What does it mean to do to others? Is there an app for the Christian?
We find the expression “do to others” in Luke 6:31 which says “And since you want others to do 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 for”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 still speaks of our enemies, he goes even further by saying “To the one who hits you on the cheek, also offers the other, and to the one who takes off your cloak, do not hold back your tunic either. Give to all who beg you, and whoever takes away your possessions, do not claim them(Luke 6: 29-30). Its conclusion is “as you wish others to do to you, do it to them(Luke 6:31). It means doing good to others, whether they are doing us good or not. This “doing to others” does not depend on whether they do to us first.
Do to others
Jesus continues in his teaching in Luke chapter six by giving us the reason why we are to do good to others. He says “If you love those who love you, what benefit does it give you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do you good, what benefit does that bring you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those you expect to receive, how much credit does that give you? 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 the 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). Don’t you want to be like the “sons (and daughters) of the Most High? The poor can’t pay you back, but God can. Solomon wrote “He who is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him his deed.(Prov 19:17).
Give to others
We have at least three things that we can share that God has blessed us with. They are the time, the talent and the treasure and we are the stewards of these three. We will all have to give an account of what we have done with what we have received. Jesus tells us to “Give to all who beg you, and whoever takes away your possessions, do not claim them“(Luke 6:30)”So, whatever you would like others to do to you, do it for them too, for it is the Law and the Prophets.”(Mt 7:12). Everything we do for others is what the Law was founded on and what the prophets preached on and of course the greatest Giver of all was Jesus Christ who gave His life for us (John 3: 16). He did so without expecting anything in return. He took the first step; His grace extended to us. We are obligated to give back to others.
We don’t do to others just for rewards. We do good for others because Jesus commands us to do so. Even so, Jesus still says “Whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, verily I say to you, he will in no case lose his reward.“(Mt 10:42) then just”like you did to one of the lesser of my brothers, you did to me ”(Mt 25: 4). Of course, the greatest reward of all comes at the appearance of Christ when “the king will say to those who are at his right hand: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom which has been prepared for you from the foundation of the world””(Mt 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 it for others. Even if they don’t “do” you, you are doing all the good you can to them, whether they are believers or not. Jesus never made this conditional statement upon which it is conferred. We are simply told to do it.
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is the 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.