by John McKain

Living by the Golden Rule
John McKain
Matthew 7:7-12

Simon Isenthall, a famous Jewish writer, wrote a remarkable short story in 1976 entitled, "The Sunflower." It was an autobiographical account of an experience he'd had thirty years before while incarcerated in a German concentration camp. While on a work detail turning a barn into a field hospital, he was stopped by a young German nurse who said, "Come quickly, come quickly." She guided him to a young man whose head was wrapped with a blood-soaked bandage covering both eyes. Grabbing for Isenthall's hand, the young man finally caught it with a death grip and cried out, "I must talk to a Jew before I die!"

Isenthall said, "I am a Jew."

The young man said, "My SS troop was sent to burn down a Jewish house. After it was set on fire, the family ran out of the house, and we gunned them down. I cannot get it out of my mind. I know I am about to die. Forgive me!"

Isenthall said in "The Sunflower":

"I jerked my hand away and went out the door without a word. . . . That bothered me for thirty years." And then he ended the story in a most unusual way. H told of asking 32 different people to comment on his reaction. They were Jews, Gentiles, young and old, men and women. Out of the 32 people polled, the majority said that he did the right thing, that he should not have forgiven the dying young soldier. One of them said that the young soldier should go straight to hell.

What would Jesus have done?

Condemnation - Bitterness - Hatred. These are the evil forces that rule over the flesh of many people. Yet I submit to you that if we put into practice the teaching of Jesus in Matt. 7:7-12, the whole world would be a better place. All the present day notable thinkers agree that the great problem of the 20th century is the problem of relationships. We sometimes foolishly tend to think that our international and other problems are economic, social, or political, but in reality they a ...

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