The Golden Rule

Published 4:54 pm Sunday, May 19, 2024

By Brandon Baggett

Matthew 7:12 contains some of the simplest, yet most profound words Jesus ever proclaimed. If you grew up attending Sunday School, then you likely memorized these words as a child. This special text is widely known as the golden rule. Jesus said, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 ESV). Even though we can recite these words from memory, I can’t help but wonder if we sometimes miss the real impact of what Jesus is saying.

Interestingly, the golden rule wasn’t a new concept in the days of Jesus. The origin of the golden rule can be traced back at least one hundred years before the time of Christ. However, this principle was stated among the rabbis in the negative (i.e., “If you don’t want people to do it to you, then don’t do it to them”). However, the Lord took this familiar principle and spoke it in a new and positive light (i.e., “If you want people to do it to you, then do it to them”). Jesus is reminding us that kingdom living isn’t just about abstaining from sin, it’s about actively choosing to do what is right, good, and helpful. The golden rule is about taking the initiative, practicing what is right, and choosing to treat all people how you would want to be treated. 

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Choose to let the golden rule principle by the standard by which you live. Take the initiative. Treat people how you want to be treated. Show them Jesus. Unleash the power of God’s love on those around you. You will be blessed, and you’ll become a blessing to others. That’s the power of the golden rule principle! 

Brandon Baggett is preaching minister at Luverne Church of Christ.