"In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you."—Matthew 7:12
In January of 1982, Air Florida's Flight 90 took off from the National Airport in Washington, D.C. It was loaded with ice and could not gain altitude. It hit the 14th Street bridge. A surviving passenger was being pulled out of the water of the Potomac River by a helicopter, but she could not hold on to the life preserver. She fell back into the water!
Suddenly, off the bank of the river, a man jumped into the freezing cold water, swam to the passenger and pulled her to the shore. It was heroic! It was self-sacrificing! It was the Golden Rule in action!
At the same time, an unidentified passenger passed a lifeline to other survivors following the crash and then slipped below the icy water before he could be rescued. Donald Usher, the helicopter pilot who plucked five survivors from the river said that the man, about 50 years old and bald, could have been dragged to safety, but he handed the rescue line to others.
"The guy was amazing," said Gene Windsor, a paramedic aboard the Park Police helicopter. "All I can tell you is I've never seen that kind of guts."
Jesus said, "No greater love has any man than this, that a man lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do as I command you."
Jesus laid down his life for us! What can we do for him?
A young man by the name of Philip Henry was in love and sought the hand of the daughter and heiress of a Mr. Matthews of Broad Oak, England. Mr. Matthews was somewhat reluctant to agree to the match. He acknowledged that Philip was an excellent preacher and a fine gentleman, but his ancestry was unknown. In those days in England, one's ancestry was very important. "We do not know whence he came from," Mr. Matthews told his daughter.
"True," she replied, "but I know where he is going, and I would like to go with him." So the young couple prevailed and the marriage took place. Twenty years later, Philip Henry wrote in his diary, "This day we have been married 20 years, in which we have received of the Lord twenty thousand mercies. Yet though we have been married that long, we have never been reconciled, for there was never any occasion for it."
This was a home where the Golden Rule was lived out, and into that home during those years a son was born. He was named Matthew Henry. His name has become a legend as the author of some of the most helpful commentaries on the Bible ever written. Matthew grew up into a home of the Golden Rule. The fragrant aroma of that man's life has reached down almost 300 years to our day and untold hundreds of lives have been blessed through this son of a home where the Golden Rule was lived out.