A friend of mine on Facebook recently asked me to give a brief explanation on Matthew 5:46-47. Here is what I wrote. I hope it was helpful to my friend.
v. 46 is essentially saying that it’s easy to love the lovable. It’s super easy to love your best friend probably b/c we’re so much like them, that’s why they’re “the best.” It’s easy to love your kids when they’re being good. It’s easy to love those guys. : ) But think of the person that you can’t stand the most, you can’t stand being around them. Even their voice is probably irritating to you but God expects us to love those people too. He’s not asking us to spend time with them but when your paths cross he expects you to treat them lovingly.
v.47 is just elaborating on the same idea. The word “Gentiles” is another word for unbelievers. Christ talked to a large Jewish audience and Gentiles were any ethnic group other than Jewish. Christ is saying that Gentiles (unbelievers; those outside the Jewish community) treat their friends differently than their enemies. But Christ is saying don’t live that way. Treat everyone the same: with love.
One key thing to remember about our Savior is Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet still sinners, Christ died for us.” THAT’S BIG LOVE!
I’m glad God didn’t restrict his love to only the lovely because he certainly wouldn’t have died for me. I’m rotten. Even more mind boggling is that everyone is rotten in sins… he died for us all even when we were sinners. We didn’t deserve it. But he loved us that much!
We are to mimic that kind of love. Even when someone doesnt deserve it, we mimic God and give them love anyway and we do it with joy knowing that our heavenly Father is pleased! : )