Summary: Only by fulfilling the Golden can we become more like Jesus.
Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them—this is the Law and the Prophets.
* Tonight our text is Matthew 7:12. How many of us “know” what this one verse says? I submit that one of the weaknesses of today’s believer is the lack of desire, commitment, and expectation to know the word. The Psalmist said, “Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against YOU.” He also said, “let the words of my mouth and the meditation of heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord my strength and my redeemer.”
* Today, we have grown so sophisticated that we no longer sense the need to memorize and meditate, the result of which is, a weak, anemic, and powerless body.
* For almost 4 months we have been walking through the foundational words of Jesus as spoken in His history message called, “The Sermon on the Mount”. He has covered a myriad of subjects on “how to live” and now He will summarize all those teaching in one principle.
* READ TEXT – I begin with a “practical question.” We call this the “GOLDEN RULE” can anyone tell us where in this Bible this is called the Golden rule? (no where) In fact, from my information it is called the Golden Rule because a Roman emperor, Alexander Severus, had this saying of Jesus engraved on his wall in gold. Jesus was an example of this.
* Other leaders throughout history used this concept. Confucius said, “What you do not want others to do to you, do not do to others.” - Confucius (C. 551-479 B.C.)
* Let’s take just a few minutes tonight and place our attention on this principle. Consider how Jesus taught this, He gives;
1) A SENSE OF FINALITY – After teachings prayer, happiness, family, relationships, approaching God, Jesus says, “therefore.” Most of the preachers I know will tell you this; when “therefore” comes up in a text, find out what it is “there for.” Jesus has preached His heart out, given all these ground rules for living, attempted to give direction for His listeners to live a God centered, God-honoring life, and now He begin to sum up all that He has said.
> Literally, He is saying “listen up”, “pay attention” or that famous phrase, “and in conclusion.”
> I am told that most people will define a good sermon as one which has a great beginning and a great ending, close together.
> Jesus is starting to close His message and close it with some important principles.
2) A SENSE OF FOCUS – We could find this focus a little unusual. He begins by saying, focus on yourself. Practically speaking, this could help every person in this room. Stay with me. If we truly focused on how we desired to be treated by others we would possess a better idea about life.
> I want to be treated fairly, with respect for judgments, not berated, nor put down. I would like to be valued for the person I am.
> Suggest that ‘if’ we get our hands around how we desire to be treated, it could well revolutionize our lives.
> ILLUS: How many times has a person comes into my office for counseling. They come with a list of problems caused by their mate, boyfriend, parents, or children – with the expectation that the preacher will give them the answer. How many times have those same people been stumped when I ask the question, “If you could have it like you wanted it, how would it be?” A majority of the time, the person is so engrossed in their problems, hurt, heartache, and trouble, that they have never focused on what they truly want.
> I submit Jesus is saying, “Think about how you would like to be treated.” Better said he might be saying, “know yourself.”
> One warning; “don’t overcook being self-focused.” However, once you KNOW how you desire to be treated;
3) A SENSE OF FAIRNESS – Consider this, when you have a clear picture of how YOU desire to be treated, now you have a great “blueprint” for how to treat others and build relationships. Jesus said, “However you want to be treated, treat your friends, neighbors, acquaintances.”
> Consider this; what kind of difference would it make in this body if we simply applied this one principle. I can think thru the working of the congregation & come up with many application & great results of this principle.
Our Journey Toward Jesus – Pg 3
> But how does this picture a sense of fairness? Easy, is it not fair to think that others deserve the same treatment you desire? Isn’t it fair to think that all of God’s creation are created equal in His sight and should be treated as such?