Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it. (KJV)
Luke 11:28 But He said, “Yes, but better still, blessed are those who listen to God’s message and practice it!” (Williams)
Luke 11:28 But he replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” (NET Bible)
The Scriptures should be not only heard but obeyed. Clearly it is Christ’s desire that we place the highest priority upon not only hearing but obeying His word. That takes full priority over supposedly giving special honor to his own mother, as some faith groups greatly emphasize.
Now just what is there in Christ’s words that we are to obey? John in his short epistles, both 1 John and 2 John, stresses that true love to Christ and to the Father involves loving one another. It involves keeping His commandments. Love, it has been said, fulfills both tables of the Law–our responsibility to God as described in the first table of the Law or Ten Commandments, and our duty toward man as represented by the commands of the second table of the Law or Ten Commandments.
A bright high school Sunday school pupil asked me the question when we were reading 1 John 2:3, “What are the Commandments of Christ?” I thought that would be very easy to find the answer to, and I thought I could bring her the answer the next Sunday. Searching the many reference books I have on the Bible, I found almost no mention of the Commandments of Christ. The reference cannot be exclusively to the new commandment of love found in John 13:34, since the plural word commandments is used in 1 John 2:3. Now there are two stated commandments, at least as I count them, given in 1 John 3:23. But that did not then satisfy my quest for the answer to my student’s question.
I spent years of further study on the issue. I spent many hours the last few weeks studying 1 John and 2 John in great depth. None of the commentators and Greek scholars I have been reading address the issue at all. They all seem to take for granted that it is the Ten Commandments that are referred to. Those few very careful Bible students and Bible scholars who have made a full study of the matter point out that there are many specific commands of Christ which are largely forgotten and de-emphasized in our teaching in most Bible-believing churches. Evangelicalism has a serious problem with what is called the false doctrine of Antinomianism. That is the view that since we are saved by grace, and the Law has been fulfilled in Christ, we have no more to do with any commandments.
In the end, what I have done is to compile the results of my study, listing in full all the Commands of Christ at a note in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge at 1 John 2:3. It is true that our focus is not upon Law but Grace (John 1:17), nevertheless our Lord Jesus Christ expects us to not only hear His word, but also to obey it. How can we obey Christ if we have not the foggiest notion of what He has commanded us? Christ has also given further revelation of His commands to and for us through the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 14:37). These update His will for us beyond His words recorded in the Gospels.
One of the most important books in the Bible that sheds further light on this issue is the book of Galatians. Among other things, Paul’s message in the book of Galatians teaches us that we are to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, against which there is no law, Galatians 5:22-23, 24-25. Our focus in the Christian life is not emphasizing the Fourth Commandment (Exodus 20:8), but emphasizing our walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:18) which results from the regenerative change true believers in Jesus Christ experience when they are truly saved (2 Corinthians 5:17; Titus 3:5).
For those who desire to DIG DEEPER into this subject:
(1) Consult the cross references given in Nelson’s Cross Reference Guide to the Bible on page 1130 for Luke 11:28.
(2) Consult the cross references given in The New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge on page 1152 or in Logos 5 Bible software for Luke 11:28.
(3) Lacking access to those two resources, consult the cross references for this passage as I have developed them as given below:
Luke 11:28. Yea rather. Lk 6:47, 48. +*Lk 8:21. +*Ps 1:1-3. 112:1. *Ps 119:1-6. 128:1. Is 48:17, 18. *Mt 7:21-25. *Mt 12:48-50. +*Jn 13:17. +*James 1:21-25. *1 J 3:21-24. Re 1:3. 22:7, 14. blessed. Gr. makarios (S#3107g, Mt 5:3). T#1100. Ps 32:1. 106:3. +*Mt 5:3. 11:6. 25:34. James 1:25. *Re 1:3. 22:7. are they. *Lk 8:21. Pr 7:4. Mt 11:6. +*Mt 12:50. Mk 3:34. that hear. +*Lk 8:18, 21. Dt 11:27. 28:1. 1 K 10:8. 2 Ch 9:7. Jb 29:11. +*Jb 37:2. Mt 7:24. +*Mk 4:24. **Ro 10:17. +James 1:22. the word of God. +Lk 5:1. Is 2:3. +*Ac 17:11. **1 Th 2:13. and keep. **Lk 6:46. *Lk 8:15. Le 18:26. 19:37. 22:31. Nu 15:40. +*Dt 4:40. 5:29. +*Dt 26:16. 27:1. 29:9. +*Jsh 1:8. +*Ps 119:105. Pr 7:1, 4. 8:32, 34. 10:17. 19:16. 29:18. Is 56:2. %Ezk 18:11. %*Ezk 33:31. **Mt 7:21. 12:50. +*Jn 13:17. 14:21. Ro 2:13. +**2 Tim 3:15-17. 4:7. James 1:22. 1 J 2:5.