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."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.
"Which ones?" he inquired. (Matt. 19:16-18)
So Jesus is instructing the man to simply become obedient to the Supreme Being by following His commandments, as communicated from God through Moses. And this of course means that Jesus was also a follower of the teachings of Moses.
The Supreme Being set up these fundamental rules for us to follow in order to provide a society that allows people to advance spiritually. One that allows us to achieve the greatest commandment, as quoted from 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.” (Matt. 22:37-38)The elements for civilized society grants a 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.
Yet even with these God-given rules, we still find so-called religious organizations have been murdering people in the name of religion, trying to force people to worship in a particular way, lying in the name of religion (i.e., the politics of many organized religious sects), and engaging in terrorism - in the past and present.
Are these organizations following God's instructions when they blow up innocent people? Are these organizations following God's instructions when they persecute those of different sects or religious thought; as organized sects did for hundreds of years through the Spanish inquisition and even as recently as the mount meadows massacre - and today among those who enforce their militant fanaticism upon others through governments or otherwise? Certainly these organizations are not being true to Jesus' instructions to follow God's commandments summarized here.
And how about those today who 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 that 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.” (Matt. 22:37-40)
(For a translation of Jesus' statements from the Book of Matthew without institutional sectarian influence, see the Gospels of Jesus - translated from the original Greek texts.)