Chaplain Chats

Why do Christians live by so many rules? I get asked this question countless times as a chaplain. A review of the Bible (via Google) tells me there is a generally held belief that the old part of the Bible contains 613 separate rules! Wow, that’s a lot of rules! This includes the famous 10 commandments.

As the Bible story progresses, the old part of the Bible leads to the new part of the Bible, which is when Jesus arrives. Jesus was a game-changer when it came to the rules, he said quite a bit about the rules. One thing he said was that He didn’t come to do away with the rules, but to FULFIL them!!

As we follow Jesus’ story we find he begins to condense all the rules. Firstly, all 613 rules are condensed into just two! If you just relax and enjoy these two rules Jesus says you will basically tick off all the others. Here are the two rules: Rule 1. Love God… Rule 2. Love all others! Sounds easy! (note the author’s hint of sarcasm).

Love involves valuing and full dedication to the one you love. Valuing and fully dedicating to God and others is hard. Jesus knew this would do away with all the other rules, he also knew it was hard. So, Jesus made it even easier. On the day before He died, while He was talking to those in his 3-year friendship group, He condenses the rule book even further. Jesus made all of Christianity about just ONE rule. Rule 1. Love others as I have loved you.

My point here is to hopefully let you all know that to live the way we were designed to live, we need Jesus in us so He can love through us. I encourage you to take a few minutes this upcoming Easter to muse about the Jesus story. Give Him the room in your life to FULFIL in you all the rules of life and let’s choose to love like He loved us.

Peter Chase
College Chaplain • Pastoral Care