As Christians we can theologise and analyse until the cows come home, but Jesus has a powerful way of bringing it all down to one sentence.
Reference: v.12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. (NIV Bible)
Explore: Recently we have been visiting a number of different churches in our local area. It’s great to get out and experience diverse expressions of corporate worship. After one particular service we were discussing with some friends the style of worship that we had experienced. We were talking about the music and the words spoken, we were analysing the implied messages and the type of people there. We were really taking apart each aspect of the service and questioning whether that was the style of worship we felt most comfortable with. After a good half hour discussion I turned to our 14 year-old and asked her what she thought of the service. “I thought it was dramatic.” In one sentence she had summed up all our conversations! (From the mouths of babes, hey!) It wasn’t a negative or positive comment, it was just her honest perspective.
So often we complicate things with too many words, concepts and analysis. I’m all for achieving better understandings but often we are just complicating something that is really quite simple. Even as Christians we can theologise and analyse until the cows come home, but Jesus has a powerful way of bringing it all down to one sentence: do to others what you would have them do to you. Its as simple and as complicated as that! It’s not rocket science, it’s what the whole Bible talks about from Genesis through to Revelations. When people still didn’t get the simplicity Jesus put it another way: Love God and love others. He keeps coming back to it, so it must be important.
Application: How much would your life change if you lived every step of the day around the simple statement ‘do to others what you would have them do to you’? I know I would have to stop being so selfish. And yet, if we made a concerted effort to live more like this, it would have a radical change on the people we are surrounded by, which would then in turn impact our own lives too. Jesus was saying, it’s not rocket science. However He knew that due to our selfish natures it was going to be challenging. Simplifying the Law and the Prophets into one sentence doesn’t make it easy to accomplish, it just makes it easy to understand!! But if it was important to Jesus, then it’s important to me. Today I will try even harder to do to others what I would have them do to me.
Prayer: Lord, you are the all-knowing Creator. You made things so simple for us and yet we continually stuff things up. May I see the world through your eyes today and draw my love from your example. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.