THE GOLDEN RULE: IS IT ORIGINAL?
There are people in this world who think Jesus’ Golden Rule was nice but not original. They try to say that Jesus merely borrowed the idea from others.
I once saw a poster that tried to say that.
* Confucius (some 500 years before Jesus) said: "DO NOT unto others what you would not wish done to yourself."
* The Buddhists (who also existed before Christ) have a saying, "Putting oneself in the place of others, KILL NOT, nor cause to kill."
* Old Testament Apocrypha (Tobit, written before Christ): "DO NOT DO to anyone what you yourself hate."
* Rabbi Hillel (20 B.C.): "What is hateful to you, DO NOT DO to anyone else. This is the whole law; all the rest is only commentary."
That poster was trying to imply that Jesus’ teaching wasn’t all that different from teachers that had come before...but that poster was wrong. Does anybody see what those human teachers taught different than Jesus did?
That’s right. They all said "DO NOT." Jesus said, "DO"
The world focuses on the negative. It sets rules of what you shouldn’t do here and you shouldn’t do there. And that’s not all bad. But Jesus goes further than that by focusing on something far beyond the thinking of mortal men. Where men merely say "don’t" do something, Jesus goes further and tells us we need to "do" something!
Jesus didn’t borrow the idea from anybody. This idea lies at the very heart of what it means to be His disciple. In fact, Jesus drove this message home to His disciples when He called them together and said:
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" Matthew 20:25-28
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