Bible with Cross ShadowTherefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

Here we have what many call “The Golden Rule”. Well, not exactly. When I was growing up, it was said something like this, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It might just be me, but that version suggests that my motivation to treat others well is my own well being. I don’t believe that is what Jesus is trying to say.

This passage actually gives us two motivations for taking the initiative to do good to others. Both are very different from “what’s in it for me”. We discover the first by way of the “therefore”. Looking back at the context of the previous verses, we see that God is always the giver of good gifts. Our response is to do the same for others. It is one of the best ways to bear His image – for His glory.

Our second motivation is found in the preposition, “for this is the Law and the Prophets”. In Matthew 5:17, Jesus makes it clear that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. Romans 8:3-4 states that we have Jesus condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us (see Truth Connections – Fulfilling the Law for more on this subject).

Amazingly, treating others as God has treated us is one of the ways we participate with Jesus in the work our Father sent Him to accomplish. Now that is the kind of motivation we can get excited about!!

Humbly yours and forever His,