The so-called “Golden Rule” is actually found in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, in Matthew 7:12.
“Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”
The very next verses say:
“Enter by the Narrow Gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because Narrow is the Gate and Difficult is the Way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13,14)
I wonder if these verses, which are usually separated by human headings such as “The Narrow Way” in our modern Bibles – are actually meant to be read together, after all. What if the application of the Golden Rule forms a huge part of the meaning of the “Difficult Way which leads to Life” as taught by Jesus?
It makes sense inasmuch as there are FEW who practice or at least consistently SEEK to practice what is written in Matthew 7:12. Most people read it as “don’t do anything to others you don’t want them to do to you” – but that is NOT what it says. Pagan religious teachers have used THOSE words – but Jesus’ teaching tells us to actually DO something. We are here commanded to DO for others what we would like them to do for us.How many are taking THAT seriously? How many are “hearing this saying of Jesus and doing it” (Matthew 7:24) and thus “building their house upon the rock”?
I am trying to think of what Matthew 7:12 might actually mean in my life. I suppose it means something different for everybody, because everybody has different things they would like people to do for them.
But based on what I know, or what I feel to be important in my life, I would say that I would like people to fast, pray and speak the Word of God for my breakthroughs in life. I’d love someone to minister to me either in person or from a distance, and by their faith and Holy Spirit given wisdom, get me free from demonic harrassment and into a place of faith and favor with God. To teach me exactly in exactly the way I need how I can do the will of God fully. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, if that is what I want men to do to me, then doesn’t Jesus command me to do all those things for others?
Wouldn’t that mean laying down my life for others, and their welfare? I think it would.
It would mean living out of this incredible “agape” love which would always be willing to forsake personal comfort in order to bring relief, freedom, healing and salvation to others, wherever possible.
It wouldn’t leave me a lot of room to waste time on things that are nothing but sources of personal pleasure or entertainment for me.
Hmmm, something to think about.