I couldn’t sleep tonight (actually, I slept great until around 3AM and haven’t been able to sleep since), so I started reading Matthew 5, the beatitudes.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” mt. 5:44,45
Wow. If you haven’t read Matthew 5 in a while, do it. Tonight, I was confronted (again) with just how much being a disciple of Jesus– becoming like Him– actually requires.
I’ve never noticed verse 45, though. We will be sons and daughters of God, who, as our Father, “causes the sun (which is His) and sends out the rain on the evil and the good.”
He doesn’t have to. At least, that’s what it looks like to me. Now, I am not sure how that would work out exactly. It would certainly be an interesting way to identify evil people. Whether this is literal or figurative, the implication seems clear. God “owns” everything including sun and the rain needed by humanity to sustain life, and He knows who is evil and who is righteous, BUT instead of withholding from the evil He offers them what He gives His own family, consistently.
Again, He doesn’t have to. Just like we don’t have to love our enemies or pray for our persecutors either. Only, as sons and daughters of God, we will.
We will love our enemies. We will pray for those who wrong us, betray us, and ultimately persecute us to the point of death because we have a Father who could withhold even the rain and the sun (which obey Him), but doesn’t.
How do we live-out this kind of equality and grace with genuine grace and love?