In the teaching of Jesus on how people should relate to one another, Jesus stated this command: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’
Remarkably, no one we know of had ever said this before, probably because thinkers and religious teachers believed this was asking too much. A few years before Jesus Ministry, the Jewish Rabbi Hillel had come close when he proposed this command in the negative sense: ‘Do not do unto others. . .’
Jesus went on to explain that ‘on this hangs the Law and the Prophets’. In other words, this principle of human relationships lies behind the whole Jewish Law and all the writings of the Jewish prophets.
According to Jesus, this principle is the basis for what constitutes a good life, what success as a human being really consists of.
Judgment, on the other hand, consists of doing to someone what they did to others, the principle of the eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth in most codes of law – i.e. the principle of balanced or proportionate penalty. But if we set ourselves up as judge, jury and executioner, then we cannot fulfil Jesus, or God’s, command.
If we do not want to be judged and sentenced for our sins in the next life, we need to have been consistent in treating others as we would wish to be treated. Then on Judgment Day we will also be treated the way we treated others – which is that we will be treated then the way we wish to be treated! Amen.