(Second Milers also read – Psalm 26 – 30; Memorize Mark 16:15)
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” – (Matthew 5:44-45)
Yesterday, my wife and I were listening to my daughter Hannah singing very loudly in another room. She wasn’t just singing, she was making all kinds of strange noises; just acting silly. My wife made the comment, “she is exactly like you”. She is a chip off the old block, so to speak. In fact, I can see myself and my wife in all of my children. Unfortunately, however, I can see some of my bad attributes in my children as well.
In our passage today, Jesus is telling the disciples in this famous “Sermon on the Mount” to love their enemies; and even to go beyond just loving them in thought or word, but actually going the extra mile of praying for them and being a blessing to them. Jesus goes on to say that by doing so we will be the children of our Father which is in heaven. Now, He was not saying that we become the children of God by loving our enemies. The Scripture teaches very plainly that we become the children of God by receiving Christ as our Saviour. (see John 1:12) What Jesus was saying is that we will resemble our Heavenly Father when we love our enemies, just like an earthly child might resemble his earthly father in appearance or in actions.
Our job on earth is to represent the Father (and the Son) to this lost world around us. According to 2 Corinthians 5, we are His ambassadors. In the flesh, we may want to be bitter, and even hateful to those who do not love us; but by doing so, we are really just being a representative of this fallen human race. If we want to be a good representative of the Father, however, we had better take our love up another notch. Do you want people to see God in you? Then you had better start loving, not just your friends, but your enemies as well.
By the way, we are also supposed to love our brothers and sisters in Christ; and by doing so we also demonstrate that we are disciples of Christ:
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – (John 13:34-35)
Posted in Thoughts from Matthew by Phil Erickson with 1 comment.