Google+ 01/19/13 Do Unto Others...

Matthew 7:9-12

 

“You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead?

Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not!

So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children,

How much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.

This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets. 

 

Yes, the "Golden Rule" actually came from the Bible!  Jesus is once again speaking in parables to illustrate His point.  In today's Scripture, we find our Heavenly Storyteller comparing the willingness of human parents to give their child a gift, with our Heavenly Father who gladly gives us what we need.  Jesus points to the dialog that is so necessary between parent and child.  Notice that the first part of our Scripture deals with children asking for something specific.  The first line of our Scripture has children asking their parents for food.  The second line is not so much about food as it is about a spiritual request.  If we as parents are asked by our children for spiritual things, do we give them a serpent?  Jesus says of course not, but sometimes we earthly parents violate this.  Remember when Paul gives instructions to parents about children?  Paul says, "Parents, do not provoke your children to wrath."  In other words, don't make your children mad for no reason.  Sometimes, children don't know what to ask.  Often, children request what they want, not what they need.  It is the job of the parent to discern what they need and give it to them.   God always knows and He is reminding us that we should know also!   Here comes one of the big points in today's Scripture reading.   Jesus says that if we sinful people know how to give good gifts, how much more can we expect from God, who has no sinful nature.  I have always maintained that Christians know when they are about to do something wrong.  I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts our heart and literally lets us know that we shouldn't give in to our sinful nature.  Often, we ignore this, but I lobby the message of the Holy Spirit is still there!  Jesus then gives us the "big finish!"  Jesus tells us what the Law and the Prophets has been all about from the beginning.  We are supposed to do unto others what we expect them to do to us.  Notice we are supposed to set the example as Christians.  We are supposed to treat others the way we expect to be treated.  Jesus says nothing about the fact that if you do, everyone will always respond exactly as we wish!  I have often treated people the way I wanted to be treated, only to be met with anger, jealousy, envy, rage, or in the words of our Scripture, received a "serpent" instead of a "fish."  Hear me tell you that we cannot control someone else's response or walk with God.  We can only control our own fellowship with Jesus, and we often struggle with that.  So today, in love, give people what they ask for when it pertains to their needs.  Don't speak out of anger or malice. Don't forget to ask God to provide for your needs in prayer, as He has promised to you.  Finally, do unto others as you expect them to do unto you.  Brace yourself.  It may not be perfect, but it will be a good start and strengthen your relationship with your Heavenly Father.  Remember it is the essence of the "Law and the Prophets!"