Matthew 7:7-12Today’s reading from Matthew ends with the ‘Golden Rule’: “So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets.”
Stripped of image and metaphor, Jesus is as direct as he can be in communicating what may be the essence of his teaching.
I find it so interesting that he states the rule in its positive form: as opposed to, “don’t do this”; it is, “do this”. If this is the meaning of the Law and what the Prophets said, it is social – society and how we treat each other is at its heart. It is without borders of culture, faith or nation – Jesus doesn’t name or divide. It is one that recognises innate dignity and ‘selfhood’ – ‘others’ are people just like us who should be treated fairly, they can also treat us as we would like to be treated.
It is also altruistic – we must help others or be good towards them without reward. It is empathic – we must think of others and share in their joys and struggles. It is easily achieved – there is no ceremony or rigorous observance involved. It’s egalitarian – you and I are able to observe this Law, we don’t need to be specially ordained or instructed. It is an active and giving Law – we consider what we might do as opposed to what we shouldn’t do.