THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 29
“So, whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – The Words of Jesus, Matthew 7:12.
This verse has been called by the apt name, “The Golden Rule”, since the 16th century. Jesus never uttered the term “Golden Rule” and it is not found anywhere in the Bible. The following is an excerpt from GotQuestions.Org, which gives insight into the origin of the phrase and its meaning. It is interesting, but it fails to give the spiritual mandate of these important words, which I will offer later on this page.
“The “Golden Rule” is the name given to a principle Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount. The actual words “Golden Rule” are not found in Scripture, just as the words “Sermon on the Mount” are also not found. These titles were later added by Bible translation teams in order to make Bible study a little easier. The phrase “Golden Rule” began to be ascribed to this teaching of Jesus during the 16th–17th centuries.
“What we call the Golden Rule refers to Matthew 7:12: “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus knew the human heart and its selfishness. In fact, in the preceding verse, He describes human beings as innately “evil” (verse 11). Jesus’ Golden Rule gives us a standard by which naturally selfish people can gauge their actions: actively treat others the way they themselves like to be treated.
“The English Standard Version translates the Golden Rule like this: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Jesus brilliantly condenses the entire Old Testament into this single principle, taken from Leviticus 19:18: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Again, we see the implication that people are naturally lovers of self, and the command uses that human flaw as a place to start in how to treat others.
“Obeying the Christian imperative to love others is a mark of a true Christian (John 13:35).” (excerpt from GotQuestions.Org.)
From a practical point of view, there is no better advice on how to conduct yourself socially.
Now we know have an ‘outsiders view’ of Matthew 7:12 and know about the meaning of the Golden Rule. But that is like studying artifacts of the earth and claiming to know God, Who created them. You might know some things about Him, but studying what is ‘left over’ won’t help you to know Him.
This verse is given from a spiritual perspective. It is prophetic and creative by its nature, and is instructional and causative in its application.
This is the application of the great spiritual law of ‘higher to lower’, that is everything that exists or will exist originates with God from His Kingdom and in the heavenlies. Jesus made the proclamation, in Matthew 4:17, that we must, “Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is now at hand”, telling us of a new dynamic, a new spiritual law.
One example of this is found in John 5:19, “So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” And, again in John 5:30, “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
One more example is found in John 1:3, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made”, and later in John 15, Jesus said, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.”
These are such profound words that many if not most of the Bible teachers, theologians and preachers, over the centuries since Jesus spoke them, have tried to explain them away or at least subdue their meaning.
But Jesus Words remains true and resolute in their meaning and application. Read in the Greek language the sentence structure in which it is written would read thus: “All things therefore, as many if you might desire that should do to you the men, so also you do to them. This for is the law and the prophets”.
The ‘law and the prophets’ is the principle of action and mode of life and is, in fact, the sum of all Bible teaching. This is the sum or substance of the Old Testament. This is all Scripture in a nutshell.
So, once again and finally, Jesus is teaching us that we must clear of heart and mind of worldly and fleshly human desires, habits, attitudes, practices, surrender our lives completely as Doulos-Servants of God.
Jesus is clear, “If anyone wants to come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me; And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms on account of My name, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life.”
Previously, Jesus has told us, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you”, and now, as if to put a prophetic exclamation point on His teaching, He says, ”You must do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
This is the price of becoming His disciple and entering the Kingdom of Heaven, now. Embrace it. Follow Him and live!
Your Brother and Friend,
PREVIOUS: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 28, “Ask and it will be given to you…”
NEXT: THE WORDS OF JESUS – What Are You To Do With Them? Part 30, “Enter by the narrow gate…”