Treat people the same way you want them to treat you
Matthew 6:25-7:14 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? 27 And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? 28 And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, 29 yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. 30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
34 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
7 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
12 “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
The Narrow and Wide Gates
13 “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
In today’s text Jesus says: “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” James 4:12 says: There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor? In John 5:22-23 Jesus says: “Not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” Indeed, we are not to judge others. We are though supposed to help others to see clearly. We cannot do that though unless we ourselves see clearly; unless we have removed the log of self- righteousness from our own eyes. We need first to judge ourselves by God’s standards, not our own. In doing that we will recognize that we cannot measure up to God’s standard of righteousness, so we instead depend solely on His grace. It is only then by grace that we see others and it is only through the lens of grace that we can help them to see clearly.
The world loves to tell believers that we should not judge others. They love to call us hypocrites. The next thing Jesus says though is: “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” How often does the world quote this? Revelation 22:15 says: Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral persons, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. Grace is a gift from a holy and righteous God. We should not give grace to things that God does not. God gives His grace to sinners, not to sin. In Matthew 13:45-46 Jesus says: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.” We should not continue to offer the treasure of the kingdom of heaven to those who despise it and trample it under their feet. Our hypocrisy is great if we tolerate and embrace the very things that Jesus sacrificed Himself to free us from.
Jesus says: “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” The world responds saying that Christianity is not inclusive. That it is judgmental to say that many will not be in heaven. In truth though, there is nothing more inclusive than faith in Christ. John 3:16 says: God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. Eternal life is given to whoever believes, regardless of national origin, ethnicity, social standing or any other criteria. In John 14:6 Jesus says: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” In Matthew 11:29 He says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” It is sad that so many will seek alternate ways to heaven when the true way is so easy.
Jesus says: “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” More than anything, I want people to treat me with honesty; to tell me the truth. So, I will not stop telling the truth. I will do my best to see others through eyes of grace, not judgement. I will take on the yoke of Christ, walking with Him with the hope of leading others on the narrow way to life. Amen.