Copying the mercy and blessing of God to others

Only when we rise above do we demonstrate we are born from above.

Only when we rise above do we demonstrate we are born from above.

Matthew 5:44-45: “But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.”

Two qualities are here spoken of by Yeshua: one is being like your Father in heaven, and the other is doing good equally to those who are good and those who are evil. The conclusion is that in mimicking the good actions of God to all people, we demonstrate we are his children.

In view of these qualities, a couple of other observations become apparent, as well. Firstly, God is the one supreme Being over all, since everyone in this world experiences sun and rain to varying degrees. This demonstrates God’s sovereignty over his creation.

Secondly, there is also an element of good in those provisions of sunlight and rain as opposed to common misconceptions of God’s indifference or dispassionate separation from that what he has created. Closely aligned with this “indifference” mindset, but worse still, is the idea that everything we see and experience is the result of chance and random mutation. This type of worldview leads individuals to act in accordance with the hopeless lack of meaning throughout life. Following this logically, if the natural conditions of the weather are purposeless effects of a random physical process, then this analogy that Yeshua arrives at loses its meaning as well.

By contrast, the believer in the God of the Bible can take heart that even the ubiquitous nature of weather is imbued with a sense of purpose from the Almighty Creator. The mere act of existing within this cosmos is a gift beyond measure. Living with this type of Creation worldview imbues all experiences with meaning and purpose. Because of this purpose and meaning, Yeshua then urges his hearers to copy the gracious purpose of their Father by bestowing favor on all others.

As much as we may desire to act and react to others in the like fashion in which we are treated by them, Yeshua urges us to rise above these petty differences and treat others with the same blessing and provision that God bestows on all men. This involves forgiveness when we have been wronged and turning situations around by inserting gracious energy back toward those who, by all natural appearances, may not seem to others to deserve it.

This is what it means to be a child of God, not just in what we believe, but in what we do and how we act. Believers are to be better, more noble than others in the world who do not know God. However, this is not to be a distinction of prideful privilege, but a recognition of duty to always represent the best of Yahweh as we are created in his image and likeness. As we conform more fully to him, we demonstrate we are truly his children.

If you enjoy these daily blog posts, be sure to visit the growing archive of the Core of the Bible podcast. Each week we take a more in-depth look at one of the various topics presented in the daily blog. You can view the podcast archive on our Podcast Page, at Core of the Bible on Simplecast, or your favorite podcast streaming service.

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