Matthew 5:44-48 – “But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”
We have looked at this passage in several different articles regarding different aspects of meaning that are present here. But one of the key questions that can be brought up is this, does God expect more of us than he expects of himself? Yeshua instructs us to love our enemies. Has God really demonstrated love for his enemies?
Romans 5:6, 8, 10 – “For while we were still helpless, at the right time, Messiah died for the ungodly. … But God proves his own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us. … For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life.”
I remember a preacher once teaching on this topic and saying, “If your salvation depended on my only son dying in your place, then I’m sorry, you would not be saved.” This tongue-in-cheek statement drove home the point of how much love God demonstrated for those who could be considered his enemies due to their rebellion and sinfulness. And yet God was willing to have his own Son die for them.
Romans 10:20-21 – “And Isaiah says boldly, I was found by those who were not looking for me; I revealed myself to those who were not asking for me. But to Israel he says, All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and defiant people.”
Does Yeshua exhort us to love our enemies? Yes, so that we might become “children of God.” As we have seen from the apostle Paul, God indeed demonstrated love for those who had made themselves his enemies, enough to have his own Son die for them. If in this fashion we become his children, then we must exhibit the same characteristic of our Father. All day long, we must hold our hands out to the disobedient and defiant people of our generation.
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