Our reading today is what some call the Sermon on the Plain. It has similar sayings that also exist in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s Gospel. The verses are Jesus’ clear instruction on how His followers should act. The most challenging of Jesus’ statements says that the generosity that we usually extend to “acceptable” people should also be extended to enemies. Living out Jesus’ instructions is frankly daunting.
ChildHope schools minister to the poor. Anyone who has worked in that kind of context knows that it is not romantic. People who live at the edge of survival are not always grateful, nor pleasant nor easy to work with. People need “rough edges” just to make it through the day. However, following Jesus compels us to live out the Gospel where it might not be always appreciated or even welcomed. ChildHope schools live out the belief that ”God is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.” (v.36)
Vice President, ChildHope
Prayer: Oh Lord, give me grace to represent you well even when the resistance is great and my best efforts are not appreciated.
27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
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