Sunday 20 February 2022

Bible Book:

‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’ (v. 31)

Luke 6:27-38 Sunday 20 February 2022

Psalm 37:1-11, 39-40


The 'golden rule' exists in the creeds of many religions but always in a negative form. Here are some examples.

Hillel, one of the great Jewish rabbis, was asked by a man to teach him the whole law while he stood on one leg. Hillel answered "What is hateful to thee, do not to another. That is the whole law and all else is explanation."

Isocrates, the Greek orator, said "What things make you angry when you suffer them at the hands of others, do not you do to other people."

When Confucius was asked, "Is there one word which may serve as a rule of practice for all one’s life?" he answered, "Is not reciprocity such a word?"

In each of these instances the form is negative. It is not difficult to follow such rules but it is a very different thing indeed to go out of your way to do what you would prefer people would do to you.

Jesus teaches a gracious way of living in the positive form, "Do to others as you would have them do to you." (v. 31)

It has been said that between the years 222 and 235 AD the Roman Emperor Alexander Severus adopted the golden rule as his motto and had it displayed prominently in his palace and on all public buildings. Some say the golden rule is called golden because Severus wrote it on his wall in gold letters.

The teaching of Jesus had a strong impact on Severus and the society he oversaw, inviting a selfless way of living.


To Ponder:

  • What ‘golden rule’ would I write on my wall?
  • How does the positive form of Jesus’ words challenge my actions and thoughts?
  • Is there something positive I need to do to show God’s love in action today?

‘Have thine own way, Lord’ 


Lord Jesus Christ, help me in all things to see things from your perspective of loving grace and to do only that which promotes life in all its fullness. Amen.

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