Keep On Doing Good….

However, I say to you: Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those who persecute you, so that you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens, since he makes his sun rise on both the wicked and the good and makes it rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing?

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And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing? In contrast, Jesus declared: “Continue to love your enemies and to pray for those persecuting you.”

His disciples were to act lovingly toward all who showed hostility to them. According to the Gospel writer Luke, Jesus said: “I say to you who are listening, Continue to love your enemies, to do good to those hating you, to bless those cursing you, to pray for those who are insulting you.”

Like first-century individuals who took Jesus’ sayings to heart, we “do good to those hating” us by responding to their hostility with gracious actions. We “bless those cursing” us by speaking to them in a kind way. And we “pray for those persecuting” us with physical violence or other forms of “insulting” treatment. Such petitions are loving requests that persecutors might have a change of heart and take action that brings them Jehovah’s favor. Why show love for our enemies? “That you may prove yourselves sons of your Father who is in the heavens,” said Jesus.

If we heed that counsel, we become “sons” of God in that we imitate Jehovah, who “makes his sun rise upon wicked people and good and makes it rain upon righteous people and unrighteous.” As Luke’s account puts matters, God “is kind toward the unthankful and wicked.”

Stressing how important it was for his disciples to ‘continue loving their enemies,’ Jesus said: “If you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Are not also the tax collectors doing the same thing? And if you greet your brothers only, what extraordinary thing are you doing? Are not also the people of the nations doing the same thing?”

If we were to limit our love to those who reciprocate, this would not merit any “reward,” or favor, from God. Even tax collectors, who were generally despised, showed love for people who loved them.

 

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~ by DJ Camstar on 11/07/2016.

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