“ 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal ....’ ” (Matthew 19:18-19)

“ 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 19:18-19)
Here is the situation:
Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?" "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments."
"Which ones?" he inquired.
(Matthew 19:16-18)

Were Jesus' teachings different from Moses' teachings?

Remember from the explanation of this previous statement by Jesus that "good" is being mistranslated. Jesus is referring to the man wanting to do something "excellent" or "distinguished" - relating to him wanting to be respected by others.

So Jesus is instructing the man to simply become obedient to the Supreme Being by following His commandments, as communicated from God through Moses. This means Jesus was also a follower of the teachings of Moses.

This is confirmed by Jesus' response to the man. Jesus was responding by quoting Moses' commandments not to commit adultery or steal.

We see elsewhere that Jesus was following Moses' teachings, as he also instructed his followers to follow Moses' teachings elsewhere. Jesus quoted Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)

Why did Jesus want his followers to follow Moses' teachings?

Jesus is instructing the man to follow Moses' instructions to his followers. Jesus is paraphrasing several of the commandments of Moses - which boils down to treating others fairly and with respect.

The elements of civilized society grant fundamental respect for each other, giving each of us the freedom to pursue our spiritual goals without being encumbered by another person, group or government. This underlying opportunity rules the spiritual world as well - God gives each of us the freedom to choose to love and serve Him or not.

And Jesus is accentuating this freedom by telling the man that if he wants to enter "eternal life" then he should follow the instructions given by God's messengers.

These boil down to loving God and loving others.

Do we need to love ourselves first?

Many teach that we can't love others until we love ourselves first. Is this true?

Many say that in order to love our neighbor we must first love ourselves. Are they following the essence of God's instructions by teaching that we must first focus on loving ourselves?

In fact, this teaching is diametrically opposed to God's instruction. God's instruction requests we give others at least the same value we give ourselves. To love oneself even more than one does already is a self-centered activity. God's instructions oppose self-centered activities - including those relating to our extensions, such as our sectarian institutions and countries.

There is already enough self-centeredness in this world. Do we really need to teach others to be more self-centered?

We need to teach others about the Supreme Being because, during the process of coming to know and love God, we naturally feel love for others. This is why the second greatest commandment is given in the following way:
“ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)