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The Golden Rule

Matthew 7:1–12; The Desire of Ages, pp. 298–314, 640; Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 123–137


The Message

Jesus helps me treat others as I want to be treated.

Memory Verse

“ ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you’ ” (Matthew 7:12, NIV).

Sarah frowned. The other girls in the lunchroom were pointing at her and laughing. Why were they always so unkind? Then the thought came to her: What would Jesus do? And she looked right at those girls and smiled. Jesus taught that we should treat others as we want to be treated. Imagine that a young boy named Ephraim is listening to Jesus speak.


Ephraim got up just before daylight. Would he be pulling weeds in the garden today? Then his father spoke. “Today we will go to listen to Jesus.”

Ephraim was happy. He had heard that Jesus was the Messiah. And he really wanted to hear what Jesus had to say!

Jesus was healing people by the seashore, and the beach was filling up with people. Ephraim and his family hurried to find a place. They watched as some rulers arrived. The rulers frowned at the crowd.

Jesus began to climb the hill away from the beach. The people pushed along behind Him until they came to a quiet meadow. Jesus sat down near a tree. His disciples pressed through the crowd to be near Him. All around Him people sat quietly as He began to speak. The rulers stood in the shade of a nearby tree.

Jesus spoke calmly, but so all could hear. “Make the kingdom of God first in your life.”

Ephraim thought, The kingdom of God? What does that mean?

“Don’t judge other people and you won’t be judged yourself.”

Ephraim thought of the rulers who believed they were better than others. He wondered, Could it be possible that God cares about humble people? Is there any place in Jesus’ kingdom for me and my family?

Then Jesus taught a lesson about finding fault and judging people.

Jesus said, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye, and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take out the speck,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own? You hypocrite (pretender), first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

Ephraim grinned as he imagined how it would look to have a big plank of wood in his eye. Everyone was laughing—except some of the rulers.

Jesus spoke of God’s love. Then He announced a rule of His kingdom. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.”

Now Ephraim understood. In Jesus’ kingdom, everyone would treat everyone else fairly. They would not find fault with each other. Instead, they would want Jesus to remove their faults. People would live to serve others.