Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
“Therefore” - look to see what its there for
Since we know we can Ask, Seek, Knock
And we know we will be Heard
And we know that we will be answered
and we know we will be answered as dear children
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
Then, we can be confident in our position as we relate to others
I can afford to treat you as I want to be treated
I don’t need to worry, God will take care of me
Like James, I can show you my faith by my works
This was a revolutionary idea. And it still is today.
Similar statements are found elsewhere, but always in the negative
The Old Testament Apocrypha for instance
The Jewish Rabi Hillel said:
‘What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else.
‘What is hateful to you, do not do to anyone else.”
Some might even suggest (wrongly) that Jesus was quoting Hillel’s principle
there is really an enormous difference between the negative maxim of Hillel (‘Do not do to others what is hateful to you’) and the positive initiative contained in the instruction of Jesus (‘Do to others what you wish they would do to you’)
It was easy to understand the idea of not doing wrong things to people
But Jesus teaches us that “not doing” good things is a wrong thing...
So, we have an obligation, as a Christian, to go out of our way to do good...
We often say “I don’t owe them anything”, yet as Christians, we owe a debt...
Now I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that I often planned to come to you (but was hindered until now), that I might have some fruit among you also, just as among the other Gentiles. I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
Perhaps nowhere is this principle of the Golden Rule better illustrated than in Jesus’ parable of the good Samaritan
Jesus had been asked “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
He answered “What is written, how do you understand it”
we have The Word available to us
The man quoted the 1st and 2nd great commandments and Jesus agreed
Then the man, wanting to justify himself....
So many people are caught up trying to “justify themselves”
Worrying about their own interests instead of others
chasing their own glory instead of God’s
Oh, if only they knew the things that lead to their peace!!!
So, He asked “who is my neighbor?” and Jesus related the story...
Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
The golden Rule in action
The Samaritan had no more obligation to help than the others
and perhaps considerably less
He had done nothing to cause the man’s troubles
He was also likely to get nothing in return for helping
Following are very important points.
The golden rule has nothing to do with what you expect others to do for you
There is no promise in this rule that your actions will be reciprocated, or even appreciated
In fact, providing this help was likely to cost the Samaritan something
As Jesus had explained, we are commanded to “love our neighbor”
And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
So, if we really love God, we shoudl be pleased to do the good to others that we would like
If we really trust God, we need not worry about getting our recompense from men
If we honor or fear God, we should not try playing games with His Words - twisting - into such questions as “who is my neighbor”
Just do Good because God is good
For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
We do have this promise though
knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free.
To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
So. how does this work in everyday life?
So. how does this work in everyday life?
It does not mean automatically agree with everyone.
A wise man is made wiser when he is corrected
It doesn’t mean just give away all your substance....
We must be good stewards of what we are entrusted with in order to give more
We must also avoid enabling people who are only harming themselves or others
Just as we should hope others would do for us.
It does mean being strategic in our thinking, with the goal of pleasing Jesus
what would Jesus do? You really are expected to do likewise
If there is one command that we can master that helps us fulfill all the others, shouldn’t we give it extra attention?
The Golden Rule is all about our response to the world around us
In the past week:
How did you respond?
Did someone need your help?
How do you want people to respond when you need help?
Did someone say something to offend you?
How do you want people to respond when you say something they don’t like?
Did someone do something to inconvenience you?
How do you want others to respond when you do likewise?
Did someone ask for something you didn’t owe? (money, time, tasks, etc.)
How do you wish others would respond when You ask them?
Lets do better
The past is behind us
Thank God for His grace.
But now, lets get this right!!!