What does it mean to “do unto others”? Is there an app for the Christian?
We find the phrase “do unto others” in Luke 6:31 which says “And as you would like others to do to you, do it to them.” Jesus said this in the context of loving our enemies and doing good to those who hate us (Luke 6:27) but also to “bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you(Luke 6:28). Now it gets a little harder, doesn’t it? While Jesus is still talking about our enemies, he goes even further by saying “To him who strikes you on the cheek, also offer the other, and to him who takes away your coat, do not take off your tunic either. Give to whoever begs you, and to whoever takes away your wealth, do not ask for it again.(Luke 6:29-30). His conclusion is “what you want others to do to you, do it to them(Luke 6:31). It means doing good to others, whether or not they do us good. This “doing to others” does not depend on whether they do us first.
do to others
Jesus continues in his teaching in Luke chapter six giving us the reason why we should do good to others. He says “If you love those who love you, what benefit does it bring you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit does it bring you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, how grateful will you be? Even sinners lend to sinners, to recover the same amount(Luke 6:32-34). If we go only to those we love, we are no different from the unsaved world, but if you”love your enemies, do good, and lend without expecting anything in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, as your Father is merciful(Luke 6:35-36). Do you not want to be like the “sons (and daughters) of the Most High?” The poor cannot repay you but God can. Solomon wrote “He who is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him.(Pr 19:17).
give to others
We have at least three things we can share that God has blessed us with. They are time, talent and treasure and we are stewards of these three. We will all have to account for what we have done with what we have received. Jesus tells us toGive to whoever begs you, and to whoever takes away your wealth, do not ask for it again.“(Luke 6:30)”So whatever you want others to do to you, do it for them too, for it is the Law and the Prophets(Matt 7:12). Everything we do for others is what the Law was based on and what the prophets preached about and of course the greatest Giver of all was Jesus Christ who gave his life for us (John 3: 16). He did it without expecting anything in return. He took the first step; His grace has extended to us. We are obligated to give back to others.
We do not do to others simply for rewards. We do good to others because Jesus commands us to do so. Even so, Jesus still says “Whoever gives one of these little ones even a glass of cold water because he is a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no way lose his reward“(Matthew 10:42) so just”as you did to one of these least of my brothers, you did to me” (Matthew 25:4). Of course, the greatest reward of all comes at the appearing of Christ when “the king will say to those on his right: “Come, you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the foundation of the world”(Matt 25:34).
We should feel obligated to help others because of what Christ has done for us. We can never do what Jesus did for us, but we can do for others. Even if they don’t “do” you, you do them all the good you can, whether they are believers or not. Jesus never made this conditional statement on whom it is conferred. We are simply told to do so.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is pastor of Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Editor of What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage and energize Christians and answer questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.