“Do to others
As you would have them
Do to you!”
καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to his followers to do the same to others (ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς ὁμοίως), like they would wish other men to do to them (καὶ καθὼς θέλετε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι). Once again, this was in the second person plural imperative. Matthew, chapter 7:12, has something similar, perhaps indicating a common Q source. This saying is often known throughout the world as the philosophical golden rule. Matthew said that whatever you wanted other men to do to you (Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι), you should do to them the same (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς). Matthew emphasized that this was already in the Hebrew Torah, the Law and among the various Judaic prophets, while Luke never mentioned the Law and the prophets. Pure and simple, treat other people the way that you would want to be treated.
“When they had finished
Required by the law
Of the Lord,
To their own town,
Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα τὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον Κυρίου, ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν Ναζαρέθ.
Luke finished his unique narrative about Joseph, Mary, and Jesus at the presentation ritual of Mary in Jerusalem. He said that after they had finished everything (Καὶ ὡς ἐτέλεσαν πάντα) that was required by the Law of the Lord (ὰ κατὰ τὸν νόμον Κυρίου), they returned to Galilee (ἐπέστρεψαν εἰς τὴν Γαλιλαίαν), to their own town of Nazareth (εἰς πόλιν ἑαυτῶν Ναζαρέθ), about 80 miles away. Mary and Joseph had done everything according to the Israelite law, but there was no mention of a marriage ceremony, just these Temple activities. They were faithful Israelite followers of the Torah.
By the Spirit,
Into the temple.
Their child Jesus,
To do for him
What was customary
Under the law.”
καὶ ἦλθεν ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι εἰς τὸ ἱερόν· καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ,
Luke said that Simeon, guided by the Holy Spirit (ἐν τῷ Πνεύματι), went into the Jerusalem Temple (καὶ ἦλθεν…εἰς τὸ ἱερόν). Then the parents of the child Jesus brought him into the Temple (καὶ ἐν τῷ εἰσαγαγεῖν τοὺς γονεῖς τὸ παιδίον Ἰησοῦν τοῦ ποιῆσαι αὐτοὺς) for the customary actions under the Law (κατὰ τὸ εἰθισμένον τοῦ νόμου περὶ αὐτοῦ). Unfortunately, there were no ordinary customs for the children, since the purification ritual was for the mother. It was rare for a mother to offer up her son to God. Normally, the 2 birds were sufficient as an offering for the first-born male child. Nevertheless, Simeon was there in the Temple when Mary, Joseph, and the child Jesus came into the Jerusalem Temple.
This second narrative centered around the Sermon on the Mount and the famous so-called Beatitudes. The first beatitude was about poverty, while the second beatitude was about mourning. The third beatitude was about the meek or the humble. The fourth beatitude was about righteousness. The fifth beatitude was on mercy, while the sixth beatitude was about the pure of heart. The seventh beatitude was on peacemakers, while the eighth beatitude was on persecution. There was a grand blessing for the persecuted Christians, who were the salt of the earth and the light of the world. They had to value and become the lighted lamp.
Next came the law and the prophets. The law with all its commandments remained. The righteous ones would not murder, nor would they get angry with insults. They would offer their gifts at the Temple. They would pay their debts and not commit adultery. Jesus warned against the sinning eye and the sinning right hand. He favored the traditional divorce stance, but warned about marrying a divorced woman. They should not bear false witness, nor swear at all, since they should have a simple speech. No longer was it an eye for an eye, but rather turn the other cheek with unusual kindness. They were to love their enemies and their heavenly Father with a perfect love.
The followers of Jesus should fast and pray. We should have piety with almsgiving. Our charity and prayer should be secret with short prayers. Thus, there was the famous “Our Father” prayer. The first part of the Lord’s prayer was about God the Father. The second part of the Lord’s prayer was about our human problems. We should seek forgiveness and fast in secret. We should not want earthly treasures, but heavenly treasures. We need to have a healthy eye because we cannot serve two masters.
We should trust in Providence. We do not need to worry. Just look at the birds who do not worry. The lilies of the field have more beauty than Solomon in all his glory. Seek the kingdom of heaven first and you will not have to worry about tomorrow.
As far as judgment was concerned, do not judge the speck in the eye of your neighbor. Be careful with your holy treasures. Be seekers and give to your sons. Pray to your heavenly Father and follow the golden rule. The gate was narrow and there were many false prophets. Know them by their fruits. The sound tree has good fruits. Cut down the bad tree. Seek the kingdom of heaven. Stay away from evildoers. Wise men build on a rock foundation, while the foolish ones build on a sand foundation. The crowds were astonished at the authority of Jesus.
“Have you not read
In the law
That on the Sabbath
The priests in the temple
Break the Sabbath.
Yet they are guiltless?”
ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν καὶ ἀναίτιοί εἰσιν;
This saying is unique to Matthew. He has Jesus cite an example in Numbers, chapter 28:9-10, where there was a special sacrifice only on the Sabbath. This sacrifice had two male one-year old lambs without blemish, and two-tenths of an ephah of choice flour for a grain offering, mixed with oil, and its drink offering. This was the burnt offering every Sabbath. This was in addition to the regular burnt offerings and the drink offerings. However, this sacrifice was not mentioned in any other place in the Torah. Jesus asked them if they had read the law (ἢ οὐκ ἀνέγνωτε ἐν τῷ νόμῳ) where on the Sabbath (ὅτι τοῖς σάββασιν), the priests in the temple (οἱ ἱερεῖς ἐν τῷ ἱερῷ) broke or profaned the Sabbath with these sacrifices (τὸ σάββατον βεβηλοῦσιν), yet they were guiltless (καὶ ἀναίτιοί εἰσιν).
“All the prophets
And the law
Until John came.
If you are willing
To accept it,
He is Elijah,
Who is to come.
Let anyone with ears
πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν
καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι, αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι
ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω
This saying of Jesus, via Matthew, was based on the prophet Malachi, chapter 4:5, where Yahweh said that he was going to send the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of Yahweh would come. Mark has something similar in chapter 9:11-13. Matthew repeated this saying later in chapter 17:11-13, where Jesus again compared John to Elijah. There was no question here. All the prophets and the law had prophesized until the time of John the Baptist (πάντες γὰρ οἱ προφῆται καὶ ὁ νόμος ἕως Ἰωάνου ἐπροφήτευσαν). Then Jesus said that John was the new Elijah (αὐτός ἐστιν Ἡλείας), the one who was to come (ὁ μέλλων ἔρχεσθαι). However, they had to be willing to accept this (καὶ εἰ θέλετε δέξασθαι). Anyone who had ears to hear should listen to this (ὁ ἔχων ὦτα ἀκουέτω).
Do to others,
As you would
Do to you.
Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς· οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος καὶ οἱ προφῆται.
This saying of Jesus is nearly the same as in Luke, chapter 6:31, indicating a common Q source, except that Luke never mentioned the Law and the prophets. This saying is often known throughout the world as the philosophical golden rule. In everything, whatever you wanted other men to do to you (Πάντα οὖν ὅσα ἐὰν θέλητε ἵνα ποιῶσιν ὑμῖν οἱ ἄνθρωποι), you should do to them the same (οὕτως καὶ ὑμεῖς ποιεῖτε αὐτοῖς). Matthew emphasizes that this already was in the Hebrew scriptures in the Torah, the Law (οὗτος γάρ ἐστιν ὁ νόμος), and among the various Judaic prophets (καὶ οἱ προφῆται). Pure and simple, treat other people the way that you would want to be treated.
“Do not think
That I have come
Or the prophets!
I have come
Not to abolish them,
But to fulfil them.”
Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας· οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι·
There is a similar statement in Luke, chapter 16:17, but without the same force. Once again, Matthew has Jesus address his disciples. He told them not to think that he had come to abolish the law and the prophets (Μὴ νομίσητε ὅτι ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὸν νόμον ἢ τοὺς προφήτας). This reference to the law (τὸν νόμον) was to the Torah, the first 5 books of the Bible. The allusion to the prophets (τοὺς προφήτας) meant all the writings about the prophets, plus the works contained in the so-called historical works, basically the Old Testament or Hebrew scriptures. Quite the opposite, Jesus said that he had come to fulfill them (ἀλλὰ πληρῶσαι), not to abolish the law and the prophets. (οὐκ ἦλθον καταλῦσαι).
The Law, the Torah, or the Pentateuch, consisted of first five books that were developed over a number of years, but firmly established around 400 BCE. The five books of the Pentateuch include Genesis, a 10th-5th century BCE writing about the pre-existence of the Israelites, and the particular stories of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph. The Exodus, finished around 450 BCE, recalls the story of Moses and how he led the Israelites out of Egypt for years in the desert. Leviticus and Numbers, worked on between 550-400 BCE, lay out the particular codes, rules and regulations for the Israelites, as well the numbers of people that were involved in the exodus from Egypt. Deuteronomy, developed in the 7th-6th century BCE, told the story of Moses in the wilderness with emphasis on the laws of the heart. This Law or Torah explained the early or pre-history of the Israelites before they entered the promised land. These books also contained all the commands, statutes, or rules for the Israelites after they entered the promised land. All further Jewish developments were based on the Torah or the Law.
The Old Testament takes up two-thirds of the Christian Bible. The Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, is divided into three major parts, the Torah, the Nevi’im, and the Ketuvim. The Torah was known as the Law or instruction. The works of the prophets was called Nevi’im. Finally, the Writings were called Ketuvim. New Testament writers used these three terms of the law, the prophets, and the writings when they referred to the Hebrew Scriptures, the only Bible that they knew. Most of the final codification of the Hebrew Bible had taken place centuries before the time of Jesus Christ. Thus, the Christians often referred to the law and the prophets when they were talking about the books of the Hebrew Bible. These early Christians never referred to their own writings as the Bible.