A Higher Way, Part VII

For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?  do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?  do not even the publicans so?

Matthew 5:46-47

These verses are a continuation of the passage dealing with the “higher way” that we find in Christ Jesus.  These verses are about loving and being kind to our fellow man.  Loving the people that love us is easy.  That is human nature.  Even animals will love a person who shows them kindness.  It doesn’t take a “higher way” to love someone who loves you.

Jesus says here that the publicans do the same.  The publicans were known as some of the crookedest people of the day.  They were not liked, they were not respected and they usually spent their time trying to cheat and steal from the people.  But even they would love someone who loved them.

The passage goes on to say “…if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?”  And again, “…do not even the publicans so?”  If we are kind only to those in our “circle of friends,” how is that different from anybody else?  If we won’t go out of our way to show kindness and love to those who don’t deserve it, how is that showing forth the righteousness of Christ in our lives?

The whole point of these verses is to get us to understand that, through Jesus, we can live on a higher plane.  We can do things that don’t seem right to our flesh.  We can love those who hate us.  We can do those who use us and despise us.  We can pray for our enemies.  We can do all of those things to others because Jesus Himself did them all for us.

Let us think about that the next time we don’t want to be kind to our enemy.  Jesus died for us while we were His enemies.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

4 responses to this post.

  1. All I can say is “Amen”, Ben

    Thanks for sharing.

    Blessings,
    ann

    Reply

  2. “Jesus Himself did them all for us”. Thank you for this revelation, Ben! 🙂
    God bless you as you do as He did!

    Reply

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