Matthew 7:12

ESV "So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
NIV So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
NASB In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
CSB Therefore, whatever you want others to do for you, do also the same for them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
NLT Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
KJV Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
NKJV Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

What does Matthew 7:12 mean?

Jesus' Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1–2) now comes to one of the most famous statements in all of Scripture. It is often referred to as the Golden Rule. A traditional English phrasing of this is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." It's easy for modern readers to forget how much Christ's teachings changed the world, and how ingrained some of His ideas have become into western culture. This statement is vaguely similar to remarks made by other spiritual leaders in history, but it comes with a drastically different perspective.

Jesus was not the first to commend evaluating behavior in light of how you would want to be treated. Earlier Jewish and Greek teachers offer it, as well, as a negative statement: some form of "don't do to anyone what you would not want done to you." In almost all cases, this mostly implies that one ought to "do no harm," meaning not to actively do evil. Jesus' phrasing goes much further: positive action is part of the rule. God expects us to do—to actively pursue—that which we would like to see from others. This idea is expanded in Jesus' later comments about the commandments of God (Matthew 22:34–40).

The fact that Jesus taught the Golden Rule endorses this principle as the will of God. Jesus also teaches here that this was the proper explanation behind the Law of Moses and God's word to Israel through the prophets. God wants His people to treat others as they want to be treated. This is an incredibly helpful maxim, since it can be applied to most situations in life without need for a specific rule for every possible incident.

Later in Matthew's book, Jesus will describe another set of commands as the basis for all the Law and the Prophets: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34–40). What Jesus calls the second greatest commandment—to love one's neighbor with the love one has for him- or herself—pushes the Golden Rule past simply treating others with decency to being motivated by love for everyone.
What is the Gospel?
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