An Emphatic Command

Luke has the words, “And as you wish that others would do to 19_title-a-golden-ruleyou, do so to them” (Lk. 6:31). But Matthew has the words, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matt. 7:12). Matthew adds two words in the Greek, panta osa, which means, “everything that.” (Gingrich) Matthew is more emphatic—“everything that you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”

The emphasis is also encompassing. Everything. All things. Matthew is not writing about a few things, but everything. He is not writing about some things we like, but everything. In other words, it affects everything in our lives.

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the word, “everything,” is the sacrifices of missionary William Carey. He left everything in England to make disciples in India. He pursued a calling that was everything to him. There, he labored for 44 years—without taking a leave of absence.

He gave everything to the Lord. When his son, Felix, decided to serve as ambassador of Britain to Burma, he sent a prayer request to friends. He wrote, “My son has chosen to be an ambassador of the king of England when he might have risen to the status of being an ambassador of the King of kings.”[1] That already tells you how he has given everything of his life to the Lord.

Carey lost almost everything. He lost his 5-year old son, Peter, to dysentery, and because of that, his first wife, Dorothy, to insanity. Carey would work on his translations, “while an insane wife, frequently wrought up to a state of most distressing excitement, was in the next room.”[2] His second wife, Charlotte, died after 13 years of marriage, followed by his son, Felix. One day, a fire in the print shop of the destroyed most of his translations in Sanskrit.

But he was a man who believed that God can do everything. His now famous motto was, “Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God.”

Jesus’ command is encompassing.

It also calls for an enduring action. Matthew uses the present tense in the verb, “do” (poieo). The present tense indicates continuing action. You keep on doing it to them. You continually do it to them.

Thus, Jesus’ Rule is—we are to do actively, rather than wait passively. The force of the positive command is the continuing act of doing to others in everything. It is the proactive act of doing good to others. It does not wait until others have done it to you. It acts by doing to others as you would have others do to you.

It is emphatic, encompassing, and enduring. Everything you want others to do to you, keep doing it to them.

[1] “William Carey,” GFA Missions. Cited September 2, 2015. Online: https://www.gfamissions.org/missionary-biographies/carey-william-1761-1834.htm.

[2] Ruth A. Tucker, “William Carey’s Less-than-Perfect Family Life,” ChristianHistory.net. Cited September 2, 2015. Online: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ch/1992/issue36/3627.html?start=2.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s