"THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT"
The Golden Rule (Mt 7:12)
1. We come now to verse 12, where we find the "Golden Rule"...
2. This rule serves as a perfect summary of the kind of righteousness
the kingdom of heaven expects with respect to MAN'S RELATION TO MAN
[But what is the "golden rule"? Was Jesus teaching anything new or
original by what He stated? Well, in a way it was something new...]
I. THE "GOLDEN RULE" VERSUS THE "SILVER RULES"
A. MANY PEOPLE BELIEVE JESUS WAS SIMPLY REPEATING WHAT OTHERS HAD
ALREADY TAUGHT; FOR EXAMPLE...
1. The HINDU religion taught:
This is the sum of duty: do naught to others which if done
to thee would cause thee pain.
2. The BUDDHIST religion taught:
Hurt not others with that which pains yourself.
3. The JEWISH traditions taught:
What is hateful to you, do not to your fellow men. That is
the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
4. The MUSLIM religion taught:
No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother
that which he desires for himself.
5. The BAHA'I faith teaches:
He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish
for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfill.
The Book of Certitude
6. And Yet Some Other Sources:
Do not do unto others what angers you if done to you by
Isocrates 436-338 BCE
"Tzu-kung asked, 'Is there a single word which can be a guide
to conduct throughout one's life?' The Master said, 'It is
perhaps the word "shu". Do not impose on others what you
yourself do not desire'"
B. BUT JESUS' RULE WAS POSITIVE, WHILE MOST OF THE ABOVE ARE NOT...
1. Jesus' rule requires you to do something favorably to others,
while the others only prohibit you from doing something
unfavorably to others.
a. Jesus -> Do unto others what you want them to do to you
b. Others - > Don't do to others what you don't want done to
2. With the others, all that is required is that you don't harm
other people; with Jesus, what is required is that you show
kindness to others
3. Jesus' rule is truly the GOLDEN rule, the others are SILVER
rules (of value, yes, but not as much as "gold")
[The only exception appears to be that found in Hadith (the traditions
of Islam); but then, some of Islam is admittedly based upon what Jesus
taught 600 years before Mohammed.
So what Jesus taught was something new compared to what "uninspired"
teachers had taught previously.
But in another sense, it was nothing new; rather, in a simple and easy to
remember statement, Jesus gives us...]
II. A GUIDELINE FOR RIGHTEOUS CONDUCT TOWARDS OTHERS
A. THAT WAS IN PERFECT HARMONY WITH THE LAW AND THE PROPHETS!
1. Just as we have seen in the rest of Jesus' teachings
cf. Mt 5:21-48
2. This one "rule" summarizes what the Law and the Prophets were
3. Just as the commandment "Love your neighbor as yourself"
summed up the Law according to Paul - Ro 13:8-10
B. A SORT OF "POCKET KNIFE" OR "CARPENTER'S RULE"...
1. That is, something that is always ready to be used
2. For example, even in an emergency, when there is no time to
consult a friend, teacher, or book for advice, the "golden
rule" can be a guide for proper conduct
3. Treat others as you would be treated, and it is unlikely you
will ever do the wrong thing
1. Even in this way, we find that Jesus did not come to destroy the
Law, but to fulfill it in every way, including summarizing its
righteousness in ways easy for us to understand and apply.
2. Throughout the first twelve verses of Matthew 7, then, there is a
continuous theme: the righteousness of the kingdom with regard to
man's dealings with man
3. And what are the basic points?
a. Be careful in your judgment of others
b. Persevere in looking to God for help in making proper discernment
c. In your treatment of others, treat them like you want to be
In our next (and last) study, we will consider the final section of the
Sermon On The Mount: THE EXHORTATION TO ENTER THE KINGDOM - Mt 7:13-27
About These Outlines ~~~ Submit An Outline ~~~ Back To Main Outlines ~~~ Home Page