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Home -- Content: Series 7 (Laws) -- Translation: English -- Book: 2 (Gospel) -- Chapter: 19 (Conduct 1) -- Text
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The Sharia of Christ in the GOSPEL
G - Commandments of Christ related to our Duties towards Men (CONDUCT)

1. PREREQUISITES


Summary


THE LAW OF CHRIST FOR HIS FOLLOWERS

PART TWO: Deeds and Intentions in the New Covenant or: What Should Disciples of Jesus Do?

B. Duties Towards Men

Matthew 5:7, 9 -- 7 Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Matthew 5:43-48 -- 43 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45 that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 7:12 -- Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 12:7-8 -- 7 But if you had known what this means, ' I desire mercy and not sacrifice, ' you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.
Matthew 18:3-4 -- 3 And said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 19:17-21 -- 17 So He said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments." 18 He said to Him, "Which ones?" Jesus said, " 'You shall not murder,' 'You shall not commit adultery,' 'You shall not steal,' 'You shall not bear false witness,' 19 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' " 20 The young man said to Him, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?"
Matthew 22:37-40 -- 37 Jesus said to him, " 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
Matthew 23:11-12 -- 11 But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
Matthew 24:12-13 -- 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.

Summary

God is love, and his commandments regarding our relationship with the people around us are therefore nothing but holy love. In the Middle East, which is composed of tribes, this means that each individual must love and defend every member of his tribe unconditionally; and each individual of the tribe has the duty to bear the responsibility for the other members. Even if the latter erred, the tribe has to defend him, justify him, and pay the fine incumbent on him if he could not pay it.

Jesus overcame this lifeless tribal model. He refused the spirit of tribal jealousy and dislike, and emphasized in his parable of the merciful Samaritan, that the despised stranger was the best neighbor to him that fell among the thieves, while the religious leaders of his own nation did not care about the wounded man and passed by him indifferently. (Luke 10: 25- 37)

Jesus explained the love towards the neighbor in the golden rule: “Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12) What do we expect from the others? We expect their interest, kindness, respect, help in troubles; and not disturbance, and stumbling, but assistance, exchange of experiences, and intercession if they were believers. This is required as a minimum of the merits, which befits us to do to them first.

The meanings of spiritual love extend so far as to include forgiveness, longsuffering, blessing for the hardhearted, and seeking the guidance of the Spirit in our talks with neighbors. If our neighbors do not know Jesus, we must depict the Savior to them as the light of the world, and pray that they may see him with the eyes of their hearts. If it is not possible to speak freely and publicly, then there is constructive literature, or spiritual recordings, which we may present on feasts and other occasions.

Jesus wants to bring his followers out of their isolation, and free them from self-centeredness, giving them an insight, which extends beyond their tribe. By his commandment of unlimited love, he produced elements of a new culture. We, as self-lovers, may still be far from the application of his practical love to our lives; therefore, he made himself the center of this new social culture. How wonderful that the more we become united with Jesus, the more we become united with each other. Jesus confessed this mystery in his intercessory prayer, as he said: “That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” (John 17:21)

Jesus was a practical man. He did not pray this prayer for the world, but for His church. He knew that without God, man does not know the holy love, but is prompted by covetousness and diversion to the bondage of sin. Yet, he who follows Jesus becomes consecrated to service. He overcomes his selfishness everyday anew until he becomes focused on the high standards of Jesus: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)

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