Scripture: Matt. 7:1–12
Key verse: (12) In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.
Reflection: There are many reasons to obey the rules. You’ll be punished if you don’t. You’ll get a reward if you do. It’s what we do in this family. It’s what we have contracted to do as a society. It is simply the right thing to do.
Toward the end of the Sermon on the Mount we learn the motivation for all who would seek to be followers of Jesus. Here at the end of this Sermon we see the law and the prophets in a new context.
The Golden Rule puts moral and ethical behavior, the social dimensions of the Gospel, in the context of life under the influence of God’s values and purposes. We treat others with love and respect because that’s the way we have been treated by God. The indiscriminate love we are called to apply to everyone mirrors the expansive, forgiving, redeeming love we have received from God.
Do unto others as you would have them do to you—not because you have to—but because you know what it is like to be loved, respected, honored, affirmed, valued, and cherished. You know what it is like to be treated as a treasured child of God. That’s the way you should treat others.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. Concise. Direct.
Prayer: We know what to do, O God. We know how we like to be treated. Help us take the next step: treating others in the same way. Love us until love becomes who we are and what we do. In the name of the master teacher, Jesus. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].