A Commentary by John Stott

Romans 12-15.

The following table supplies the main examples of Paul’s teaching based directly or indirectly on Jesus’ teaching.

Jesus Paul
‘Bless those who persecute you’ (Luke 6:28) ‘Bless those who curse you; bless and do not curse’ (12:14)
‘Do not resist an evil person’ (Mt. 5:39). ‘Do not repay anyone evil for evil’ (12:17).
‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ (Mt. 5:9)
‘Be at peace with each other’ (Mk. 9:50).
‘Live at peace with everyone’ (12:18; cf. 14:19).
‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you’ (Lk. 6:27; cf. verse 35 and Mt. 5:44). ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him’ (12:20).
‘Is it right to pay tax to Caesar or not?… Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s’ (Mk. 12:14, 17). ‘Give everyone what you owe him: if you owe taxes, pay taxes’ (13:7).
‘Love one another’  (Jn.13:34) ‘Love one another’ (13:8).
‘Love the Lord your God… Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments’ (Mt.22:37ff.). ‘He who loves his fellow-man has fulfilled the law’ (13:8)
  ‘Do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets’ (Mt.7:12).  ‘The commandments…are summed up in this one rule: “Love your neighbour as yourself”’ (13:9).
‘How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?’ (Lk. 12:56). ‘Understanding the present time’ (13:11a).
‘Do not let him find you sleeping (Mk.13:36).

‘Your redemption is drawing near’ (Lk. 21:28).

‘Wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now… (13:11b,c).
‘Do not judge, or you too will be judged’ (Mt. 7:1). ‘Why do you judge your brother? Let us stop passing judgment on one another’(14:10,13).
‘Men will have to give an account on the day of judgment…’ (Mt.12:36). Each of us will give an account of himself to God. (14:12).
‘Alas for the world that such causes of stumbling arise!’ (Mt. 18:7, NEB). Make up your mind not to put any stumbling block…in your brother’s way’ (14:13).
‘What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him “unclean”. (Mt. 15:10).

‘In saying this, Jesus declared all foods “clean”’ (Mk. 7:19).

‘No food is unclean in itself…all food is clean’ (14:14, 20).
‘Do not worry about…what you will eat or drink…But seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness’ (Mt.6:25, ‘The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness…’ (14:17).




Turning now from these two general characteristics of Paul’s teaching to its particulars, it is evident that he concentrates on our relationships, beginning with our relationship to God.



Tomorrow: Romans 12:1-2. Our relationship to God: consecrated bodies and renewed minds.


The John Stott Bible Study is taken from The Message of Romans: Christ the Controversialist. The Bible Speaks Today John Stott. Used by permission of Inter-Varsity Press UK, Nottingham. All rights reserved.