Matthew 7:12-20

Today's Passage: Matthew 7:12-20

Matthew 7:12 is often called the “Golden Rule”. This is probably one of the more well known teachings of Jesus for Christians and non-Christians alike. But while there is an almost “karma-like” application of this for some, Christians must apply this in the context of this “Golden Rule” being a natural by-product of a heart that loves God supremely and loves others selflessly. This “rule” is rooted in the Old Testament teaching (aka the Law and Prophets) that is centered on living out God’s good design for your life. God cannot be absent from the equation.

Verses 13-14 talk about the narrow gate. What does this mean? It’s essentially saying that true discipleship is living out God’s design, and this is different than the wide way of the world. Following the world is easy. It’s natural. The narrow way of God’s design is harder and therefore fewer seek to follow it.

Verses 15-20 encourage us to look at the fruit of our lives and the lives of others. Good fruits are borne from healthy roots; bad fruits are borne from unhealthy ones. What does it mean to be rooted? While not an explicit connection to this passage, Psalm 1 paints a similar picture that can be helpful:

1 Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

Are you strongly and deeply rooted in God and His Word? When life gets hard, do you have enough depth to yield fruit, no matter the season?

My prayer is that God would help us deepen and strengthen our roots in His Word today.

Written By: Graham Withers

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