Now that we have that cleared up, let’s move on…
It is clear that if we claim to love Jesus we will keep His commandments. (John 14:15, John 14:21, 1 John 2:3, 1 John 5:3) etc.
In addition to keeping Jesus’ commands, or so it seems, we are also to ‘walk the way He walked.’ (1 John 2:6) Further, we are to live the way He lived, do the things He did, and even trace His steps (1 Peter 2:21).
Now, I suppose it can be argued that ‘keeping His commands’ and ‘walking as He walked’ can be synonymous or even complimentary, but that poses a slight problem:
If we look at the 50-ish commands of Jesus, we don’t have ‘commands’ to obey the Sabbath, keep the feasts, be circumcised, etc. expressly repeated by Jesus. It’s as if his spoken commands are a ‘subset’ of the whole of Torah in which he walked. To put it another way, He ‘walked’ Torah (The Whole Law) If you’re going to walk the way he walked then you too should walk the whole Torah. Right?
There’s a lot of ’Torah’ that Jesus did not command again or reiterate. Again, I suppose that the argument could be made that all of those things were assumed, but then we’d have to deal with the issue of how exactly we’re suppose to live as Jesus did, walk as He walked, and do what He did WITHOUT doing, living, and walking, exactly as He did.
If we do have to keep His commands, which I think we do, and that’s it, then I think we’ve got it nailed down or at least have something solid to go on. But, if we have to keep His commands AND walk as He walked, live as He lived, and do what He did, then I think that most of the Church has got this ‘following Jesus’ stuff wrong.
If however ‘walking as He walked’ doesn’t mean that we have to walk EXACTLY as He walked, and that there’s a lot of playroom in our walk, then we’re golden.
So which is it? Do we have to keep His commands AND walk the way the He walked, or just keep His commands? If we do have to do both, then what part of His commands do we REALLY have to keep and which parts of the way He walked to we REALLY have to walk in?