God’s Law in One Verse: Matthew 7:7-20

Focus Passage: Matthew 7:7-20 (CEV)

Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks. Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread? 10 Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish? 11 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.

12 Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.

13 Go in through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. 14 But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.

15 Watch out for false prophets! They dress up like sheep, but inside they are wolves who have come to attack you. 16 You can tell what they are by what they do. No one picks grapes or figs from thornbushes. 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 19 Every tree that produces bad fruit will be chopped down and burned. 20 You can tell who the false prophets are by their deeds.

Read Matthew 7:7-20 in context and/or in other translations on BibleGateway.com!

If God’s entire Law was summarized in a very practical way in one verse, Jesus shares that verse with us during His famous Sermon on the Mount. In this statement/summary, Jesus shares a principle that has amazing implications.

During this sermon, Jesus tells those listening, “Treat others as you want them to treat you. This is what the Law and the Prophets are all about.” (v. 12)

What is especially powerful about this statement is that is does not say, “Treat others as they have treated you.” That statement would cause a downward spiral that leads everyone towards violence and hate.

Instead, when we intentionally choose to treat others as we want them to treat us, it prompts an upward spiral that uplifts all parties involved. When we treat others with kindness and compassion because that is what we want to receive, we are not only setting a good example, but we are also intentionally breaking the cycle of reacting based on what they have done.

When we simply react, we give up control because we let the other person determine our mood and our response. Reacting usually results in the downward spiral, with each reaction getting progressively worse.

If we chose to intentionally respond by acting as though they treated us how with how we would have preferred they treated us, and then responding to that action accordingly, we break the downward cycle.

But not only is this principle one that fits within our relationships and human interaction, it also can fit our spiritual relationship with God. When we sin against God, He could treat us the way we deserve to be treated, but that would cause a downward spiral.

Instead, God responds to us with forgiveness, and this response is how He wants us to treat Him – and how He wants us to treat others. When we sin, we deserve death, but God chose to make a way around the problem through Jesus. God bent the rules in our favor because He loves us.

When He treated us as He wanted us to treat Him, He gave us the greatest display of love that He could: Jesus entered a world that was actively rebelling against God, and Jesus gave His life as a sacrifice on our behalf. The response God is looking for us to return is by giving our lives to Him.

This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus "Reflective Bible Study" package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today!

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