matthew 7

The wrong Golden Rule

"Do for others what you want them to do for you; for this is the law and the prophets." - Matthew 7:12 Easy enough! The Golden Rule! I mean even non-Christians believe this one. We've been ingrained with this rule since we were all sitting on carpet squares and drinking chocolate milk from a small carton, right? Does our world look like one ingrained with this rule?

Not only do non-Christian people believe the Golden Rule, but most all religions will have something to its effect in their scripture. But there is commonly one difference in the Golden Rule as it is often portrayed in places other than the Christian Bible.

In most cases, the Golden Rule is written, read, or quoted as:

"Don't do to others what you don't want done to you."

There is a significant difference between this Golden Rule and the one Jesus gives us in Matthew.

What is the difference?

Jesus' Golden Rule is proactive. Most other examples of the Golden Rule are in a negative and defensive standpoint. That is not the Golden Rule Jesus has placed before us. In fact, it is almost entirely different. He certainly made it more difficult.

Its not all that hard to simply refrain from doing bad things to people, but it is often very difficult to take initiative to be intentional about doing something good for others. This is a foundational law God has give us, and it is not the Golden Rule you may have in your mind all the time.

Jesus' Golden Rule is proactive.

Something about Jesus: Matthew 7-9

My original intent was to blog every other day through the Gospels, but today was so rich I had to write. CHAPTER 7 7:5 - First take the log out SO YOU CAN SEE CLEARLY to remove the speck

7:15-20 - So a false teacher could NOT produce fruit...yet we like to attack people who are doing great ministry leading people to Jesus and discipleship, and we call them false prophets

7:24-27 - Storms come to ALL of us, but the question is, "What is your foundation?" And its good to answer that question before the storm comes.

CHAPTER 8 8:4 - Only a priest could determine a person's reintegration into the religious community. Jesus knew that and wanted this man to be reintegrated

8:20 - Homeless Jesus! Where is THAT Christmas card? Where is THAT Christian imagery?

8:23 - The disciples followed him. What kept any members of the crowd from following him? What kept a mass of people from trying to be one of those on the boat with Jesus whom they were all following and listening intently to?

8:29 - I'm always stricken by the fact demons know Jesus so well! I think, possibly, demons KNOW Jesus better than a lot of Christians.

CHAPTER 9 9:2 - Amazing that FAITH is trusting hope in what we cannot SEE and yet Jesus can SEE our FAITH and perceive our thoughts (9:4)

9:4 - Why do you THINK evil in your HEARTS? - I wonder why we've so easily disconnected our brains from our hearts

9:11 - "Why does your teacher eat with...sinners?" I wish people would ask that about me, but alas, I'm often too afraid to eat there. I'm a pastor, for cryin' out loud! Think of the implications!

9:14-15 - Jesus' ministry provides what fasting seeks: communion with God's presence, forgiveness, salvation, guidance

9:18-26 - FAITH says, "If God...then it WILL happen." I am not so sure I have much faith in light of todays reading.

9:35-38 - It seems if it's not one thing its the next for Jesus in these few verses and these three chapters. Jesus is just going, going, going. Sometimes even while he's talking, someone comes to him in need. He is teaching, proclaiming, curing, and healing. He is curing EVERY disease and EVERY sickness.

When it would seem burnout is impending, you read verse 36.

"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them BECAUSE they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd."

Basically he realizes the outrageous amount of hurt, disease and NEED in the human condition.

Then verse 37-38

"The harvest is plentiful" = there are A LOT of hurting people everywhere...always

"But the laborers are few" = but nobody else is meeting them in that hurt and need

"Therefore ask the Lord to send laborers" = ASK the Lord in faith and prayer that he would send people to serve the harassed, helpless, and hurting

BEWARE: Don't think you can pray for laborers in order to skirt your responsibility to BE a laborer