Day 16 Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:12-14

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

We call this first verse “the Golden Rule”.  It is the summation of how to treat people.  There is no list of circumstances and their appropriate responses to memorize.  Weird, huh?  Considering “this is the Law and the Prophets” – you’d expect at least a booklet.

You don’t have to have some big position, be educated or, for that matter, even be a grown-up.  In a moment’s notice, anyone can know exactly how to act. They only must ask themselves.  “How would I want to be treated right now, in this situation?”

Easy enough.  Brilliant in its simplicity.  Light weight.  Nimble. You can get the right answers 100% of the time.

Now for part two: Do it.

Sure I’d like to have my turn with the toy but do I have to let my friend have their turn first?

Of course I would be desperate to be forgiven but I’m not so sure they really deserve forgiveness…not quite yet.

Yes, I definitely want to be able to share my thoughts and be heard but it’s so hard to listen to that guy ramble.

Uh, this is hard and a little painful.  I can’t seem to squeeze through this entrance without leaving a few things behind.

narrow gate

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4 thoughts on “Day 16 Sermon on the Mount – Matthew 7:12-14

  1. I do not think it is a coincidence at all that these verses are found in this order or that they were grouped in this way. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It could not be simpler…to say that is. The doing is much more difficult. Yet, that is to what we are called. The taking turns example you used is the perfect example. Why? Because I think it also highlights another set of instructions we received on the same topic. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but, in humility, consider others better than yourselves. (Philippians 2:3) If I do unto others, then I would give that person a turn. However, if I consider others better than myself, I give them the first turn. Well that takes some of the air out of your balloon, doesn’t it? Yet we are called to put others first and to serve. Through that we are promised greater joy and fulfillment then we will ever gain through having the first, or even any, turn.

    Well fine. So I’ll put others first. Easy peasy. HA! Dying to self is a day by day and minute by minute process at which humans are destined to fail. That sinful nature really gets in the way sometimes. Wide is the road and gate that leads to destruction. Human nature, sin, pulls us straight down and through it, whether with alluring promises or merely by being the path of least resistance. Narrow is gate that leads to life and few will find it. Why? Because it is more fun to not share. Because you prefer to have the first turn. Because dying to yourself is difficult. Because you cannot give up hope even in failure.

    He must become greater; I must become less. (John 3:30) The only way either of those things will occur is if I treat others the way I wish to be treated and then put them first, ahead of myself. This will not be easy, but the easy road has an ugly end.

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  2. I worry a lot about the wide and narrow ways. The way I am in seems kind of easy. Is that a bad sign? There are a lot of comforting sayings of Jesus but I (unlike the video commentators) don’t consider this one of them. Can I screw this up?

    I resemble the figure in your drawing -at least I did in skinnier days.

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    • These are not things that can be screwed up anymore than making any choice that goes against the leading of the Holy Spirit. Just in that case, forgiveness is readily available. The descriptions of hard or easy, are not, IMHO, a measurement tool to determine if you are on track. They are simply a decriptor, to me, of the struggle with the flesh when we are called to a particular battle. Not called to a moment of battle? Descriptors do not apply…. that’s my take.

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