Someone once said that the golden rule for our day is, “He who has the gold, makes up the rules.” There may be some truth to that in the world in which we live, but the golden rule as given to us by the Lord, Jesus Christ, hasn’t changed. It’s found in our verse today; Matthew 7:12. It says, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” It’s golden because it’s the sum observance of the teachings of the law and the Prophets.

Everyone knows some version of the Golden Rule. It has been around for ages. Hillel, the Hebrew rabbi, said, “Do not do to thy neighbor what is hateful to thyself.” Socrates, the Greek philosopher, said, “What stirs your anger when done to you by others, that do not do to others.” Confucius, the Chinese sage, said, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” But these statements are much different than what Jesus said. Their rules are negative and passive. Jesus’ rule is positive and active. In essence these wise men said, “Avoid doing to others what you do not want done to you.” Jesus said, “Think of something good you wish someone would do for you, then do it for someone else.”

It is one of the most recognized teachings in the bible. In one survey it ranked in the top ten of bible quotes that were recognized by people. Most people know it. Edwin Markham, the American Poet, once observed, “We have committed the Golden Rule to memory; let us now commit it to life.”

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Matthew 5:7