Jesus Christ and the tenth commandment

You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbour… Ex 20: 17

That is the short version… it goes on to mention your neighbour’s house, wife… servants, donkey.

If there was no coveting of someone else’s wife, there would be less hurt, anger… divorce or even some murders.

So, what does this have to do with Jesus Christ and the tenth commandment?

In the other posts in this series, I have mentioned many times the Pharisees attitude toward Him. They would no doubt have found ways to ‘nit-pick’ over whether He was coveting God’s position.

But Jesus Christ is the Son of God… and unlike Satan, is content with that position.

temptation of ChristAgain, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour ”All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me. Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written, ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’” Matthew 4: 8 – 10

In these verses it is apparent that the one who coveted was Satan, not Christ. Satan wanted to be God.

Jesus knew His inheritance was far more than the kingdoms of the world, during an earthly lifetime.

Is there anything Christ might have coveted?

Some might say that He would have liked the life of an ordinary boy. To not have the responsibility of being obedient… because one sin, however small, would have been the end of the Plan.

The only glimpse we see of Jesus as a child is recorded in Luke…

Boy Jesus in the templeAnd He said to them, “Why is it that sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father’s business. Luke 2: 49

Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:51-52


It seems that Jesus was aware of His purpose and was dedicated to it.

Where does covetousness spring from? Where are the roots from which it grows from? Where does it begin or arise from? It arises from greed which is a form of selfishness.

Jesus warned about inward attitudes many times, as here in Mark’s gospel.

He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out Greed is the root of all evil of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person Mark 7: 20-23

The cause of covetousness is a selfish heart.

I cannot find one place in the Scriptures when Jesus turned away people who came to Him because he was ‘too busy’, ‘had enough’ or was ‘too tired’.

His life shows the opposite. He ‘spent’ Himself caring for physical and spiritual needs, then gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice… to pay for our sins.

We cannot ‘earn’ salvation, but we are supposed to imitate Christ. The commandments would be a good place to start.

Something to think about,




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