“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12).
When some people quote the words of Jesus, “do to others what you would have them do to you”, they give the impression that this was all that Jesus ever said. By lifting out these words from the context of Jesus’ teaching ministry, they suggest to us that this is all that we really need to hear from Jesus. They tell us that, here, Jesus really went to the heart of the matter. They tell us that Jesus really nit the nail on the head. Are things really as simple as that? Can we really concentrate on this saying that is known as ‘the golden rule’, and dismiss everything else that Jesus said? When we read the verse before ‘the golden rule’, we see that Jesus speaks to us about our “Father in heaven.” When we read the second half of the verse that contains ‘the golden rule’, we see that Jesus says that ‘the golden rule’ “sums up the Law and the Prophets.” If we are to give Jesus the respect that he deserves, should we not listen to what he says about our “Father in heaven”? Should we not, also, listen to what he says about “the Law and the Prophets”? Let us value what Jesus said when he gave us ‘the golden rule’, but let’s not forget about everything else that he said.