Forgiven - Christian Rock and Praise Team
Phoenix, Arizona
Ministry Moments by Mark Burton


...and teaching them to obey
A Study of the commands from our Lord, Jesus the Christ

I always wanted to write a book about the Commands of Jesus. So on November 21, 2015, as I sat in my living room, I decided to start by using the Forgiven web site's "Ministry Moments" as a place holder to capture my thoughts about the commands of Jesus. Each week, I will add a new page or pages. I pray you, the reader, will be blessed. I pray GOD will be honored.

Entry 37: Strive to Enter Through the Narrow Door

The subject matter, the Commands of Jesus, is not a new idea for me. In fact, it all started in 1998. I was preparing a lesson to present at a weekly Bible study on the Gospel of John when I paused on the verse where Jesus, speaking to his disciples, said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” John 14:15 (NIV). This verse made me think, what were the commands Jesus was speaking to disciples about? And if I loved Jesus shouldn't I obey those same commands?

I decided to exam the words spoken by Jesus and recorded on the pages of the New Testament. Using my computer, I surfed to my favorite Bible web site, the Blue Letter Bible ( and after a couple settings all of Jesus' words appeared in red. This was great, all I had to do was look at the verses in red, determine if Jesus' words were a command and then follow that command.

Starting with the Gospel of Matthew, I realized that the commands of Jesus were not always directed to his disciples. For example, the first verse containing a command was Matthew 3:15 (NIV) "Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented."

While examining this verse I made several observations. First, the phrase: "Let it be so now" is a command given by our Lord. Second, this command was given, not to his disciples, but specifically to John the baptizer. Third, a good lesson to us all, John obeyed the command. This was not going to be as easy as I imagined but I was going to continue.

I opened a spreadsheet to collect each of the commands. The first step was to cut and paste the text of the command from the Blue Letter Bible web site into the spreadsheet. Second, I realized I wanted to record "who" the command was directed to. I also wanted to capture the original Greek. I used the "Interlinear" display feature of the Blue Letter Bible ( web site. This feature displays both the English and Greek text. Finally, I wrote down my understanding about the command.

After several years of stopping and starting, I finished listing all the commands. During this time, I shared my thoughts about these commands with Rick Parizek and Bill Klever. They encouraged me to write this book. Both Rick and Bill thought it would be a blessing.

So here we are. The link to the first weekly installment is at the bottom of this page. I started with the command that our LORD, Jesus ranked as the greatest. Jesus was once asked what is the greatest command; He replied: "You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment." Matthew 22:37-38 (NLT).

A final thought before I begin; A.W. Tozer wrote in his book, Keys to the Deeper Life, "Commands are to be obeyed, and until we have obeyed them we have done exactly nothing at all about them." This is a powerful statement. I realize that I will never be able to OBEY the LORD by my own strength. But my Savior promised to be with me always (see Matthew 28:20 (NLT) ) and when I need help all I have to do is ask (see Matthew 7:7 (NLT) ) and remember Paul's words in Philippians 4:13 (NASB) "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." Whenever I doubt my ability to obey the command, all I have to do is remember Jesus is strengthening me. And Jesus, who began a good work in me will see it to completion (see Philippians 1:6 (NIV) ) . Praise GOD.

Week 1: It Starts with Love

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