Matthew 7:12 Bible Commentary
Therefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
This verse in various forms if also referred to as The Golden Rule: “Do unto other as you want them to do unto you.”
Or we might say, if we do unto others in love, as we wish them to do unto us, we have obeyed all the commandments of the Lord.
But this also says that as we treat others, we can expect to be treated.
Now, I have heard some people say, “If I don’t do this first, they are going to do it to me.” This assumes that all activity in the world is based on evil intent.
But not everyone in the world is of the world system. Many are of heaven, just sojourning here upon the earth; and for them, living by this evil standard should be rejected completely.
We must realize that the “golden rule” is a two-way street, and that only one way is according to God’s will.
Note the difference in the following translation:
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
This verse is really part of God’s greatest commandment Deuteronomy 6:5:
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
Jesus also teaches us that if we live like this, we also fulfill the whole of the Bible, because it we love this way, we also love the whole of God’s creation, which includes all others.
Both of these Matthew 7:12 translations show that this is referring to humans, or is it?
If we are to love God and the whole of His creation, we cannot limit our love to only humans, because the animals and the environment are also part of God’s creation.
And, we can do the same thing with our fellow human beings, even if they don’t return our loving attitude; for even if they don’t, our unconditional love conquers all the evil feeling the other person may have perceived coming from us.
Note how Craig Cline translates this verse: “In reflecting on the fact that the “original” GR is intended to mean other people, instead of the more all-inclusive “others” in general — and because the original contains the word others, I propose this amended version:”
“Do for all others, both directly and indirectly, what you would want done for you.” And, “Don’t do to any others, either directly or indirectly, what you wouldn’t want done to you.”
“Though I like the idea of saying “all beings,” to do that departs from people’s existing familiarity with the word “others.” So to use the words “all others” and “any others” is better. This will enable people to move beyond humans to include non-humans — all the other sentient someones who are in the same Kingdom Animalia as we are.”
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