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‘‘So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets’’ (v. 12).
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus declares that we who are his followers are to be different. Verse 12 - the Golden Rule - tells us how we are to be different in our relationships with others.
[Read Matthew 7:12-29.]
CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?
When I was a kid, I liked to play Spot the Difference games. [Show an example in the PowerPoint presentation.] Sometimes it can be difficult to spot the differences.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
How are followers of Jesus to be different?
We are to be different by being PEOPLE OF LOVE.
Jesus says, ‘‘Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them’’ (v. 12). That’s love, and it’s not easy. ‘‘This simple principle would by itself revitalize human relationship if people everywhere were to begin to live by it.’’ ‘‘Others’’ includes anyone. Remember what Jesus said in 5:44: ‘‘Love your enemies.’’ People usually treat others as they are treated (e.g., if you insult me, I’ll insult you).
IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE
Jesus declares that doing good to others (i.e., being a person of love) ‘‘is the Law and the Prophets.’’ In other words, it’s the essence of the Law and the Prophets. ‘‘The Law and the Prophets’’ refers to the Old Testament. Later in Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus says that on two commandments ‘‘depend all the Law and the Prophets’’ (Matt. 22:40). What are these two commandments? First ...
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